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Penn Cambria's Stolarski sets two records in District 6 boys meet

May 16—ALTOONA, Pa. — The key to Josh Stolarski's success, he said, is mental toughness. And he builds that by relying on himself.

"My whole high school season, my whole high school career even, I've run with no training partners. I've been riding my workouts by myself. I've been doing basically all of this on my own," said Stolarski, the Penn Cambria senior. "Everyone that's seen me on the track, I want to make them proud. It's not about me. It's about making a difference in (track and field) and inspiring other people."

Stolarski was all by himself during Wednesday's second day of the District 6 track and field championship as far as local Class 2A boys are concerned.

Stolarski swept the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes, setting meet records in the latter two events at Mansion Park Stadium.

And Stolarski wasn't the only one from the area setting records. Richland's 400 relay of Jude Mugerwa, Joe McAneny, Cody Yeager and Evan McCracken did it in their event, as well.

All the area boys' winners and state qualifiers from Wednesday's competition were from Class 2A. In addition to Stolarski and the Rams relay, Northern Cambria's Ty Dumm prevailed in the 110 hurdles and Penn Cambria's Carter McDermott garnered his second gold medal of the meet in the triple jump.

Richland, meanwhile, won the 2A team title.

The winner in Class 3A and the top three finishers in Class 2A, as well as anyone else meeting a state-qualifying standard in their event earned the right to participate in the PIAA championships later this month.

"To three-peat again is very, very nice," Stolarski said.

Stolarski set his records with a 47.91-second 400 meter and a 21.73-second turn in the 200. He also won the 100 with a time of 11.11.

He thought he could run better times at the PIAA meet, where he'll have more recovery time, but his fortitude carried him through the break-neck district meet.

"It just shows me how mentally tough I am, whether my body's able to do it or not. The race is won in your head before it's won with your body," Stolarski said. "I'm not the fastest guy in the world. I feel it's a little bit of talent, but a lot of hard work."

The Rams 400 relay came to Altoona with a record on its mind. It already had run a better time than the previous meet standard of 43.24 set 20 years ago by Bishop McCort Catholic.

They equaled the Crushers' time.

"It's special. We've been working all season for this," said McCracken, who also placed second in the 100 with a time of 11.25 and joined Mugerwa, McAneny and Evan Beglin to take second in the 1600 relay with a time of 3 minutes, 26.59 seconds. "We tried a few different people in different places in the (400 relay), but we found our mesh. It's really been working well for us and we're really close as a team.

"We're going to go and try to win that state title. That's our goal."

They'll be joined in Shippensburg in the event by Westmont Hilltop's Sebastian Jones, Bashir Hunt, Brock Bowles and Julian Sheridan, who were third in the event with a 44.46.

McAneny was the runner-up in the 200 with a 22.59 and Mugerwa, meanwhile, also qualified individually in the 400, where he timed 49.62. Bishop McCort's Shakile Ferguson was second in the 400 with a 49.62.

McDermott came from behind, jumping 43 feet, 2.25 inches in his last run at the triple jump to overtake Northern Cambria freshman Danny Farrell and move from third to first. It was McDermott's second gold of the meet.

"I was just trying to manifest it all and take it in, because I know this is my last one here," McDermott said. "I really wanted first place, so I put it all on the line."

Farrell was at 42-11.

Dumm took a break from baseball to flash a 15.39 in the 110 hurdle finals for his gold medal. He led, fell behind, then surged at the end to take the race.

"Coming down here last year to not even make the finals, then coming back here this year and winning it all, it's a great feeling," Dumm said. "You've got to keep going with what you're doing.

"You can't mess up. It's great competition. Everyone runs so fast."

United is sending a pair of relays to Shippensburg. The Lions 3200 relay of Colton Henning, Luke Shepler, Rory Butler and Connor Rosko punched its ticket by taking third with a time of 8:21.19, then the 1600 relay of Butler, Rosko, Shaydon Oleksa and Gaige Grassmyer advanced by virtue of meeting the qualifying time with its fourth-place finish time of 3:28.43.

Central Cambria's Christian Vasil also moved on by virtue of a second-place showing in the shot put, where he threw 47-9.