PIAA TRACK & FIELD: Riverside's Taylor lands medal on final throw

SHIPPENSBURG — Will Taylor had a much better experience at the PIAA Track and Field Championships on his second visit.

On his sixth and final throw of the competition, the Riverside senior launched his best distance at 169 feet, 1 inch in the Class 2A javelin. It lifted him from ninth place and off the medal stand to seventh and onto the podium.

It left him relieved and thrilled Friday afternoon at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

Danville’s Bronson Krainak won the gold with a distance of 215-7.

“This just feels incredible,” Taylor said. “Last year my javelin didn’t pass inspection, so I couldn’t use that. Then my spikes didn’t pass either. I was all out of sorts. This year, I came back with a vengeance. I had to put on a show for the fans because I didn’t make the medal stand until my final throw. Just amazing.”

Last season, Taylor reached the state meet after winning gold at the District 2 Championships with a distance of 150-7. But when he arrived at the stadium, his javelin failed and his spikes did not pass inspection. He had to use implements supplied by the state and throw 136-11.

That put him on a mission this season.

Taylor’s postseason started with a win at the Robert Spagna Championships with a distance of 169-3. At the time, he didn’t know he established a school record. Riverside listed Brian Klimas as having the school record since 1989, but the National Federation of High Schools changed the implement, and that record should have been retired.

With that officially on his resume, Taylor defended his district crown with an even better distance at 170-10.

Once his javelin and spikes cleared their inspection this time around, he got off to a good start with a throw of 163-3. That put him among the nine who advanced to the final. His next three attempts sailed 159-6 and 156-9.

In the final, Taylor sat in ninth place. The state awards medals to the top eight finishers. He threw 159-6 and 148-1 on his fourth and fifth throws.

He needed to improve past 163-8 to claim a medal.

On his last attempt, he unleashed his best mark of 169-1.

“I was just really nervous,” Taylor said. “I couldn’t even feel my legs. But I said, ‘This was it.’ I had to go all out. I went up with my mind blank and just threw. Instantly, I knew it was a good one, and once I heard that I got up to seventh, I was so relieved.

“All of the pressure and nerves flushed from me, and I thought, finally, I did it.”

Racing inDunmore junior Cory Domiano reached the final of the 400-meter run in the Class 2A meet.

He finished second in his heat with a time of 49.32. Penn Cambria’s Josh Stolarski finished just ahead of Domiano in the heat with the best time of the race at 48.92.

Domiano’s time was the third-fastest overall.

In the final race of the Class 2A meet, Domiano joined Gabe Franek, Dom DeSando and Tommy Clark to run a 3:25.95 in the 1,600 relay and qualify for the final with the seventh-fastest time.