BROOKVILLE — Redbank Valley junior Sam Hetrick came into the season looking to get back to the podium, and hopefully higher, at the PIAA Class 2A Track and Field Championships in late May.
The returning state medalist, who tied for seventh last year at Shippensburg University, put together quite a week as he broke his own high jump mark twice.
After clearing 6 feet, 6 inches and breaking his own record from last year’s performance at the Redbank Valley Invitational by an inch at last Tuesday’s dual meet at Moniteau, Hetrick followed it up with a meet and facility record height of 6 feet, 7 inches at last Saturday’s DeMans Team Sports Invitational.
Bradford’s Daemone Patterson cleared 6 feet, 2 inches to finish second.
“Sam looked great Saturday,” Redbank Valley assistant coach and jumping coach Megan Harmon said. “He is so dedicated and determined in this event. It’s his passion and he loves to high jump. He worked a great deal in the offseason. He didn’t play basketball this year and focused on getting stronger and increased his vertical jump.
“Doing this at Brookville where districts will take place is huge. He’ll be more comfortable and confident when it comes time to do it for a trip to states.”
Hetrick also ran a leg on the third-place 4x100-meter relay that crossed the line in 45.82 seconds. He joined Javin Brentzel, Joe Mansfield and Keaton Kahle.
The Bulldogs’ other top-six finisher was Anthony Baileys, who was fourth in the discus with a throw of 126 feet, 5 inches.
The Lady Bulldogs had six top-six finishes with Lindsay Evans’ runner-up finish in the discus leading the way. She had a throw of 100 feet, 3 inches. Evans also was seventh in the shot put at 31 feet, 1/2 inch.
“As a junior and her first year in the sport, Lindsay was excited about her performance in the shot and discus,” Lady Bulldogs head coach Mike Fricko said. “It is always such a cool feeling when you have a kid who figures it out and realizes they can do well at these invites.”
In the triple jump, Elisabeth Hook and Paiton Rizzo were fourth and sixth respectively with jumps of 32 feet, 6 inches and 31 feet, 4 3/4 inches. Hope Spence was sixth in the pole vault (7 feet).
Hook and Rizzo teamed up with Mariah Clark and Taylor King to finish fifth in the 4x100 relay with a district-qualifying time of 53.89 seconds. The 4x800 relay also turned in a top-six run, the foursome of Quinn Fricko, Emma Huffman, Ryleigh Smathers and Carley Shick combining for a 12:08.72 time.
Frankie Dinger was seventh in the javelin (96 feet, 4 inches), Rizzo added and eighth in the 100 hurdles (18.18), Smathers was 10th in the 400 dash (1:07.56) as was Rizzo in the long jump (14 feet, 10 1/2 inches) and King in the discus (76 feet, 7 inches).
“I was very pleased with the overall effort of the girls,” Fricko said. “For many of the girls, this was their first taste of a big invite and it was fun to watch them rise to the occasion. On the track, everyone is making improvements toward their goals. Our 4x100 squad hit a season-best as well as Quinn Fricko (3,200) and Ryleigh Smathers (400). Rizzo and Hook were happy with their jumps and I feel they always do their best when faced with tough competition.”