MERCER COUNTY AREA —
Greenville’s Rebekah Petty set the bar high for herself — literally and figuratively. So although Greenville High’s junior won the PIAA Class AA pole-vault championship, she walked away somewhat disappointed.
“I’m really happy that I won; but at the same time, I didn’t do my best, so that’s hard,” the disappointed Petty expressed after garnering gold.
Petty pole-vaulted 11 feet, 9 inches, unable to produce in a trio of attempts at 12-3.
“I’m really not happy with my performance, but everyone has ‘off’ days, so you’ve just gotta keep going,” related Petty, who refused to use an alibi owing to gusting Seth Grove Stadium winds ranging from 13-to18 miles-per-hour,
At the recent District 10 Championships Petty cleared 12-8, an inch higher than the existing PIAA AA mark. However in order to be recognized as the Keystone State’s kingpin, an athlete must set the record at the annual PIAA Championships.
In 2010, Wilson Area’s Allison Vanek vaulted 12-7, to cop the current commonwealth crown.
Petty has her sights set on this summer’s New Balance national competition in Greensboro, N.C., as well as her senior scholastic season.
“I do have another year, so I have to realize that sometimes not everything’s going to go your way,” Petty reasoned, adding, “I’ll just have to come back and try it again. The tailwind wasn’t great, but you have to be prepared for all situations – you’re never going to have the perfect climate
“All in all, I really wouldn’t have changed anything,” Petty continued. “If it was warmer, maybe it would’ve helped all the other girls out. So you get what you get.
“It’s an okay day, I’d have to say,” Petty summarized. “Not my best, but I’m a state champion, so that’s awesome.”
West Middlesex High’s Luke Patten completed a pole-vault sweep as he soared 14-6 to win the Class AA crown. He went out attempting a personal-best 15 feet after switching from a 14- to 15-foot pole.
“This was one of he worst winds, but we got lucky … because it was actually to our back. If it had been more to the side … or even at us, that would’ve been a really bad day,” Patten explained. “I knew coming into this meet I had a really, really good chance of getting fourteen-six and I was hoping for fifteen. It was close, but I just knew, consistently using a fifteen-foot pole, my chances were to get up a lot higher height,” Patten added.
While he did not attain his personal best, there were no regrets for Greyhound gold-medalist Jon Yohman. Wilmington’s weight-man put the shot 61-8 1⁄2 to garner gold.
“I wish I would’ve thrown better, obviously, because my PR’s 62-1. But I threw three over sixty-one (feet) … I didn’t leave anything out there,” Yohman said. “This
week it was all technique. I focused on throwing not only as hard as I can, but as hard as I can with the proper technique, and it made me a lot more consistent, with higher throws.
“I was definitely mentally prepared,” Yohman co ntinued. “Me and coach (Brandon Phillian) talked a lot. Last year I was seeded number one, but I was a little more emotional, because I was younger. I ended up getting second, which is still great. But this year I had a lot more experience and came in a lot more emotionally sound, and I used that in my throws.
Other Mercer County medalists on Friday: Wilmington’s Tyler Donati (javelin, 176-5) and Julie Falvo (discus, 130-3), both of whom placed 3rd; Hickory shot-putters Luke Lewis (58-3 1/2), Jeremy Orlik (55-2 1⁄2) and Sophia Fustos (41-5 1⁄2), who finished 4th, 5th and 6th; respectively, and West Middlesex discus-thrower Rachel DeMaria (5th, 121-2).