In Class AA, Loyalsock’s Fox takes second, Sagar wins gold

As she went up for her third and final jump in the District 4 Class AA high jump Thursday, Loyal­sock’s Maddie Fox hit the bar and didn’t clear what would have been a new PR at 5 feet, 6 inches. But despite not clearing it, the numerous fans and teammates around the retaining wall past the Williamsport end zone cheered loudly for the Lancer sophomore.

Fox was all smiles, and despite not winning a gold medal, she’s still going to Shippensburg in a week’s time.

The Loyalsock sophomore placed second in the high jump, meeting the state qualifying height on Thursday afternoon at the District 4 track and field championships at Williamsport High School.

“I was just really focused, I really wanted to come in first, but I congratulated the Athens girl (Emily Lunger), she did really well,” Fox said after stepping off the podium with her silver medal in her hand. “I just came here with a mindset like I wanted to come first, I wanted to do my best. Better than last year, but I’m proud with how I did.”

Fox made it look all but easy as she cleared 4-10, 5-0 and 5-2 all on her first at­tempts, and by a good margin as well. While Fox cruised her way over those heights, the high jump field slowly whittled down to just Fox and Lun­ger after 5-2.

For Fox, it was just her second time this year clearing 5-4, the first coming at Mansfield’s Molly Dry Invitational in April.

“Definitely a relief. When I cleared for first time I think in Mansfield, it was like a surprise like ‘Oh good, I’m still up with last year’s (height),’ so it was reassuring to do that for sure.”

Fox placed second in last year’s district meet with a height of 5-4 as well. Lunger, who was the district champion, cleared 5-4 on her first attempt. Fox missed on her first attempt, but cleared it on her second.

“I’m a really big competitor, so I love having that push and that drive,” Fox said.

Montoursville’s Ashley Little and Leah Bergey both cleared 4-10 on their first attempts, but failed to get over 5-0 on all three attempts. Five jumpers got to 5-2 — the state qualifying height — but only Fox and Lunger advanced to the state meet.

“It’s almost motivation. I’m motivated for next year and senior year, but I’m just proud of what she (Lunger) did and what I did also,” Fox said.

The high jump was one of just four events that was for medals on Thursday afternoon. The 100, 100 hurdles and 200 races were all heats to determine the finalists who will race on Saturday.

In the 3,200, Loyal­sock’s Isabel Sager won gold with a time of 11:42.29, two seconds better than Danville’s Marisa Maffei, who took second. The gold medal was the first for Sagar in her short track career so far, as she is only a sophomore.

“I am very humbled to have won, and I feel so lucky to have competed with such phenomenal girls,” Sagar said. “We all push each other to our limits and I can’t wait to see them at states. Racing against them is such a privilege. It feels fantastic to bring home a medal for my team.”

Sagar was the only area athlete to win gold on Thursday in the four medal events.

Montoursville’s Kaylie Schans set a new season best in the long jump with a distance of 17 feet, 3 1/2 inches, besting her previous mark of 16-6 1/2. And for Schans, that new season best means qualifying for states as she surpassed the qualifying standard of 16-11.

“I’m just really excited to make it because my coach has been pushing me hard and my workouts all paid off, so I’m happy about it,” Schans said, adding she was kind of surprised to jump that distance.

Schans’ distance gave her a silver medal, as Ath­ens’ Breana Gambrell won with a jump of 19-10 3/4, a new district meet record. Towanda’s Ally Tama qualified in third (17 2 3/4) and Loyalsock’s Charlotte Ney­lon came just shy of qualifying for the state meet by jumping 16-10, one inch shy of the qualifying standard.

Milton’s Alexis Krall and Canton’s Katie Henson also both qualified for states in the javelin with throws of 123-4 and 121-6, respectively. Mount Car­mel’s Maura Fiamon­cini won with a district-record throw of 153-3.

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