Gass, Petraskie capture golds for Shamokin
SELINSGROVE - Shamokin Area's Matt Gass is winding down a great scholastic career.
His teammate, Chris Petraskie, is just embarking on what could be a great one of his own.
Gass and Petraskie won titles for the Indians Saturday at the District 4 AAA boys track and field championships, earning berths at next week's PIAA state championships.
Gass, nearing the end of a senior season in which he has been bothered by hamstring problems and other small ailments, didn't have the big day he had at last season's district meet, when he won two individual events and ran on a winning relay, but he did repeat as champion at 400 meters and help the Indians to a second in the 3200 relay against powerful Williamsport, which set a district record of 7:55.42 the event. Shamokin, with Petraskie, Zach Santey and Dan Delbaugh the other runners, ran 8:14.56, which would have qualified the Indians in AA.
Gass won the 400 in 50.78 seconds, and was also clocked under 1:58 for his leg of the 3200 relay, ran on the third-place 400 relay team, then helped the 1600-meter relay team take sixth after taking the baton in eighth place, thanks to a rough first leg by Ryan Wilk, who was battling leg cramps.
Gass, who will run at Susquehanna, said the season has been tough.
"Basically, it's been a lot of taking it easy, then going as hard as I can at meets," he said. "I did a lot of preseason training and I think
that really helped me out. It carried me through all season."
Gass scratched out of the 800 this year, and likely would have had his hands full with Williamsport's Herb Stelly, who won in 1:56.97. He beat another Williamsport runner, Brandon Fedoriw, in the 400.
Now he can concentrate on the 400, the race in which he thinks he has his best shot in ultra-competitive AAA.
"I'm a little upset about the relays, because it's always good to have friends going with you," Gass said.
Petraskie will be Gass's friend this time around. He had a solid day, winning the high jump with a career-best of 6 feet, 1 inch, and also setting a personal record in the triple jump (40-9½), even though he didn't place in the latter. Another Shamokin high jumper, sophomore Zach Moyer, took seventh.
"As a freshman, this is kind of crazy," Petraskie said. "It's going to be crazy down there (at Shippensburg), I know that."
Although the Indian boys weren't quite as loaded in relays as last year, head coach Mike Rogers said his team had a good day.
"I'm pleased," he said. "We had some good showings today."
Shamokin Area's girls' top finish was a fourth by the 400-meter relay team.
Other Indian placewinners were:
Fifth - Christian Duganitz, shot put; girls 3200 relay; girls 1600 relay.
Sixth - Alaina Petrovich, high jump.
Seventh - Sofia Pearson, 100.
Eighth - Danielle Reed, 400.
Williamsport nipped Milton, 148-145, for the boys team title, and Shikellamy's Ryan Wary was a triple winner (100, 200, 300 hurdles). Selinsgrove's Courtney McCartney (shot put, discus) and Williamsport's Jaid Harsch (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles) were double winners on the girls side.