Not even Ryann Krais expected this.
Sure, the Methacton standout expected to run under 59 seconds in the high school girls' 400-meter hurdles at the Penn Relays. But winning yesterday's star-studded event wasn't something she imagined.
Krais headed into Franklin Field with the seventh-fastest qualifying time. Her goal was to have a respectable showing.
The junior did much more than that.
Krais won the event with a personal-best time of 58.93 seconds. Shana-Gaye Tracey of Manchester (Jamaica) finished a distant second in 59.49. Andrea Sutherland of Edwin Allen Comprehensive (Jamaica) rounded out the top three in 59.85.
"I'm ecstatic right now," said Krais, whose time is the fastest in the nation this season by a high school girl. "I don't even know what to say right now."
Running from Lane 3, Krais, who finished third last season, didn't run like someone competing in just her 11th 400 hurdles race.
Despite stumbling out of the blocks, she cleared the first hurdle ahead of her competitors. Krais maintained her noticeable lead down the backstretch until she hit the sixth hurdle. Taking advantage of Krais' misstep, Tracey took a slight lead. The runners were even heading into the 10th and final hurdle. But after Tracey stumbled on the hurdle, Krais went on to win by a sizable margin.
"I say this victory is a little more exciting [than winning the PIAA state meet], because no one ever expected this to happen," Krais said. "At least I know I didn't."
Last spring, Krais won her second consecutive PIAA Class AAA outdoor 300-hurdles title.
"This is the best race that I've ever seen her run," said Methacton coach Rob Ronzano. "But that's up to this point. There's a better [race] in her. And she kind of knows that she has more in the tank."
After dazzling the crowd in the hurdles, Krais gave it something else to smile about in the Suburban American 4x400 relay heat.
Aided by her anchor leg of 55.6, Methacton was the runaway winner in 3 minutes, 55.85 seconds.
The Warriors have the top qualifying time for tomorrow's 5:10 p.m. Philadelphia Area 4x400 final.
Penncrest's Karen Shump wasn't able to duplicate Krais' success in the girls' shot put. Shump went into the event seeded second behind Kamorean Hayes of Harding High of Charlotte, N.C.
The outcome was exactly the same as it was at last month's Nike Indoor Nationals in Maryland. Hayes, a five-time national champion - two outdoors and three indoors - and a Florida State signee, won the event in 49 feet, 4 inches. Shump finished second in 49-0 1/2.
Despite not winning, the Lions junior was pleased to finish higher than fourth place. Shump finished fifth as a freshman and took fourth last season.
"I just thought that I could have done a little better with my technique," Shump said. "But it's my second time throwing over 49 [feet]. So I'm happy with that."