If you were to win a District 12 track championship in the 3,200-meter run Thursday, it wouldn't come without a fight against the elements, something area runners have dealt with throughout this weather-erratic outdoor season.
By the time West Catholic's Jazmin Booker and Archbishop Carroll's Katie Rodden won the girls' Class AA and AAA titles, respectively, the sky got darker, the rain picked up, and the first day of the District 12 track and field championships, already delayed a day because of bad weather, was put on hold.
The downpour and wind became so severe that the officials' tent needed to be manned at each corner post to keep it from flying across Germantown's Benjamin L. Johnston Field.
After a 1-hour, 14-minute respite from action, Lansdale Catholic's Ryan DeBarberie finally had his chance to win the boys' AA crown in the 3,200 (time of 9 minutes, 55.76 seconds), directly followed by La Salle's Tom Trainer winning the AAA title in 9:23.56.
Booker won the girls' AA title in 12:10.36, and Rodden, the two-time defending Catholic League champ in the 3,200 and 1,600, took the AAA championship in 11:01.09.
The wins qualified all four for their respective PIAA state championships next week at Shippensburg.
"I'll take it, having to wait an extra hour," said Trainer, a Villanova recruit who hopes to run the state race in nine minutes flat. "You can look at it two ways. It's positive psychology; convince yourself that it will be OK."
With the win, Trainer sealed his second straight district title in the 3,200. St. Joseph's Prep's Owen Glatts (9:36.63) took silver and also qualified for states in AAA. Keaton Naff (Masterman, 10:04.96) qualified for the AA state meet, Swenson's Shanteau Bucknor (13:16.23) qualified behind Booker in girls' AA, and Cardinal O'Hara's Nicole Daly (11:23.31) qualified behind Rodden in AAA.
Rodden lapped more than a few of her competitors, running most of the race with a sizable lead. She aims to run the race in 10:40 at states.
But Thursday, she confronted a problem she has been faced with for the past two years: She has no local competition, in the Catholic League or District 12, to push her and force her to run faster.
Last season, when she opted not to run the 3,200 and focused on the 1,600, she ran personal records across all her heats at the state meet. Her coaches hope that, despite a lack of local competition, she will surge next week on the state stage. They can only hope, for now, and concede that the situation isn't ideal for their star distance runner.
"She kind of has to run alone, which is really hard to do as a distance runner regardless of how much you try to motivate yourself," Carroll distance coach John Mooney said. "It's hard to push through those later laps when you're running completely alone."
Championships in all other running events are set for Friday at Northeast High. The rain delay also pushed the completion of several field events to Friday, though some were settled in the earlier portion of the day, when the field was still canopied by sun and blue skies.
The top two finishers from each event qualified for the state meet.
Robeson's Shalaya Sidney (18 feet, 53/4 inches) and Shali Muhammad (18-21/4) finished first and second in the girls' AA long jump to advance.
Engineering & Science's Yolanna Snypse (17-1) took third, but because she surpassed the PIAA standard (16-11) for states, she also will travel to Shippensburg.
Northeast's Ashley Darlington (18-21/2) took the girls' AAA long jump. Bok's Joshua Santiago (44-61/2) won the boys' AA triple jump, and Tyrek Edwards (Archbishop Ryan, 46-5) earned the boys' AAA crown.
Swenson's Amani Nesmith and Siani Edwards were the only girls' AA high-jump participants, and both qualified for states. Tanise Edwards (Northeast, 5-2) won the AAA girls' high jump. Lansdale Catholic's William Schoener (6-0) won the boys' AA title.
3,200: 1, Tom Trainer, La Salle, 9:23.56. 2, Owen Glatts, St. Joseph's Prep, 9:36.63. 3, Dan Savage, O'Hara, 9:38.72. 4, Chris Muldoon, Arch. Wood, 9:40.50. 5, John Mooney, Arch. Carroll, 9:43.43. 6, Chris Pastore, O'Hara, 9:55.72.
Triple jump: 1, Tyrek Edwards, Ryan, 46-5. 2, John Landis, Judge, 45-11. 3, Cebastien Glosy, Central, 42-51/2. 4, Corey Muggler, La Salle, 42-41/2. 5, Yuhana Kennedy, St. Joseph's Prep, 41-33/4. 6, Vontae Hilliard, Judge, 40-10.
3,200: 1, Katie Rodden, Arch. Carroll, 11:01.09. 2, Nicole Daly, O'Hara, 11:23.31. 3, Casey Ortiz, Arch. Wood, 11:27.25. 4, Katie Boligitz, Arch. Wood, 11:49.78. 5, Amy Kelly, O'Hara, 11:58.95. 6, Katie Connell, Arch. Wood, 12:06.30.
High jump: 1, Tanise Edwards, Northeast, 5-2. 2, Olivia Goodwin, Arch. Wood, 4-10. 3, Tichina Rhodes, Mastery Charter, 4-10. 4, Mary McClure, Arch. Wood, 4-8. 5, (tie) Jenna Smith, O'Hara; Nicolette Julianna, Arch. Carroll, 4-8.
Long jump: 1, Ashley Darlington, Northeast, 18-21/2. 2, Logan Brenker, Conwell-Egan, 17-9. 3, Shirmari Harris, Gratz, 16-10. 4, Kelly Hooven, St. Hubert, 16-5. 5, Evelyn Kateh, Northeast, 16-13/4. 6, Bahiyra Shaw, Frankford, 15-10.
3,200: 1, Ryan DeBarberie, Lansdale Catholic, 9:55.76. 2, Keaton Naff, Masterman, 10:04.96. 3, Robert Downes, Mastery Charter, 10:26.57. 4, Peter Danielson, Lansdale Catholic, 10:43.11. 5, Cullen McNamee, Masterman, 10:57.65. 6, Matt Ferry, Science Leadership, 11:06.26.
High jump: 1, William Schoener, Lansdale Catholic, 6-0. 2, Trey Hughes, West Catholic, 6-0. 3, Trey Carson, Del-Val Charter, 5-4. No fourth through sixth.
Triple jump: 1, Joshua Santiago, Bok, 44-61/2. 2, Bruce Mapp, West Catholic, 42-3. 3, Shaquil Taylor, Franklin, 40-5. 4, Najee Goode, West Catholic, 39-1. 5, Mike Iacono, Lansdale Catholic, 38-4. 6, Tim Bolton, Conwell-Egan, 36-6.
3,200: 1, Jazmin Booker, West Catholic, 12:10.36. 2, Shanteau Bucknor, Swenson, 13:16.23. 3, Enika Selby, Masterman, 14:20.93. 4, Katherine Laboda, Masterman, 14:52.88. 5, Phylicia Smith, Swenson, 16:01.67. No sixth.
High jump: 1, Amani Nesmith, Swenson, 4-10. 2, Siani Edwards, Swenson, 4-10. No third through sixth.
Long jump: 1, Shalaya Sidney, Robeson, 18-53/4. 2, Shali Muhammad, Robeson, 18-21/4. 3, Yolanna Snypse, Eng. & Science, 17-1. 4, Kiara Bright, West Catholic, 15-63/4. 5, Shionna Campbell, Franklin, 15-6. 6, Chabliss Morant, West Catholic, 15-5.
Discus: 1, Mary Kate Denny, Lansdale Catholic, 82-1. 2, Mecca Smith, Robeson, 76-0. 3, Colleen O'Leary, Swenson, 62-8. 4, Adrienne Fenstermacher, Lansdale Catholic, 62-3. 5, Anesia Meredith, Bishop McDevitt, 61-1. 6, Monique Nelson, Swenson, 53-5.