Tyler Smith, Norristown
Smith, a senior, defended his state title in the 100 meters, but it wasn't easy. The Friday before the state finals, he received eight stitches in his upper lip after accidentally getting hit with some starting blocks. He started running this outdoor season just two weeks before states after recovering from a nagging hip injury that carried over from the indoor season. "You just have to have faith, and anything can happen," Smith said at the state meet. Up next: Georgetown University.
Ronnie Gillespie, Upper Perkiomen
The junior was edged at districts by Cheltenham's Matt Gilmore in the 200, but avenged the loss by topping Gilmore for the AAA state crown. His personal-best time of 21.65, run in a District 1 preliminary, is the third best in Pennsylvania this year. Gillespie added a bronze medal in the 100 to his resume at the state meet, too.
Matt Gilmore, Cheltenham
Gilmore was never 100 percent healthy as a senior this season, nursing a hamstring strain sustained during the indoor season, but he still managed to win just about every race he ran. He was the District 1 champ in the 200 and 400, and went on to win a state title in the 400 with a state No. 1 time of 47.81 seconds. If healthy, Gilmore might have broken records. He will head to Penn State to continue his journey in a sport he picked up just three years ago.
Hong Cho, Wissahickon
The senior, a Cornell recruit, won the Class AAA state title, but it was the race he ran at the District 1 championships that highlights his season. There, he turned in a district-record time of 1 minute, 50.92 seconds. It broke the mark, 1:52.71, set by former Central Bucks South runner Tom Mallon in 2010. What's so impressive about that? Mallon was a three-time state champ in the 800 and now runs at Stanford. Cho's mark is the best time in Pennsylvania and the seventh best in the nation this year.
1,600 meters / Track Athlete of the Year
Drew Magaha, Upper Moreland
What more is left for Magaha to accomplish at the high school level? Just a junior, he set District 1 and PIAA records in claiming two gold medals in consecutive weeks in the postseason. The district record? He broke it by almost three seconds. The state record? Also shattered, by two seconds. The state time, 4 minutes, 7.32 seconds, is the fourth best in the nation this season. What will he do for a senior encore?
Dustin Wilson, Chestnut Hill Academy
Wilson, an indoor all-American in the two-mile race, demolished the field at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools championships. There, the junior won gold with a mark of 9 minutes, 2.85 seconds, the best overall time in the state this season. The second-place finisher was more than a minute slower, at 10:03.15. Had Wilson run at the PIAA championships, he would have won the Class AAA race by about five seconds and the AA race by nearly 29 ticks. It was the 25th-fastest time in the nation this year.
Chris Williams, Strath Haven
Williams nabbed a gold state medal in the 110 hurdles with a state No. 2 time of 14.18 seconds a week after a fifth-place finish in the event at districts. He then turned around and anchored the Panthers' 4x100 that barely missed a gold medal at states. It was a fantastic end to the season for Williams, who even took home a silver medal in the pole vault at states. As a senior, he'll look to break into the 13-second range and become truly elite in the 110 hurdles.
Eric Futch, Penn Wood
Futch proved to be one of the best hurdlers in the country this season. He won the 300 hurdles at the state meet with a PIAA record of 36.43 seconds, the fourth-best time in the nation this year. Also the District 1 champ in this event, Futch can go five or six events deep, and even showed potential in the long jump early in the season. The sky is the limit for this versatile junior sprinter.
Scott Rushton, Episcopal Academy
Both consistent and strong, Rushton launched Pennsylvania's top mark of the year at the Delco Championships with a shot of 59 feet, 6 inches. The senior, a Princeton recruit, also won the Independent Schools state title with a mark of 55-21/2, which would have been good for fourth in both Class AA and AAA at the PIAA championships. He was also the Inter-Ac League champ, with a winning distance of 56-2.
Chazz Wilks, Cardinal O'Hara
The junior faltered at the state meet, placing 11th, but won his third straight Catholic League title, was the District 12 Class AAA champion, and won the Delco Championship crown with a throw of 174 feet, 5 inches, the state's third-longest throw of the season. Wilks' final frontier as a senior: that elusive state medal.
Tom Lang, Pope John Paul II
Lang overcame early struggles in his senior season to claim the Class AAA championship with a throw of 211 feet, 4 inches - his second best all-time. The Duke recruit also won his second consecutive District 1 title, but his first in AAA after a school change landed him at John Paul II. He graduates with state titles in both AAA and AA (with now-closed St. Pius X as a junior).
Troy Makous, Radnor
The senior won the District 1 Class AAA title with a mark of 15 feet, 3 inches - the third-highest vault in Pennsylvania this season. At the PIAA championships, his form slipped and he maxed out at 14 feet, but he was still one of four vaulters to tie for the sixth-place medal. He'll head to Division III Washington (Mo.).
High jump / triple jump
Ryan Brumfield, Owen J. Roberts
Brumfield, the Wildcats' all-time leading rusher who is headed to Eastern Michigan to play football, used a high jump of 6 feet, 10 inches that humbled the rest of the field and won the PIAA Class AAA state championship, outdistancing second place by four inches. His jump was the best in Pennsylvania this season by two inches. The senior's District 1-winning triple jump of 47-23/4 ranked seventh in Pennsylvania and was best among all Philadelphia-area athletes this year. Brumfield placed seventh at the state meet, still good for a medal, though his mark of 45-10 was below his standards.
Tyrek Edwards, Archbishop Ryan
Edwards was the District 12 Class AAA champion. His jump of 23 feet, 31/2 inches at the Montgomery Memorial Meet was the fifth-best effort in Pennsylvania this season. Edwards was unable to medal at the state meet, where he had a bad day. Only a junior, he has yet to realize his full potential.
Strath Haven (James Griffin, Jordan Smith, Manny Collins, Chris Williams)
This Panthers foursome missed out on a Class AAA state title by 0.07 seconds, settling for the silver medal. The squad's time of 41.81 seconds was the second-best time in the state all season. The quartet also managed a seventh-place finish in the small-school championship at the Penn Relays. The Panthers were the only area team to qualify for the final heat in the race at Penn, and were second among U.S. teams overall.
Cardinal O'Hara (Christian Canavarro, Shacor Hamilton, Brian Hamilton, Kenny McAndress)
O'Hara won its second straight PIAA Class AAA championship in the 4x400 this season. In addition, the Lions swept the Catholic League and District 12 crowns in the event. Their time of 3 minutes, 17.61 seconds in the finals of the PIAA championships is the state's second best this season and was good enough to narrowly overcome a vaunted Abington quartet by mere milliseconds.
Central Bucks West (Mike May, Matt McGarvey, Matt Bee, Connor Manley)
This Bucks relay quartet proved to be one of the finest in the nation this season, and edged rival Abington for the state championship by 0.06 seconds when anchor Manley passed Will Taylor at the finish line. The four's bronze-medal-winning time of 7 minutes, 38.97 seconds in the Championship of America race at the Penn Relays is the third best in the country this year. They also claimed the District 1 Class AAA title.