Laken Lewis Leads Cats At State Track And Field Meet, Earns Two Medals (05/27/19)

(Photos courtesy of Clarion Track and Field) Above: the team that traveled to States (L-R) – Gavin Brinkley ( did not compete, there supporting teammates), Noah Schill, Evelyn Lerch, Phylicia Hockman and Laken Lewis

(By Coach Rosary Pennington)

Clarion Area’s athletes represented well this weekend at the State Track and Field meet at Shippensburg University.

Friday morning’s competition for the Lady Cats began with Laken Lewis in the high jump. She was nervous to start, but after she settled in she was on point.  She cleared 5-0, 5-2 and 5-4 on her first attempts which locked her into medal contention. When it came down to misses at 5-4 separating the places, Laken came out ahead of the others as she placed fifth.

Laken Lewis proudly displaying one of her State Medals

Next to compete was Evelyn Lerch in the 400m. She ran 100.21, a season which best put her at thirteenth in the preliminary races. She would have needed to be in the top eight to advance.  Competing at this level as a freshman is an honor and she should be back next year to show her talents again.

In the next event, the 800, Phylicia Hockman had a strong start and ran a very solid race to put herself in the top twelve to advance.  She ran 2:21, another personal best, seeding her tenth going into Saturday afternoon’s final race. She peeked at the perfect time as she needed to give it her all to meet her goal of moving on to the finals.

Phyllicia Hockman running the 800

Noah Schill was our only boy to compete this weekend.  He ran 2:04.24 in the prelims on Friday. He took off fast to stay with the pack and tried to hang and ended up running one of his best times.

Laken started of the girls events again on Saturday morning with her favorite event, the pole vault. She was focused and not too nervous. She cleared 12 feet, setting a new school record and earning a bronze medal for third place.

Laken also competed in the triple jump in the afternoon with little break between events. She used the adrenaline from her performance in pole vault to help her jump her personal best by about a foot 35-4.25. This jump put her at fourteenth in the state.

In the finals, Phylicia ran 2:25.41 landing her twelfth in the state. It was a difficult recovery from Friday’s all-out effort to get her a chance to compete for a medal in the finals the next day. Phylicia’s four years of dedication to Track and her determination really paid off to end her high school career on this high note.  She plans attend Shippensburg University next year to participate in Track & Field and Cross Country.

The Girls team was twenty-third overall with Laken’s 9.5 points.

(Thanks to Coach Pennington for this article. Great State Meet, Cats!!!!)