SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - The high-jump bar sprang loose and fell to the mat, placing Shannon Taub's chances on the brink.
The Council Rock South junior bounced off the mat in the southwest end of the Shippensburg University infield. Two officials from the PIAA track and field championships replaced the bar Taub had knocked down after failing to clear 5 feet, 7 inches. It was her second straight miss Friday morning. One more would eliminate her.
"I knew I had the clearance. It was just the little things," Taub said.
She started her approach a bit farther back than on the two previous attempts. It allowed her to get a better run before planting for the jump. And it worked. Taub cleared the bar, tying her personal best to finish third in Class AAA.
Fleetwood's Cyre Virgo was first with a 5-9 jump. Abington junior Victoria Matthews (5-5) finished in seventh. Archbishop Ryan senior Amanda Simone (5-5) was eighth. Simone jumped two inches higher than she had in finishing second last week at the District 12 meet.
Taub's mark was two inches better than her jump at last weekend's District 1 championship. She said she worked on her steps all week. The third jump was exactly as she practiced, Taub said. She will compete again Saturday as the 10th seed in the triple jump.
"It gets me on a good note," Taub said. "I just want to get to the finals in the triple jump and hopefully get on the podium."
Hojnacki gets going. Central Bucks South's Taylor Hojnacki said she was "ecstatic" about her fourth-place finish in the girls' AAA shot put.
Her 42-7 mark was 31/2 feet longer than her ninth-place throw at last year's final.
The senior said she hopes the momentum rolls into Saturday, when she will defend her state discus crown. She enters as the top seed. Hojnacki's qualifying mark is more than seven feet longer than that of the second seed.
"I feel good. I'm feeling a good mind-set, and I hope that it works out," she said.
C.B. South's Brandon Raguz finished fifth in the boys' AAA pole vault with a mark of 14-0.
Andre medals. Some people "choke" at the state championship, Claudine Andre said. But not Andre. The Upper Darby senior picked up a third place in the long jump with a mark nearly three feet longer than her 29th-place finish of last year.
Andre jumped 18-13/4 in her final run of the championship final, securing her third-place finish. It was a bit short of last weekend's personal best of 19-1 at the District 1 meet.
It was her second career state medal. Andre finished fourth in last year's high jump.
"I come out and I just make sure I'm in the right mind-set to do my best," she said. "I try not to let a bad performance affect my performance. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones."
Pennridge's Ariana Przybylowski (18-0) finished fourth. Haverford High's Kaila Cannon (17-101/2) was fifth, and Great Valley's Carol Burgess (17-83/4) was sixth.
Notable. Coatesville's Darrik Muroski (168-4) finished sixth in the boys' Class AAA discus. Samuel Reid (158) of Central was eighth. Quakertown's Andrew Varichione (148-4) was ninth. . . . Christopher Dock's Bailey Kratz (17-103/4) placed fourth in the girls' AA long jump. Imhotep Charter's Avani Dorsey (16-111/2) was eighth. . . . Conwell-Egan's Shelby Samuels (5-2) was fourth in the girls' AA high jump. . . . North Penn's Gift Omo-Ekpadi (46-51/4) was sixth in the boys' AAA triple jump.