Hainley claims District gold

By on May 23, 2018
Cocalico’s Mackenzie Hainley (center) is all smiles after receiving her gold medal following her win in the District javelin Saturday at Shippensburg. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Cocalico’s Mackenzie Hainley (center) is all smiles after receiving her gold medal following her win in the District javelin Saturday at Shippensburg. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Four other CHS athletes earn medals

SHIPPENSBURG—Mackenzie Hainley was in “attack-mode” entering her final District Three Meet of her career Saturday at Shippensburg University.

And that aggressive approach paid off big time for the two-time L-L League champion in the javelin.

After a getting off a pair of “decent” throws in the preliminary round, Hainley let it all hang out on her third toss. The end result was a personal record throw of 140-5, which in the end, easily won her the gold medal ahead of runner-up Keri Gearhart of Greencastle-Antrim (130-8).

“The third throw, I really wanted to just attack it,” she said after receiving her medal. “Really just give it 110 percent, and that’s what went farther. I attacked it with more speed. It was just…I can’t believe it!”

“(Reaching 140) was awesome,” she continued. “That was my goal for this season so being able to reach it is real exciting.”

Cocalico Coach Ron Derr, who saw Hainley earn her first District medal a year ago (7th place) with a then PR throw of 128-0, was thrilled but not surprised to see the senior made it to the top of the podium.

“It is amazing achievement to be a District champion anytime in District Three AAA,” Derr said. “The level of athletes and coaching is just outstanding. Mackenzie is having an absolutely phenomenal senior season. She is in such a great place mentally and has been so consistent the past few weeks. At this level everyone who is competing has already demonstrated that they are a great competitor so in the throwing areas the mental preparation aspect is so important.

“All of Mackenzie’s experience and time with Coach Scott Krall really was in full demonstration on Saturday as she seemed so calm and collected in a big situation and was able to perform so well. With all she has already accomplished it was a very proud moment to see her add to those by standing on top of the awards stand. Helping our kids achieve their goals is one of the ultimate successes for a track and field coach.”

Hainley’s gold-medal performance highlighted a weekend in which five Cocalico athletes reached the medal stand.

Senior Brad Heck took fourth place overall in the boys’ javelin, uncorking a throw of 187-1. Fellow senior Katie Carrasco placed fifth in the girls’ discus with a throw of 112-1.

Junior Josh Hoover, who was seeded 14th in the boys discus, uncorked a PR throw of 146-3 to earn the fifth-place medal. And senior Jamie Zamrin took eighth in the girls 3200 with a time of 11:02.26.

The Cocalico girls finished tied with Donegal for 23rd place with a total of 13 points while the Eagle boys were 32nd with nine points.

“I was extremely proud of the way our kids competed,” Derr said of the weekend. “I was sending text updates to Whitney Seltzer, our athletic director, and she was getting so excited and replied at one point to ‘keep them coming,’ however that was after Josh Hoover placed 5th in the discus and we didn’t have anyone left to compete. Early in the week at a team meeting we congratulated the kids on making the meet. Our team has streamlined from about 67 (athletes) to start down to nine. And now they had earned a right to compete against the best of the best. We also stressed to not be satisfied with just getting to this meet but to have goals of what they wanted to accomplish at the meet and they showed they weren’t there just to spectate, and were not satisfied just getting there.”

Four of those athletes earned the right to move onto the upcoming PIAA State Championships, which will be held back at Shippensburg this Friday and Saturday. They include: Hainley, seeded third in the girls’ javelin; Heck, sixth in boys’ javelin; Zamrin, 13th in the 3200; and Hoover, 19th in boys’ discus.

Hainley said she will keep her same aggressive mindset heading into next week.

“It’s my senior year, so I’m going to try my hardest and compete,” she said, “That’s what I’m going to do.”

Derr challenged his four athletes to “embrace” the opportunity.

“It is an amazing accomplishment to earn the right to compete at the Pennsylvania state track and field championship meet,” he said. “They have shown they belong among the best of the best, of the best! But now they have one last opportunity to embrace in the competition for Cocalico this year. Make the most of it.”

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