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Track and Field

Smith, Blauser Break Records, Log Best Marks in the State During Union/A-C Valley Tri-Meet With Keystone and Cranberry

RIMERSBURG, Pa. (EYT/D9) — Hayden Smith stood in front of the high jump pit and peered up at the bar that was set at 6 feet, 7 inches.

(Hayden Smith clears the bar during his record-setting performance for Union/A-C Valley Tuesday afternoon/photo by Dustin Smith)

He put his hand up to measure it and a smile crawled across his face.

“This,” the sophomore said to himself, “doesn’t seem that high to me. Wow. I can do this.”

Smith returned to his starting spot, geared up and sprinted. He took off and cleared the bar easily to break his own school record in the event for the Union/A-C Valley boys track and field team on a picture-perfect Tuesday afternoon as the Falcon Knight boys split with Cranberry (87-63 win) and Keystone (75-69 loss) in the final regular-season meet of the spring.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.

“It was awesome,” Smith said. “It’s really nice, but I’m just trying to keep pushing forward, keep getting higher and higher.”

Smith already had the best high jump mark in the state in Class 2A at 6-6 before Tuesday. He added another inch to that PIAA best.

Smith, though, isn’t taking anything for granted.

“I can’t overlook anybody,” he said. “Anybody can pull out a great jump.”

Smith got in a lot of work on a sun-drenched day. He started at a lower height to get in some reps and worked his way up inch by inch to 6-7. He tried 6-8, but just clipped the bar before calling it an afternoon.

“Today was a good work day,” Smith said.

Smith has one more tune-up before the District 9 championships. The Redbank Valley Invitational is Thursday and his goal is to get some quality work in there as well.

The D9 meet is May 20 and the PIAA Track and Field Championship are over Memorial Day weekend.

It’s crunch time. And Smith knows it.

“If we can win a state title this year,” he said, “that would be nice.”

While it was a good day for Smith, it wasn’t for school records.


(Baylee Blauser competes against Moniteau last week/photo by Lori Blauser)

Another one fell on the girls side as Baylee Blauser broke one of her own A-C Valley school marks in the long jump with an effort of 18 feet, 6 3/4 inches.

Her previous record was 18-3.

The new mark is now the best in the state in Class 2A by nearly three inches.

“I felt amazing,” said Blauser, who right around this time last year was cruising in the long jump with designs on a state title before a devastating ankle injury just a week before the district meet derailed her hopes. “I knew today was going to be an amazing day since the weather was nice. I was happy I pulled out that jump.”

Like Smith, Blauser is trending upward at just the right time.

She also won the triple jump (34-6) and the 100-meter dash against Keystone with a time of 12.6, which tied the school record again.

“I feel like I’m peaking at the right time because it’s just in time for districts,” Blauser said. “I’m feeling really good about all my jumps and I can’t wait to see what happens at districts.”

Union/A-C Valley fell to both Keystone (78-67) and Cranberry (83-62), however.

Cranberry’s Laiyla Russell capped off her strong regular season with a win in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.4 to highlight the Berries’ wins over Union/A-C Valley and Keystone.

Smith also won the long jump for Union/A-C Valley on the boys side with an effort of 20-3 1/2. Dawson Camper was second at 20-3

Camper did win the shot at 48-3 1/2.

Keystone freshman Ava Patrick also had a big day, breaking the school record in the triple jump with a leap of 33-3 1/4.

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Redbank Valley, Keystone, and Union/A-C Valley sports coverage on Explore and D9Sports.com is brought to you by Heeter Lumber.



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