By: Michael Love
Sunday, May 22, 2022 | 9:01 AM
Riverview junior Amberson Bauer and senior teammates Ty Laughlin and Parker Steele were a part of last year’s boys 3,200-meter relay which set a school record and brought home WPIAL gold.
Freshman Chris Barnes came on board this season, replacing the graduated Mason Ochs.
The quartet made a strong run at another title last week at the WPIAL Class 2A track and field championships at Slippery Rock University.
In the end, the group settled for second overall in a time of 8 minutes, 19.79 seconds. The time was almost 20 seconds faster than their sixth-place seed time of 8:39.69.
“I was honored to be able to join this 4-by-8 team,” Barnes said. “Last year, they were the WPIAL champs, so I felt really good about that. Getting second place with those three, it was a very fun time.”
In addition to its time and place at WPIALs, the distance relay also punched its ticket to the PIAA championships Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg.
It will be gunning for another state medal after placing eighth there last year.
“Hopefully, we can go faster at states,” Barnes said.
Bauer will run individually at states in the 800 meters, while junior John Patsey is set to compete in the 300 hurdles. The boys 1,600 relay also hopes to make its mark in Shippensburg.
Rain and cool temperatures prevailed for most of the events at WPIALs where Class 2A individuals and teams were gunning for automatic trips to states — those finishing top five — and also top-eight medals.
Those who placed sixth through eighth in Class 2A also qualified for states if their times, heights or distances met the PIAA’s pre-set state qualifying standards.
Bauer was right on the heels of Deer Lakes senior Carson McCoy in the 800.
He bumped up from the No. 3 seed to place second overall in a time of 1:58.84. He also challenged his own school record of 1:58.31 set in placing second at the Mars Invitational on April 29.
“I had run the 4-by-800 earlier, so I was a little tired, but overall, I felt good,” Bauer said. “I trusted in my training, and I knew I was ready for a good race. I got caught up in the back a little bit early on, so I had to work my way back.”
The day before the WPIAL track championships, Patsey helped the No. 10 Riverview baseball team advance to the WPIAL quarterfinals with a mild upset of No. 7 Bishop Canevin, 13-7, at Shaler.
At Slippery Rock, Patsey helped himself qualify for states for the first time with a third-place finish of 41.99 in the boys 300 hurdles.
“I felt pretty good, like nothing was sore or hurting,” Patsey said. “I was ready physically. It was just the mental aspect of the race. A 41.99 is pretty good in my books.”
Bauer and Patsey then helped the 1,600 relay, along with Micah Black and Jack Betler, make a charge from the first heat and 13th seed to place fifth and qualify for states in a time of 3:34.78.
Riverview athletes picked up WPIAL medals in three other events.
Steele came back in the 3,200 run and posted a seventh-place finish in 10:08.98. He rose up from the No. 12 seed and cut nearly 20 seconds from his seed time.
Sophomore Lola Abraham challenged for a trip to states in the girls long jump as she placed sixth with a top leap of 16 feet, 5¼ inches. The state qualifying standard was 16-11. She was less than two inches from fifth-place finisher, Eden Christian freshman Lara DeFazio (16-7).
Abraham also took 10th in the 400 (1:03.15) and 11th in the triple jump (33-½).
Junior Alexandra Bibza made her second consecutive trip to WPIALs and picked up a seventh-place medal in the discus (102-6).
It was a personal record and a move up from the 16th seed.
Bibza threw the shot put at WPIALs last year and placed 14th.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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