Madison Depner entered the District 3 Track & Field Championships in a pretty good position. The pole vaulter from Trinity came into the final ranked No. 1 in the district as the defending champion. Not to mention, she held the district record.
Still, Depner was quite nervous.
Up against a field that included five girls who had matched her district record of 11-0 at some point during this season, it’s easy to see why.
Nevertheless, Depner managed to defend her district title, breaking her record in the process with a mark of 11-6.
It didn’t come easy though, as Depner had to go up to the 11-9 mark against Schuylkill Valley’s Bre Manzolillo — who is teammates with Depner on the VaultWorx team.
“I was so nervous coming in against Bre,” Depner said. “I knew that it was going to be good competition. Once I got over 11-6, I was like, ‘Yes.’”
The 11-6 height turned out to be of major importance for Depner if she wanted to repeat as champ. After needing a second attempt to get over the bar at 11-0, the Shamrocks’ senior found herself in a situation where she needed to clear on her first attempt to gain the advantage back from Manzolillo.
That proved to be no problem at all for her. On her first attempt, Depner cleared the bar, breaking her old record from the year before. While Manzolillo would advance on her third attempt, neither one would pass on 11-9, clinching the title for Depner once more.
“I was just trying to give it my all, like just run as fast as I could and plant my feet,” she said. “It was definitely in the back of my mind. I was just trying to think of everything the coach was telling me to do first. I was just really thinking about my jump at the time until I came around.”
Depner was just one of seven local girls to qualify for states. In the pole vault, she will be joined by teammate Carly Amos, along with Camp Hill’s Katy Haywood, who surpassed her seed mark to reach the state qualifying mark of 10-6.
In Class AA discus, Boiling Springs’ Taylor Weiss came into the districts with some nerves of her own, but for a different reason. Like Depner, Weiss was seeded No. 1 in her event. But Weiss was coming off a Mid-Penn championship in which she didn’t even get a mark. Needless to say, the Bubblers’ junior was looking just to get back in her groove before worrying too much about where she placed.
Weiss had no trouble landing her throws inbounds Friday. In fact, she didn’t miss a mark once, on her way to placing second with a toss of 117-01 — a mark good enough to send her to states next weekend.
“I was happy bouncing back from Mid-Penns.” Weiss said. “Getting all my marks here was pretty nice. It kind of gave me my mojo back and reminded me that I can do it.”