Bauer, Szita, Toman earn CL gold
Coming into last week's Colonial League Track and Field Championships, Salisbury senior Kaitlin Toman didn't know what to expect.
Despite being recognized as the area's top athlete in the pole vault event, Toman was battling an injury she suffered a couple of weeks ago. With limited practice time, she wasn't quite sure where she would finish in the pole vault on Day 1 of the league meet at Whitehall High School's Zephyrs Sports Complex.
She may have not been at the best of her abilities, but Toman still stood far and above the rest of the pack. Her mark of 11-6 in the pole vault was enough to award her a first-place finish, two feet higher than second-place finisher Jenna Forrester of Southern Lehigh.
"I landed on the mat wrong at our last home meet [against Catasauqua], and I rotated my hips out of place," Toman said. "I've been having a lot of pain with my joint in there, so I haven't really practiced much. I was just trying to get better, and I was really worried about how it was going to end up today.
"So to hit 11-6, I was happy with it. And I was really, really close to 12-1. I thought I was over it until my hands hit."
Last year Toman didn't place after failing to hit her opening mark of 10 feet at leagues. The only goal she set coming in was to not have a similar outing.
"I didn't want to no-height because that's what happened last year," Toman said. "I no-heighted here at 10 feet, which is what I came in at today. I just really didn't want to repeat that."
Toman was one of three Salisbury girls to finish in first place in their respective events. Holly Szita earned gold in the high jump with a mark of 5-4, while Lindsay Bauer took first in three of the four events she competed in300-meter hurdles (46.29 seconds), long jump (18-5 1/2) and triple jump (36-11 1/2).
In all, nine girls finished in the top four of their events to earn a medal. Kelly Gonoude placed third in the 1600-meter run as the only girl to place in a track event.
The Falcon girls dominated the field events, however. The following athletes also ended the event with medals around their necks: Isabelle Bubenko (second in shot put), Mackenzie Groff (third in pole vault), Maddy Undercuffler (third in discus), Meagan Eripret (third in shot put, fourth in discus) and Jenna Keet (fourth in triple jump).
Bauer ended competition on the first day with a first-place in the 300-meter hurdles. It was just her fourth time running the event in her career, and she was able to edge out Northwestern's Alexis Gawelko by .47 seconds.
"It was my last event of the day, so I was a little tired," Bauer said. "But since it was my last event, I figured I just had to give it everything I had. I ran a personal record, which is exciting."
The junior also set a Colonial League Meet long jump record at 18-5 1/2 after setting that mark a year ago at 17-8.
With districts set for this Tuesday and Wednesday back at Whitehall High School, Bauer has her eyes on cementing more records in the long jump and triple jump at the next level.
"I'm not sure what either of the district records are, but I would really like to shoot for breaking one of those," Bauer said. "I also want to PR just to bump myself up in the state standings."
As a team, the Salisbury girls finished in third place with 114 points. Southern Lehigh (133) and Northwestern (122) finished in first and second, respectively.
"I don't think we lost anyone that scored us major points from last year," Bauer said. "We technically won districts last year, but there really isn't a title for that. I'm really happy. This is probably the best group of girls that we've had in a really long time at Salisbury."