Reichenbach earns two golds
For numerous reasons, Salisbury senior Jack Reichenbach admitted he didn’t have his best jumps at this past week’s District 11 Class 2A Track and Field Championships. But it didn’t seem to matter much.
Reichenbach was crowned champion in both the high jump and long jump events on Day 1 at Whitehall High School. It was the second straight gold medal for Reichenbach in the long jump, but the first time he was able to capture gold in the high jump.
“The competition wasn’t the greatest, so I didn’t need to pull out what I did at leagues,” Reichenbach said of high jump. “I didn’t go crazy high, but it was nice to just win it because every year there was always somebody ahead of me. It was just nice to win the high jump because I hadn’t been able to win it yet.”
Reichenbach jumped six feet flat in the high jump to win gold. He’s seeded in a tie for first in the state in the high jump at 6 feet, 8 inches.
In prior seasons, he always found himself just short of that top spot on the podium. Last year’s state champ, Greg Lauray of Notre Dame (Green Pond), set the district meet record of 6 feet, 10 inches while Reichenbach’s jumped 6-4 at last year’s district meet. Spencer Hay of Palmerton edged Reichenbach by two inches two years ago in high jump.
In long jump, although Reichenbach came up shy of his own district meet record of 23 feet, 5 inches, earning this year’s gold was a breeze for the Falcon senior. His mark of 22 feet, 1/4 inch was over a foot better than second-place finisher Josh Volak of Palisades (20-10 1/2).
“It was pouring rain during the long jump,” Reichenbach said. “Because of the weather, nobody was jumping near their best. I won with a 22-0 1/4, which usually that wouldn’t be a clear winner. Luckily it was and I was able to win that for the second year in a row.”
Just a couple of days before the meet, Reichenbach pulled out of the triple jump event to focus on his other two jumps and avoid any possible injury. Now he has his full focus on the state meet in Shippensburg where he hopes to leave with two more gold medals.
“We just thought,” Reichenbach said, “because states is in a little over a week, and triple jump is always the hardest on the body, that if I would turn an ankle or something, it was not worth risking any type of injury going into states for an event I probably wouldn’t even get to states for.
“The goal is to come out with two gold medals. Last year I was seeded first and I got sixth in the long jump. This year I’m seeded first in the high. I know I can win the long jump. Leagues was the best I’ve felt, but yesterday [last Wednesday] was the first time with no pain at all.”
While Reichenbach isn’t a stranger to there level of competition there will be at states, Salisbury freshman Melena Koutch will be when she represents the blue and white in Shippensburg this week.
Koutch placed second in the triple jump to punch her own ticket to states. Her mark of 35 feet, 1 inch is a new personal record for the Falcon freshman, and her upside looks promising in both jumping events.
“For the triple jump, I was really not expecting to make it to states,” Koutch said. “My PR the entire season was only 33 feet, and then today I jumped 35. I think it was just confidence. I felt pretty confident. The weather was much better today, and I knew I could get to 35 feet eventually.
“I’m just excited that I made it to states. I’m hoping to get around 35 feet again there.”
A day before, Koutch came in third place in the high jump at five feet. Only Palisades junior Lyida Bottelier (5-6) and Catasauqua senior Kenzie Bradley (5-2) placed higher than Koutch, who set another personal best in the high jump.
“The weather was really bad, so I wasn’t really expecting to do that well,” Koutch said. “But I jumped my personal record from the season…5-2 is the qualifier for states, so I was a little upset. I was only two inches away, but I was still happy with my results.”
Sophomore Shane Artis will join Reichenbach and Koutch at states after placing second in the 1600-meter run in 4:38.31, just four seconds behind champion Jacob Martinez of Palmerton. Artis’s teammate, sophomore Michael Sosnowski, placed third in the event in 4:43.33 and just missed qualifying for states.
Timmy Buda placed on the podium when he came in fourth place in the 200-meter dash in 23.06 seconds. Erica Holben placed in the top five in both of her jumping events (high jump and long jump).
Kulp earns silver, heads to states in Class 3A
Salisbury School District resident Bobby Kulp took second place in the boys high jump at last week’s district meet.
The Bethlehem Catholic junior cleared 6-3 on his first attempt to secure second place behind Bangor’s Anthony Jones, who cleared 6-5 for the title.
Kulp’s Becahi teammate Matt Stianche got second at 6-3, clearing the height on his second attempt.
Kulp will compete this week at the state championship meet.