- Associated Press - Saturday, May 28, 2016

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. (AP) - Southern Williamsport’s Katie Jones set a new AA record in the pole vault and Downingtown West’s Joshua McLemore won three AAA gold medals on Saturday in the PIAA Track & Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Jones soared 13-0 on her first try to beat Greensburg Central Catholic’s Michelle Karabin (12-0) and Trinity’s Megan Silva (11-6). She topped the AA state record by 5 inches and could have likely beaten the AAA record of 13-0.5 if she hadn’t chosen to aggressively pursue a 13-4.

Jones said the pole vault, in which girls have only been allowed to take part in the state competition since 1999, is on the rise in Pennsylvania and she’s happy to be a part of it.

“I think the reason pole vault has improved this much is because there are great clubs and great jumpers in this state. This is just a great sport,” she said.

Jones credited some of her success to VaultWorX, an indoor pole vaulting club in Camp Hill that saw four of its athletes place in the Top Eight on Saturday.

“I started there after soccer season in the fall,” Jones said. “VaultWorX is really nice because you can compete in big meets, get great support and, of course, the coaches are really good.”

Elsewhere among the girls’ competition, Girard College freshman Thelma Davies established herself as one of the best sprinters in PIAA history with a pair of AA state records in the 100 and 200. She clocked an 11.58 in the 100 and a 23.85 in the 200.

Cheltenham’s Chanel Brissett raced to a record time of 13.19 in the AAA 100 hurdles and her school added a record-breaking performance in the 4x100 (45.78). Another record went down at the end of the day, when Penn Wood’s 4x400 team claimed victory in 3:42.67.

Hickory won the AA team title with 48 points to finish ahead of Avonworth (46) while Cheltenham claimed the AAA team crown with 48 over State College (32).

On the boys’ side, McLemore collected three AAA gold medals with victories in the 200 (21.41), 400 (46.82) and 4x400 (3:15.50).

The other multiple-event winner was State College’s Alex Milligan, who claimed wins in the AAA 1,600 (4:10.17) and 4x800 (7:37.25), to go along with a runner-up finish in the 4x400 (3:16.57). State College needed every single one of Milligan’s 28 points as the Little Lions posted 54 to win the AAA team title over Downingtown West (53).

Schuylkill Valley posted 39 points to win the AA team title over Camp Hill, which posted 36.

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