Boyertown trio enjoy state track experience

Photo by Phil Haddad Brett Kelly and Jillian Bertino both had positive experiences at the PIAA State Track and Field Championships.

Senior Brett Kelly, Junior Ethan Shalaway, and sophomore Jillian Bertino participated in the state track and field meet at Shippensburg University at the end of May. Kelly participated in the 3200m run, Bertino in the 400m dash and Shalaway participated in the Javelin. Brett finished 20th in his race, Jillian finished 18th and Ethan finished 23rd in the state.

Kelly and Bertino knew that they would be facing a lot of strong competition at the state meet and the best runners from around the state would be there. Jillian was at the indoor state meet and knew how tough this meet would be.

'Anyone there can win it,' said Kelly.

Ethan felt that the competition was intense. 'We had the number one thrower in the nation throw,' said Shalaway. 'After his first throw, he was the new national record holder.'

Brett was a little nervous going into the state track meet since this was his first time there. He approached it like any other race.

Bertino said was very nervous because she knew the competition that she was up against. She just tried not to think about it and concentrate on the race.

'I pictured it as a regular meet and I wanted to win,' said Bertino.

Shalaway was not nervous at all. Being a junior and shattering his own personal record and the school record the week before, he figured he had nothing to lose and everything to gain going into that weekend.

They went up on Thursday, but Kelly had two days to wait around before his event. He was trying to get use to the atmosphere while he was waiting around. He tried to stay cool and not tire himself out. He took advantage of the free time to watch Jillian.

Brett was happy just to be able to make it to states. His time at the state meet was slower than what he had at the district one meet. 'I was hoping to medal, but I didn't get it,' said Kelly.

Although Bertino was hoping she would turn in a better time, she did finish higher than her seeding.

Ethan wasn't pleased at all with his performance at the state meet. 'My throws for some reason did not click and I didn't have the throws I usually have,' said Shalaway. 'But I couldn't complain or be sad, nor would my coaches friends and family let me. I had an amazing year and I couldn't let this fog my eyes of the season.'

Jillian felt like being able to make the state meet as a sophomore was a big accomplishment for her. She knows that if she sticks with it, she'll be able to get a state medal her sometime in the next two years.

'It's something to strive for as a goal,' said Bertino.

'Making the state meet was a goal, but districts seemed a more reachable,' said Shalaway. 'I was too caught up in making districts and performing well that it didn't cross my mind till I qualified. It feels amazing, I can't express how excited and enthused by the season I had this spring. I'm looking forward to training hard to improve.'

While Kelly didn't medal at the state meet, he still joins some elite company like Mark Dennin and Jason Weller who also qualified for a distance race at the state meet. He feels that it's an honor to be thought of as one of those guys who set a very high bar for distance running at Boyertown.

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