Lake-Lehman’s Emily Johns trying to complete comeback with state gold

By Paul Sokoloski - [email protected] | May 26th, 2017 8:17 am

Friday

9

Class 3A boys Javelin - Joe Grula, Jr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`187-07`8

Class 3A girls shot put - Payden Montana, Jr.`Berwick`shot put`44-9`1

Class 3A girls pole vault -Madisyn Hawkins, Sr.`Coughlin`pole vault`12-6`2; Abby Norwillo, Jr.`Pittston Area`pole vault`12-0`4

Class 2A boys long jump - Je’Vondre McClair, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`21-09.50`14

Class 2A girls discus - Emily Johns, Sr.`Lake-Lehman`discus`150-2`1

Class 2A girls high jump - Nicole Kerestes, Jr.`Holy Redeemer`high jump`5-2`12

Class 3A boys 3200 relay prelims - Dallas boys Class 3A 3200 (Adam Borton, Jr.-Jason Culp, Sr.-Stephen Postupak, So.-Josh Wyandt, Jr.); 8:10.88; 24

Class 2A boys 3200 relay prelims - Holy Redeemer boys Class 2A 3200 (Nick Brown, Sr.-Dominic Capaci, So.-Lukas Volpetti, So.-J0nathan Weybrecht, Sr.); 8:25.02; 19

Class 2A girls 3200 relay prelims - Lake-Lehman girls Class 2A 3200 (Jace Garnick, Jr.-Jade Fry, Jr.-Hailey Kubiski, Sr.-Olivia Vasey, Jr..); 10:00.27; 15

10:30

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles prelims - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

11

Class 2A boys 110 hurdles prelims - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

11:30

Class 2A boys 100 prelims - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 prelims - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

12:15

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

12:30

Class 3A girls triple jump - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`triple jump`37-3.75`14; Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`triple jump`37-3.50`16; Ashley Blannard, Jr.`Valley West`triple jump`36-10.50`21

Class 2A girls long jump - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`17-2.25`20

Class 2A girls javelin - Kennedy Maclean, Sr.`Northwest`javelin`115-0`22

1

Class 3A boys 400 relay prelims - Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Jordan Austin, Sr.-Rafael McCoy, Fr.-Cole Horan, So.-Vincent Todd, So.); 43.65; 25

Class 2A boys 400 relay prelims - GAR boys Class 2A 400 (Garson Peralta, Sr.-Josh Goodwin, So.-Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.-Anthony Blake. Jr.); 44.29; 15

Class 2A girls 400 relay prelims - Meyers girls Class 2A 400 (Ilequa Adams, So.-Divine Howard, Sr.-Allycia Harris, Fr.-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.); 50.32; 8

2

Class 3A boys 400 prelims - Christian Roberts, Sr.`Dallas`400 dash`49.85`12

Class 3A girls 400 prelims - Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`400 dash`58.06`14

3 p.m.

Class 2A boys 300 hurdles prelims - Brandon Bruckner, Sr.`Hanover Area`300 hurdles`40.61`12; Janssen Wilborn, Jr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`40.77`14

Class 2A girls 300 hurdles prelims - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`300 hurdles`47.17`18

4 p.m.

Class 3A girls 200 prelims - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.01`28

SATURDAY

9

Class 3A boys 3200 - Jack Zardecki, Jr.`Dallas`3200 run`9:22.67`12

Class 2A girls shot put - Emily Johns, Sr.`Lake-Lehman`shot put`38-1`13

10

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles semis - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

10:15 .

Class 2A 110 hurdles semis - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

10:45

Class 2A boys 100 semis - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 semis - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

11

Class 3A boys 3200 relay - Dallas boys Class 3A 3200 (Adam Borton, Jr.-Jason Culp, Sr.-Stephen Postupak, So.-Josh Wyandt, Jr.); 8:10.88; 24

Class 2A boys 3200 relay - Holy Redeemer boys Class 2A 3200 (Nick Brown, Sr.-Dominic Capaci, So.-Lukas Volpetti, So.-J0nathan Weybrecht, Sr.); 8:25.02; 19

Class 2A girls 3200 relay - Lake-Lehman girls Class 2A 3200 (Jace Garnick, Jr.-Jade Fry, Jr.-Hailey Kubiski, Sr.-Olivia Vasey, Jr..); 10:00.27; 15

12:25

Class 2A 110 hurdles finals - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

12:30

Class 3A boys high jump - Paul Moska, Sr.`Pittston Area`high jump`6-5`8

Class 3A girls javelin - Kayla Merkel, Sr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`147-01`4; Taryn Ashby, Sr.`Pittston Area`javelin`138-10`8; Paige Bonin, Jr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`124-2`25

Class 3A girls long jump - Ashley Blannard, Jr.`Valley West`long jump`17-9.75`19

Class 2A boys 100 - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

1:20

Class 3A boys 400 relay - Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Jordan Austin, Sr.-Rafael McCoy, Fr.-Cole Horan, So.-Vincent Todd, So.); 43.65; 25

Class 2A boys 400 relay - GAR boys Class 2A 400 (Garson Peralta, Sr.-Josh Goodwin, So.-Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.-Anthony Blake. Jr.); 44.29; 15

Class 2A girls 400 relay - Meyers girls Class 2A 400 (Ilequa Adams, So.-Divine Howard, Sr.-Allycia Harris, Fr.-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.); 50.32; 8

1:50

Class 3A boys 400 - Christian Roberts, Sr.`Dallas`400 dash`49.85`12

Class 3A girls 400 - Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`400 dash`58.06`14

2:05

Class 2A boys 300 hurdles - Brandon Bruckner, Sr.`Hanover Area`300 hurdles`40.61`12; Janssen Wilborn, Jr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`40.77`14

Class 2A girls 300 hurdles - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`300 hurdles`47.17`18

2:45

Class 3A girls 200 - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.01`28

She was poised to power her way to state glory throughout her whole track and field high school career.

Then Emily Johns crumpled from the pain of a ligament tear in her foot.

It might as well have torn a hole in her heart.

Not only did the injury leave Johns limping through most of her junior season, it crippled her chances of winning three straight state medals by knocking the talented Lake-Lehman thrower out of the 2016 PIAA track and field championships.

“It was very difficult,” said Johns, now a Lake-Lehman senior. “Because I knew I was positioned to exceed my best performance last year. But missing that was really very tough.”

The tough times are over.

For the first time since her sophomore season, Johns returns to the state championships Friday as the favorite once again to win the Class 2A girls javelin — by a lot — when competition opens at 9 a.m. at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

“Being seeded first isn’t an unfamiliar position to me,” Johns said.

Hardly.

The District 2 record-holder in both Class 2A and 3A girls discus was the top seed in the 2015 girls Class 3A state discus championships, but fell to fourth. It was her first, and only, PIAA medal, but it came with some disappointment.

“Two years ago, I felt there was a lot of pressure on me, as a sophomore, to come out number one,” Johns said. “I really felt like it was something I definitely needed to do.”

She learned from it.

“Now, I feel some pressure,” Johns said, “but it’s more like I’m just hoping to throw it better than I did then. Back then, I thought if you were seeded first, you should finish first. After a few meets since then, I realized that is not always the case. I feel more relaxed, and somewhat more self-assured. I’ve been more consistent with my training and my throws.”

She’s not the only Wyoming Valley Conference representative who will enter states with a shot of confidence and a chance at gold.

Berwick’s Payden Montana is the top seed in the Class 3A girls shot put, Coughlin’s Madisyn Hawkins is seeded second in a pole vault that has Pittston Area’s returning state medalist Abby Norwillo seeded fourth.

Meyers sophomore Nazir Dunell is the No. 3 seed in the Class 2A boys 110 hurdles.

Returning state silver medalist Kayla Merkel of Hazleton Area is seeded fourth in the Class 3A girls javelin, while Pittston Area’s Taryn Ashby enters at No. 8 in that event.

In Class 3A boys action, Pittston Area’s Paul Moska is also at No. 8 in the high jump and Hazleton Area’s Joe Grula is No. 8 in the javelin. Holy Redeemer senior Autumn Kaminski has a chance to contend for a medal at No. 9 in the Class 2A girls 100 hurdles, while Meyers sends 300 hurdler Janssen Wilborn and long jumper Je’Vondre McClair are both No. 14 seeds in Class 2A boys competition.

Then there’s Meyers senior speedster Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, who has earned a state medal in each of her previous three trips to the PIAA championships. She’s seeded 14th in the Class 2A girls 100-meter dash — the same spot she started in last season before finishing sixth in the event — and is slotted 20th in the long jump while anchoring a 400 relay team that’s seeded eighth.

Perhaps it’s a sense of maturity setting in for Johns, who is also seeded 13th in the Class 2A girls shot put and will throw in field events for Harvard next season.

Or maybe it’s simply an appreciation of a chance for Johns to compete in her final high school throwing events.

She tore a ligament in her foot on April 24 — that date is still at the tip of her tongue — while practicing for the Penn Relays.

“A Sunday morning,” Johns said. “I was starting to do specific things for the Penn Relays that year. I did everything normal. On my last throw, I slipped at the end and ended up falling. I ended up tearing a ligament in my foot.”

Her recovery included four weeks in a surgical boot and then slowly easing back into routine activities, all the while doing rehab for the injury three times each week.

It wasn’t until late fall when Johns began feeling almost fully healthy again, and her recovery left her with little interest in attending a state championship meet she couldn’t be part of last season.

“I didn’t even go to districts,” Johns said. “It was time for me to focus on not what I couldn’t do, but what I could — rehabbing my injury.”

She’s back to nearly 100 percent, despite still feeling some tightness in her foot every now and again.

Johns proved it by smashing the District 2 Class 2A record last week with a discus distance of 150-2. That bested the District 2 Class 3A record of 148-6 she set in 2015, giving Johns two new district marks and setting the Lake-Lehman school record both times during the final two times she participated in the district championships.

“In Triple-A I was able to get the record, and to have the record in Double-A is a great feeling,” Johns said. “Just because I know I kind of left a little bit of a legacy in the area. I’m happy I was able to throws that were both PRs (personal records) for me at the time.

“I’m happy I was able to leave my mark.”

Now, she’ll try to make one more, if not on the state field, than in her own mind.

“I’m really just hoping to better myself,” Johns said. “I’m hoping to have a performance that’s consistent with how I’ve been throwing.”

Lake-Lehman’s Emily Johns returns to the PIAA Track and Field Championships seeded first in the girls Class 2A discus throw, the same spot she was in as a Class 3A state competitor in 2015.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/web1_TTL051817D2TrackGirls2A_2-1.jpgLake-Lehman’s Emily Johns returns to the PIAA Track and Field Championships seeded first in the girls Class 2A discus throw, the same spot she was in as a Class 3A state competitor in 2015. Bill Tarutis file photo | For Times Leader

By Paul Sokoloski

[email protected]

Friday

9

Class 3A boys Javelin - Joe Grula, Jr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`187-07`8

Class 3A girls shot put - Payden Montana, Jr.`Berwick`shot put`44-9`1

Class 3A girls pole vault -Madisyn Hawkins, Sr.`Coughlin`pole vault`12-6`2; Abby Norwillo, Jr.`Pittston Area`pole vault`12-0`4

Class 2A boys long jump - Je’Vondre McClair, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`21-09.50`14

Class 2A girls discus - Emily Johns, Sr.`Lake-Lehman`discus`150-2`1

Class 2A girls high jump - Nicole Kerestes, Jr.`Holy Redeemer`high jump`5-2`12

Class 3A boys 3200 relay prelims - Dallas boys Class 3A 3200 (Adam Borton, Jr.-Jason Culp, Sr.-Stephen Postupak, So.-Josh Wyandt, Jr.); 8:10.88; 24

Class 2A boys 3200 relay prelims - Holy Redeemer boys Class 2A 3200 (Nick Brown, Sr.-Dominic Capaci, So.-Lukas Volpetti, So.-J0nathan Weybrecht, Sr.); 8:25.02; 19

Class 2A girls 3200 relay prelims - Lake-Lehman girls Class 2A 3200 (Jace Garnick, Jr.-Jade Fry, Jr.-Hailey Kubiski, Sr.-Olivia Vasey, Jr..); 10:00.27; 15

10:30

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles prelims - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

11

Class 2A boys 110 hurdles prelims - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

11:30

Class 2A boys 100 prelims - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 prelims - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

12:15

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

12:30

Class 3A girls triple jump - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`triple jump`37-3.75`14; Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`triple jump`37-3.50`16; Ashley Blannard, Jr.`Valley West`triple jump`36-10.50`21

Class 2A girls long jump - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`long jump`17-2.25`20

Class 2A girls javelin - Kennedy Maclean, Sr.`Northwest`javelin`115-0`22

1

Class 3A boys 400 relay prelims - Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Jordan Austin, Sr.-Rafael McCoy, Fr.-Cole Horan, So.-Vincent Todd, So.); 43.65; 25

Class 2A boys 400 relay prelims - GAR boys Class 2A 400 (Garson Peralta, Sr.-Josh Goodwin, So.-Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.-Anthony Blake. Jr.); 44.29; 15

Class 2A girls 400 relay prelims - Meyers girls Class 2A 400 (Ilequa Adams, So.-Divine Howard, Sr.-Allycia Harris, Fr.-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.); 50.32; 8

2

Class 3A boys 400 prelims - Christian Roberts, Sr.`Dallas`400 dash`49.85`12

Class 3A girls 400 prelims - Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`400 dash`58.06`14

3 p.m.

Class 2A boys 300 hurdles prelims - Brandon Bruckner, Sr.`Hanover Area`300 hurdles`40.61`12; Janssen Wilborn, Jr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`40.77`14

Class 2A girls 300 hurdles prelims - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`300 hurdles`47.17`18

4 p.m.

Class 3A girls 200 prelims - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.01`28

SATURDAY

9

Class 3A boys 3200 - Jack Zardecki, Jr.`Dallas`3200 run`9:22.67`12

Class 2A girls shot put - Emily Johns, Sr.`Lake-Lehman`shot put`38-1`13

10

Class 2A girls 100 hurdles semis - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`100 hurdles`15.71`9

10:15 .

Class 2A 110 hurdles semis - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

10:45

Class 2A boys 100 semis - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 semis - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

11

Class 3A boys 3200 relay - Dallas boys Class 3A 3200 (Adam Borton, Jr.-Jason Culp, Sr.-Stephen Postupak, So.-Josh Wyandt, Jr.); 8:10.88; 24

Class 2A boys 3200 relay - Holy Redeemer boys Class 2A 3200 (Nick Brown, Sr.-Dominic Capaci, So.-Lukas Volpetti, So.-J0nathan Weybrecht, Sr.); 8:25.02; 19

Class 2A girls 3200 relay - Lake-Lehman girls Class 2A 3200 (Jace Garnick, Jr.-Jade Fry, Jr.-Hailey Kubiski, Sr.-Olivia Vasey, Jr..); 10:00.27; 15

12:25

Class 2A 110 hurdles finals - Nazir Dunell, So.`Meyers`110 hurdles`15.04`3

12:30

Class 3A boys high jump - Paul Moska, Sr.`Pittston Area`high jump`6-5`8

Class 3A girls javelin - Kayla Merkel, Sr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`147-01`4; Taryn Ashby, Sr.`Pittston Area`javelin`138-10`8; Paige Bonin, Jr.`Hazleton Area`javelin`124-2`25

Class 3A girls long jump - Ashley Blannard, Jr.`Valley West`long jump`17-9.75`19

Class 2A boys 100 - Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.`GAR`100 dash`11.44`17

Class 2A girls 100 - Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.`Meyers`100 dash`12.77`14

1:20

Class 3A boys 400 relay - Coughlin boys Class 3A 400 (Jordan Austin, Sr.-Rafael McCoy, Fr.-Cole Horan, So.-Vincent Todd, So.); 43.65; 25

Class 2A boys 400 relay - GAR boys Class 2A 400 (Garson Peralta, Sr.-Josh Goodwin, So.-Emmanuel Edoukou, Sr.-Anthony Blake. Jr.); 44.29; 15

Class 2A girls 400 relay - Meyers girls Class 2A 400 (Ilequa Adams, So.-Divine Howard, Sr.-Allycia Harris, Fr.-Nalasjia Harris-Johnson, Sr.); 50.32; 8

1:50

Class 3A boys 400 - Christian Roberts, Sr.`Dallas`400 dash`49.85`12

Class 3A girls 400 - Vanessa Shedlock, Sr.`Wyoming Area`400 dash`58.06`14

2:05

Class 2A boys 300 hurdles - Brandon Bruckner, Sr.`Hanover Area`300 hurdles`40.61`12; Janssen Wilborn, Jr.`Meyers`300 hurdles`40.77`14

Class 2A girls 300 hurdles - Autumn Kaminski, Sr.`Holy Redeemer`300 hurdles`47.17`18

2:45

Class 3A girls 200 - Amiah Lukowski, So.`Nanticoke Area`200 dash`26.01`28

Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski


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