Three local boys bring home medals in the Class A race
HERSHEY - Sullivan County's Kelby Mullen earned his third straight state medal Saturday.
Wellsboro's Jordan Jackson earned his second while Canton's Emmett Watson collected his first in the PIAA Class A boy's race.
Senior Mullen took 15th overall in 16:54.
"It feels really good," Mullen said about being back in the medals. "I was just really happy to go out there and have a solid race and get that medal again."
He wanted to break into the top 15.
"I knew there was a lot of good runners," Mullen explained. "I just wanted to pretty much medal for sure."
He is the first Griffin to ever bring home three state medals.
"It feels really good," Mullen remarked. "There's been a lot of hard work through the years by me and my teammates and all the coaches. I'm just glad to have something to show it off."
Even as a freshman Mullen didn't think he would achieve all of this.
"I remember talking to people about states," he recalls. "Some people told me I had a good chance and its just nice to be able to look back and look at all of it."
Jackson was 17th overall in 16:54.
"It feels awesome," he said but added. "I didn't have too good a race, I wasn't really feeling it."
The senior was looking forward to his final high school race.
"I just wanted to enjoy my last cross-country race," he said. "I just wanted to have a good time and not put too much pressure on myself so I could enjoy it."
Early on Jackson knew it wasn't going to be a good day.
"Right from the start I just didn't feel like myself," he explained. "The hills kind of got to me. It just wasn't a good day all in all."
Watson held on for the 20th spot at 17:03.
"I felt really good," Watson said. "Obviously until the end going up that last hill, poop out hill, it just takes it all out of you. I was fortunate enough to have Jordan Jackson and Kelby Mullen to run with the entire race. They just happen to have a lot more gas left in the tank when they finish."
After a couple of close calls Watson can now enjoy his first state medal.
"It feels really good," he said. "Last couple of years I've been here I didn't really do anything spectacular. Through this year, to even get a medal, last one or first one, it's pretty cool."
Having run at states several times helped prepare Watson.
"I knew that right off the start I had to be out in front," he said. "Especially being box 29, right in the middle, I had to be in the front. You just do that so you don't get boxed in at the front."
Wellsboro's Bobby Hill was was 52nd overall in 17:37.
"It felt amazing," Hill remarked. "The course was hard and it was cold but other than that it was a fun race. I wanted to start out nice and easy and not get caught up in the pack."
Hill and Jackson were happy to share their final high school race together.
"It feels amazing," Hill remarked. "It's great to be with a teammate."
"We hang out all the time," added Jackson. "To see him enjoy states with me, it's picture perfect."