Simmons claims silver
Prior to Saturday's final in the Class AAA 300-meter hurdle race at the PIAA Track and Field Championships, Bethlehem Catholic's Freddie Simmons had a simple objective – medal.
What the Golden Hawks' junior got was that, and much more.
Simmons used a strong start to claim an impressive second place finish, a result he was admittedly thrilled with afterwards.
"My mentality was just to go all out and see what I could do," Simmons said. "I knew that I didn't run my best time yesterday (in the semifinals)…and I just kind of had an underdog mentality."
That mindset helped Simmons finish in 37.82, a personal best and school record. Simmons also just missed making the eight-man final in the 110 high hurdles, with his time of 14.60 falling just outside the last qualifying spot.
The disappointment of missing out on a chance at another medal was something Simmons acknowledged gave him a slight edge heading into his race on Saturday.
"Coming into today and coming into states, I knew that the 300's was my race," he said. "I had a little extra motivation because I didn't medal there, so I just kind of wanted to shock everybody and show what I could do in this race."
What Simmons wants now is to take the next step on the podium that sits in the center of Shippensburg's Seth Grove Stadium, something he hopes to do next year.
"Getting silver this year means I have to work that little bit extra to get gold next year," Simmons said. "It definitely gives me motivation for next year.
"This experience has shown me that it all comes down to your determination and how bad you want it. If you give it your all and you're talented enough, you can do it. Now I know I have to work a little bit harder to be on top."
Results for Liberty athletes: Darius Jones fouled in his three attempts in the long jump, but finished 12th in the 3A triple jump at 45-2.5; Denzel Vereen finished 24th in the shot put (41-5.25); Jaylyne Aminu ran a 12.39 in the 3A 100 to advance to the finals, where she finished 7th (12.31); Casey Harewood cleared 5-2 to take 12th in the high jump; Rachel Finn finished tied for 12th in the pole vault (11-0).
Results for Bethlehem Catholic athletes: Donovan West failed to advance to the finals in the 3A 200 (22.91); the Golden Hawk boys' 1600-meter relay team finished 6th in its preliminary heat and did not advance to Saturday's finals; Kaylin West (14-10.25) placed 16th in the Class AA long jump. Results for Freedom athletes: Shaina Palmer finished 21st in the Class AAA 3200-meter run (11:29.87).