Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Parkland’s Beers is winning in life, if not in hurdles, on the PIAA state circuit

By Vaseline May26,2024

Andrew Beers knew exactly who to blame for his failure to win a gold medal in the hurdles during the PIAA 3A track and field championships Saturday at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium.

“I could have run so much better,” the Parkland senior said after finishing second in both the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles. “I had a bad day at the wrong time. I made myself crazy when I should have gone outside and just ran away. I have no words to describe it.”

Actually, yes, but it was one of those words we’re not allowed to use here.

Beers was defeated twice by Palmyra junior Tyler Burgess on Saturday. Burgess had the best qualifying times – 13.88 in the 110s, 36.82 in the 300s – and Beers knew he had to be at his best to beat Burgess.

Most, if not all, of Beers’ self-flagellation was directed at his actions.

Beers was indeed at his best in the high obstacles, with a personal best of 14.05 seconds. Only Dion Reed of Dieruff, way back in 1983, has ever run a faster fully automatic time – 13.95, in the United States – among Lehigh Valley athletes.

Burgess was simply faster, at 13.74. Sometimes the other person is just faster.

But Beers knew full well that wasn’t the case in the 300. Burgess’ winning time, 37.47, was not his best, and was slower than what Beers ran at the District 11 meet (37.38) and his own best time of the EPC competition. , on 37.12.

Indeed, the EPC time sparked thoughts that Beers might break one of the hallowed Lehigh Valley records of all time, Northampton legend Jason Kremus’ 36.94 at states in 1989.

Unfortunately, that was not the case.

“I could have run the winning time (in the 300s),” the Monmouth senior said. “But I hit the sixth fence, landed on my left foot and almost fell. I knew I was behind and I really had to push my time.”

But what happened at the sixth hurdle was just a consequence of earlier struggles in the race.

“I stuttered over the first hurdle,” Beers said. “I never stutter over an obstacle. I hadn’t done that all season. I was one step behind the obstacles the entire race. I tried to change my approach and it messed up my head. I should have just not thought about it and just gone outside and run. I thought it would be good, but I couldn’t think about it.”

Beers is without a doubt one of the most engaging and enjoyable athletes this reporter has ever reported in 38 years, and hearing him talk like that was very difficult. It was impossible not to feel his pain.

But it had to be harder for him to deal with seeing a long-dreamed goal get away in such an honest and ruthless manner.

If interscholastic athletics has any ultimate value, it is that it gives young men and women the opportunity to know themselves and test themselves in ways they may not have the opportunity to do in any other area of ​​life. The test comes in what is ultimately a game, and not a life-changing situation. Those trials will certainly come and perhaps it might help if they face something like an obstacle race when they come.

No matter what he did on the track, Andrew Beers overcame every character hurdle Saturday afternoon in Shippensburg.

“I can’t be angry,” he said after his litany of sorrows. “I should be happy with second place. I can now go on and do much more. In the 300s, Tyler was so far ahead that I would have had to run a perfect race to catch up to him. I put everything into my last high school races, and unfortunately it wasn’t enough. The fields in the states are so good that anything can happen.”

If winning a race didn’t happen for Andrew Beers on Saturday, we think winning in life did. And that’s what really matters.

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Brad Wilson can be reached at [email protected].

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