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Sports

Laurel Highlands sweeps pole vault

| Saturday, May 3, 2008

Laurel Highlands pole vaulters Nathaniel Hensh and Lauren Molchan accomplished a rare feat Friday at the Baldwin Invitational.

The duo won the boys and girls pole vaults to bring two gold medals to Laurel Highlands.

"I'm not sure many schools have won the same event in boys and girls," Molchan. "I was tied (in the seedings) for first coming in, but I told myself I would win this meet. That was my goal for the season."

Both Hensh and Molchan went into the meet with hopes of setting personal-best marks, but neither accomplished those goals. It didn't matter as much, though, after they teamed up to put on a show for Laurel Highlands. Hensh and Molchan recorded marks of 14 feet, 6 inches and 10 feet, 6 inches, respectively.

"I'm very happy with the outcome of (the meet)," Molchan said. "It's really what we look forward to. (Personal records) would have been nice, but they're coming."

Laurel Highlands' success extended beyond the pole vault. Laurel Highlands was represented in the girls javelin when Marissa Guynn and Demi Phillipy placed fourth and eighth, respectively.

Laurel Highlands junior Aleesha Washington highlighted the sprinting events when she placed third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.33 and third in the 200. Finally, Washington was able to escape the shadow of former teammate and track phenom Breehana Jacobs, now at South Carolina.

"Back then it was a struggle because she was my teammate," Washington said. "She's cool. I'm just my own person."

Washington proved that yesterday although she wasn't completely satisfied with her performance.

"People have their days," she said. "I have my days, too. I thought I could have gotten second (in the 100)."

Connellsville junior Rodney Richter had a busy day. Minutes after he stepped off the awards podium, his name was called again. Richter placed first in the discus and third in the shot put.

"I just always try to do the best I can," Richter said.

Richter posted a throw of 173 feet in the discus to match his personal best. He said he hopes to reach the 180 mark before the end of the season and perform well at states.

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