SHIPPENSBURG – For Eden Williamson, it must be the shoes.
Upon arriving at Seth Grove Stadium Saturday for the high jump competition in the PIAA Class AAA Track Championships, Williamson, a sophomore from Trinity, found the jumping area under water.
It was a raw day with storm clouds overhead all day and temperatures barely reached 50 degrees.
PIAA officials moved the event indoors to the Heiges Field House. But there was a problem every competitor needed an answer for: shoes.
PIAA officials did not permit the girls to wear spikes so everyone spread out across Seth Grove Stadium and the parking lots, looking for shoes.
“We showed up and found out the jumping would be held inside,” said Williamson. “We weren’t allowed to wear spikes so I called my mom and asked her to bring me my basketball shoes. That’s what I jumped in. They were in her car.”
Williamson also had another pair of tennis shoes she could use, proving that the girl is prepared for anything.
“We would have made it work no matter what would happen,” said Williamson.
Interestingly, officials permitted spikes for the competitors in the pole vault, which also was moved inside because of the downpours that occurred overnight and at the tail end of the Class AA finals.
Williamson overcame this unexpected change and took fourth place with a 5-3 effort. This is her first year competing in the event and she came within an inch of matching her personal record in this event.
“There were some girls having slipping issues,” said Williamson. “Somes girls fell going up to the bar. There were a few girls who had problems. I just kept telling myself it’s all right to fall. Just get up and try again.”
Williamson knocked the bar off twice with her different shoes. The shoes she jumped in were thicker in the back and she is sure that caused her to knock the bar off the standards
“Maybe other than winning, I’m reallly happpy,” she said.
Paula Kleckner of Pottsville took home the gold after turning in a 5-5 effort. Emma Pavelek of Beaver won the silver medal with a jump of 5-4 and Margo Rawston was third after turning in a 5-3 effort.
“I tried taking the spikes out of the shoes but that didn’t work.” said Williamson. “I know someome who wore their coach’s wife shoes”