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Warrior Run Duo Lives Up to Seeding on Way to PIAA Track and Field Championships

Warrior Run Duo Lives Up to Seeding on Way to PIAA Track and Field Championships

For two consecutive years, the District 4 Track and Field Championships ended in disappointment for Hayden Diver.

Despite being more than prepared she struggled at the District’s top meet, which meant falling just short of a PIAA State appearance. It was frustrating and tiring for Diver, but she never gave up and continued to put the time in needed to improve.

At last Thursday’s District 4 Championships, Diver completed her goal with a long throw of 111-5. Her long throw came on the final throw of the second flight of the discus. She qualified for the final flight and the state meet all in one swoop. She also did it with her teammate — Jane James — to make the moment that much more special.

“Ever since last year she has worked her butt off for this moment to get to states,” James said of Diver. “It’s so nice for everybody to see her so happy and finally accomplish her goal and get to go to states because she really deserves it. She’s worked really hard throughout the season.”

Diver didn’t match her high from the season, but it was enough to reach her goal. She fouled on her first throw of the final flight, but then topped out over 100 feet in her next two throws to end the meet with plenty to gain confidence from.

“Last year I just missed states, and I was really hoping to get second place or hit the 113 and get to states in my senior year,” Diver said. “I didn’t end up hitting my best throw, but I did end up qualifying, which I’m really happy about.”

Diver entered the meet as the No. 2 seed in the discus. Her teammate entered as the top overall seed. Warrior Run had plenty of expectations entering the meet, but both throwers were able to answer the call.

James, in an effort to one-up her teammate and friend, followed Diver’s long throw with a meet-winning throw of 116-1.

“It’s always back-to-back-to-back with us, and it wouldn’t be the same without her,” James said. “It’s a constant motivation knowing you have to one-up your teammate. If she wasn’t on my team, I don’t know what either of us would be doing, because we are each other’s motivation to throw farther.”

James was outstanding supporting her teammate and throwing. It might have seemed like just another day for the pair, but for James, who didn’t even throw as a freshman, it was something special.

“I knew that I loved it the second I knew about throwing,” James said. “Anything I know I love I put 100 percent into it. If I work hard, I know I can’t fail.”

James got her first experience of the discus during her freshman summer. She was asked by some of the throwers to practice with them and quickly fell in love with the sport. She worked hard and joined the team as a sophomore.

“We threw just in a field,” James said. “I wanted to throw my freshman year but didn’t end up going out for the team. I knew I had to try it as a sophomore. My first throw I remember it was better than I expected. I just continued to work with it.”

That work formed bonds with her teammates and a tradition that put her at the top of the standings for her senior meet. Both James and Diver completed goals at the meet. They also extended their season and travel time together, which is always a plus.

“I get to go with my teammate, and we get to represent Warrior Run at the AA level,” Diver said. “It’s really nice. Last year I was really nervous and didn’t perform as well as I could have performed. This year just being able to come back and be seeded and get second place was really awesome.”

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