PIAA Track and Field Recap: Day One

A few future Lions along with a couple Penn State targets were on hand for the statewide two-day finals at Shippensburg University.

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. Every year, a few future Penn State players, or ones the program hopes will be, showcase their running or throwing skills without pads.

This year was no different.

With one scholarship football player, a pair of pledged walk-ons, and two class of 2015 targets dotting the track at Shippensburg University, the Lions were well represented at the state's annual PIAA track and field championships.

Troy Apke

Skinny:Native to Pittsburgh and a product of Mt. Lebanon High School, Apke is a 6-foot-2, 175 pound three-star receiver.

Day One results:When reviewing what Penn State was getting when it received a pledge from Apke in April 2013, Scout national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn wrote: Speed, balance and acceleration come to mind quickly when the discussion is Apke.

The soon-to-be enrolled Nittany Lion used all three to breeze to a 10.81 second 100 Meter Dash in the AAA classification, good enough to earn him a spot in Saturday's semi-finals. In full, his time was the second fastest of the day, nicked only by Obama Academy senior and heat mate Eddie Harris, who clocked in at 10.81. It was five-hundredths of a second slower than Apke's qualifying time, though.

Neil Bodley

The Skinny: A walk-on candidate coveted by both Bill O'Brien and James Franklin, the 5-foot-11, 210 pound running back picked the Lions over a few other options and will enroll at University Park this summer. He was on Penn State's campus this week for freshman orientation.

Day One results: A hamstring issue that initially slowed Bodley's senior season and ultimately lingered throughout it is fully healed. His performance made that very clear Friday during AA 100 meter dash preliminary action.

The Mifflintown, Pa., Juniata showed no limitations running, but a faulty start allowed three other competitors in his heat - and ultimately seven total - to race ahead and grab qualifying spots for Saturday's final.

Brandon Kuntz

The Skinny:The brother of former Nittany Lion receiver Christian picked Penn State over his other walk-on option, which was Temple. The 6-foot-5, 205 pass catcher said his older brother never pressured him into picking the Lions, yet he always envisioned the chance he could end up in blue and white.

Day One results:Penn State could have something special in the walk-on department with Kuntz. Not only is he every bit the size he's listed at, but the former Trinity Shamrock can also run.

Kuntz made light work of the field in a different AA 100 meter dash prelim, flying passed the finish lined in 11.09 second for the third fastest time in the classification. As for his heat? He won it by five-hundredths of a second and will run Saturday for a chance at earning a medal.

Jordan Whitehead

The Skinny: Whitehead is a four-star corner from Monaca, Pa., Central Valley that has long held Penn State, Pittsburgh, Ohio State, and West Virginia in his top echelon. The 5-foot-10, 170 pounder is Scout's 19th best corner in the class of 2015.

Day One Results: Whitehead isn't just liked by a lengthy lists of colleges because of his ball skills and ability to blanket defenders. No, they also like his speed too.

It wasn't lacking in the same AAA 100 meter dash heat that Apke ran in, thought the former turned in a 10.86 while Whitehead finished with a 10.91 second dash. Still, it qualified him for Saturday's semi-final, as well.


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