Crooks takes gold in 100
It’s been said that lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, but Amanda Crooks proved that’s a fallacy as she thundered to gold again in the 100 meters at the Zephyr Sports Complex last week.
This time she bolted to first place at the District XI 3A Track and Field Championships, giving her back-to-back wins this postseason. She finished in 12.26, improving on last week’s mark that saw her win EPC gold in 12.53.
The senior now has won consecutive District 11 golds in the 100 meters. Last year she won the event in 12.24, giving her two golds to go along with the two silver medals she earned in 2015 and 2016.
As she prepared for the finals, Crooks said that she blocked out any distractions and focused on what she had to do.
“I just went out there with the mindset that I’m just going to run my race,” said Crooks.
She also concentrated on getting out of the blocks quickly, something that she didn’t do as well her in her win last week.
“I think my start was really good this time,” said Crooks. “I was really focused on getting my start right, getting out there on the blocks, running with my drive phase, and I just focused on my form.”
Crooks said that during a race she’ll tend to lose her form during the last few meters which causes her to push.
“I tried to hold my form and I felt real comfortable, and I executed really well,” said Crooks. “I’m very happy.”
While she was able to shave some time off last week’s mark that earned her EPC gold, she still knows there’s work to do.
“I’m not where I want to be yet,” said Crooks. “I’m not comfortable for where I am right now so that’s why I’ll be working really hard this next week preparing for states to get to where I want to be, and where I think I should be.”
Crooks has already ran a 12.18, breaking the district mark in her freshman season during the finals in 2015. That year Liberty’s Jaylyn Aminu won the race in a staggering 11.77.
The win also earned her a trip to states, making her a four-time qualifier in the 100 meters. Crooks has now established herself as one of the premier sprinters in Whitehall history. Her legacy in the 100, and as a member of the record-setting 4x100 relay team, will forever enshrine the senior as one of the best runners to ever don the maroon and gold.
Making the trip back to Shippensburg for the fourth time is an accomplishment she cherishes.
“I feel really good about that, that’s an accomplishment for anybody,” said Crooks.
She said she was happy to be a part of all the Whitehall and District 11 state qualifiers, and hopes she can accomplish something at Shippensburg for the school as well as for herself.
Last year’s trip to states didn’t go well for the Whitehall contingent as a whole, and Crooks’ experience was practically disheartening after having to pull out of the 100 because of a nagging quadriceps injury sustained in their final meet against Parkland. She was looking forward to improving on 2016’s fourth-place finish at states, but wasn’t able to compete in the finals. This year she’s hopeful for a different result and looks forward to the opportunity.
“This year I plan on not just making myself proud, but making everybody else proud,” said Crooks.