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LebCo Male Athletes of the Week: Mason Bucks & David Moran (Week Ending May 19, 2024)

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Mason Bucks

Bucks wears gold as the District 3 Champ

Palmyra’s Mason Bucks soared to new heights, competing in the Pole Vault this Track & Field season. At the PIAA District 3 Championship, the senior cleared 16’3” to win gold over his top Mid Penn rivals. This performance landed him at the top of many ballots as our voters chose him as a LebCo Male Athlete of the Week.

This made him the first two-time LebCo Athlete of the Week since we began the voting process at the beginning of the Fall season. He previously won the award for his wrestling performance at regionals, which was followed by a 5th place finish at the PTFCA State Indoor Track & Field Championship the next day. (Mason Bucks – Week Ending February 18, 2024)

This past weekend, Bucks went on to compete at the PIAA State Championship Meet, where he cleared 15’6”. The performance won him bronze, his third State medal in three years. Only Lower Dauphin’s Drake Risser cleared a higher height at 16’0”, with East Pennsboro’s won silver with a matching height, but in one less miss. The height also matched his 2023 performance, where Bucks took 2nd place.

Bucks on the podium at States

After his success during his junior year, Bucks was recruited by Penn State University, where he plans to continue Pole Vaulting while majoring in Architecture. His success throughout his senior year definitely has PSU happy with their decision to recruit Bucks. His season included a very successful day on April 26th, where he placed 5th place at the Penn Relays in the morning, then competed in the Lebanon County Championship Meet that evening, winning gold and breaking the LebCo record that had stood since 1979.

As he ends his high school career, we’d like to thank Mason for representing our local community in such excellent fashion throughout his time at Palmyra. For now, we can only wish him luck in all of his future endeavors as we wait to report back on the success he will find in the collegiate ranks.


Photos Credits: PIAA Social Media



David Moran

Moran (2nd from left) with his 4x800m team

At the PIAA District 3 Track & Field Championships, Annville-Cleona’s David Moran struck gold, winning the AA 800m race with a time of 1:57.31. The sophomore also served as a key member of the 4x400m and 4x800m relay teams that qualified for States. The 4x800m, where he was joined by teammates Landon Hostetter, Oliver Funck, and Matt Clemson, also took home the top prize in a race where Moran split an impressive time of 1:54.71. The performances on the track combined to catch the attention of the voters, who selected Moran as a LebCo Male Athlete of the Week.

While Moran’s stock had been rising since helping Annville win the PIAA State Cross Country Championship in November, it was a race against Lancaster Catholic on May 6th where he announced his arrival. Against the Crusaders, Moran laid down a 1:55.57, the fastest time in the Lancaster Lebanon League during the regular season. He went on to finish 2nd at the LL League Championship Meet while helping the 4x800m to the League title.

In the postseason, he had a successful District 3 Championship Meet, even though his time was not what he hoped it would be. About the race, Moran said, “I’m happy I won the 800. I definitely didn’t run my best.”

The District time gave Moran the #13 seed going into States. The seed placed him in the second of three heats, which was out of the fastest heat. Running against the clock, Moran used a high level of mental toughness that he has honed during his young career to finish with a time of 1:55.67, placing him 3rd overall in the AA division.

At States, Moran was busy as he also ran the 4x800m on Saturday, helping the team to a 10th place finish (8:13.93). On Friday, he was joined by his twin brother Jon Moran, who is quickly becoming one of LebCo’s best 400m runners, along with Samuel Domencic and Matt Clemson, to compete in the 4x400m, where they ran a 3:37.17 to place 28th.

Moran (far right) with his 4x400m team & Coach Heller (center)

While Moran used to do other sports, he realized that his running ability was his top asset and is now devoted to honing his skill. He credits Coach Caitlin Heller, the leader of Annville-Cleona Track & Field / Cross Country, in helping him develop. Of his coach, Moran said, “(Heller) has actually put her all into making us better, which is really inspiring.”

As far as goals go, Moran is hoping to run the table by staking his claim as the top 800m runner in District 3 each of the next two seasons and add State Champion to his list of accomplishments. He also expressed that he would like to put himself in a position to run collegiately at the D-1 level.

If there was any question about his motivation, Moran encapsulated it with: “I really don’t want to lose anymore because that really stinks, so I’ll do my best to do that too.”

If history has shown us anything, Moran is willing to work to improve himself. In fact, as a freshman, most of his times in the 800m were over 2:10. He ended his sophomore season with a District Championship, followed by a 3rd place finish at States.

When asked what changed in his approach, Moran cited having a clearer vision of his goals when training. Knowing what I was working towards really helped me work hard throughout the season.”

While this might not be interesting to some, Moran’s pre-race diet indicates how focused he is on being ready to compete at his best. He begins his regimen two nights before each race with chicken and rice.

Next up for Moran will be a trip to the East Coast Elite Meet hosted by Stevenson University. At the meet, he is hoping to set a new PR and qualify for New Balance Nationals in June.

Congratulations to David on a great season. We wish him all the best as he continues to drive towards his goals. We know that we will enjoy watching him as he cements his place among the best runners in Pennsylvania.

Photos provided by Annville-Cleona Track & Field




Click to read about the LebCo Female Athlete of the Week: Sofie Price

For a full list of this week’s nominees, check out: Athlete of the Week Voting:  May 13 – May 19




Previous Winners

Ethan Spang (Weeks of March 11th, 18th)

Paxton Thomas (Weeks of March 11th, 18th)

Sam Kolacek (Week of March 25th)

Tyler Burgess (Week of April 1st)

Andrew Via (Week of April 1st)

Zac Frentz (Week of April 8th)

Gavin Bicher (Week of April 15th)

Chad Keller (Week of April 22nd)

Tyler Shunk (Week of April 22nd)

Adrian Gonzalez (Week of April 29th)

Colten Shaffer (Week of April 29th)

Jalik Hill (Week of May 6th)

Morgan Shanaman (Week of May 6th)


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