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Kiski Area boys track team is burning up oval

| Friday, April 20, 2012

Kiski Area track and field coach Tim Fabrizi wore out his vocal chords last weekend and still was speaking in a whisper by midweek.

Fabrizi didn't mind the slight discomfort. His boys' team shouted notice to the rest of the WPIAL on Saturday when the Cavaliers notched three meets records and topped the 16-team field at the Latrobe Wildcat Invitational.

Kiski Area scored 109 points and edged 2011 WPIAL Class AAA runner-up North Allegheny (108). Defending WPIAL champion Hempfield (80) finished a distant third.

The Cavaliers also have raced to a 4-0 record in Section 4-AAA and look like strong contenders for the WPIAL team title.

"I definitely think we sent a message," Kiski Area senior K'Lam Butts said. "We're not playing games. We see greatness, and we're going for it. We want to let people know we're not going out without a fight."

At Latrobe, senior Logan Haines-Douglas set a meet record in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.99 seconds.

The 400 relay of senior Owen Copney, sophomore Ben Kinnamon, Butts and Haines-Douglas also set a new standard (43.02).

And the 3,200 relay of sophomore Brent Kennedy, senior Richard Lednak, sophomore Patrick Miller and junior Tyler Snider (8:00.1) blew away the old record by about 10 seconds.

Junior Donivel Evans (15.55) in the 110 hurdles, senior Chris Zaccagnini (167-11) in the javelin, and Kennedy (9:31.79) in the 3,200 added to the gold-medal count.

Kiski Area displayed its depth, which is crucial in team track, with other productive outings by senior Sean Barker (hurdles), senior Tre Carter and junior Bill Oplinger (long jump, triple jump), and senior Neal Colecchi (discus, shot put).

"I think we opened up some eyes," Fabrizi said. "That was kind of our intention."

Kiski Area's 3,200 relay won the WPIAL Class AAA title last season but graduated two members, including Division I St. Francis recruit Ryan Kennedy. Still, this year's team recorded a time at Latrobe that would have been good for third at last year's WPIAL championships. Lednak, a Robert Morris recruit, is the leader of this year's squad.

"Hopefully, we'll be even better than last year," distance coach Tom Berzonsky said. "The 3,200 is 10 seconds faster than we were at this point last year."

Although they haven't been as flashy as the boys, Kiski Area's girls have glided to a 4-0 mark and are on pace for a Section 4-AAA title, too. The girls are led by senior distance runner Jessica Collins, a Shippensburg recruit, and junior hurdler Tatiana Cloud.

Fabrizi attributed much of the success of both teams to their dedication to the offseason program and winter indoor track season. About 30 boys and 30 girls participated.

"They've put in the hard work," Fabrizi said. "If they keep doing what they're doing, more success will come."

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