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Connellsville seniors shine at Fayette track and field meet

| Monday, May 2, 2011

A nearly perfect day for track and field produced some stellar results by area athletes at the Fayette County Track and Field Meet, which was held Saturday at Connellsville Stadium.

Connellsville senior Jayson Mulnix led the way for the Falcons, earning titles in the discus (143 feet, 8 inches) and the shot put (47-9 1/2). Mulnix was named the boys field MVP.

"I really wanted to win because it was my last track meet here," Mulnix said. "It was emotional for me. I was pumped up. I wanted to show what Connellsville was made of. I really wanted to bring the MVP back to Connellsville."

Mulnix wasn't the only Connellsville standout. Tre' Coles had a strong showing in the high jump, winning the event with a leap of 6-4 -- only two inches away from the Fayette County Meet record.

Coles took several attempts at the meet record, but came up just a little short. He may have been hindered by the fact that he had to interrupt his jumps in order to compete in a relay race.

"I felt like after my relay, my legs were a little weak and I couldn't get full extension," Coles said.

Still, he was happy with the effort, considering that it was good enough to win a county title in his first year competing with the track team.

"I'm happy about that," Coles said. "We had a good basketball season, and I just wanted to do something after basketball. This is an amazing feeling."

Laurel Highlands' Jacob Hensch set a county meet mark with a cleared height of 15-6 in the pole vault, shattering the old record of 14-8 set in 2008 by his brother, Nathaniel.

"It was my older brother's record, and it's exciting for me," Hensch said. "He (Nathaniel) coaches me now, so that makes it even better. It means a lot."

Uniontown won the team competition with 151.3 points. The Red Raiders won the 3,200 relay (8:31.9) and the 1,600 relay (3:35). They were also assisted by track MVP Torin Kelley, who finished first in the 800 (2:04) and 1600 (4:48).

Albert Gallatin's Grayling Sanders was also a double winner, taking the top spot in the 100 (11.3) and the 200 (22.3).

Laurel Highlands (139), Connellsville (125.3), Albert Gallatin (119.3), Brownsville (10) and Frazier (6) rounded out the boys team scoring.

In girls action, one of the best races of the day was in the 400 relay (51.7). Connellsville's Tiarra Taylor came from behind on the last leg to help the Falcons nip Laurel Highlands by less than a second. Taylor also won the triple jump (34-2 1/2) and finished second in the 100, but she was especially excited about the relay race.

"I was expecting us to get second," Taylor said, noting that the Laurel Highlands relay team beat Connellsville earlier this season. "We've definitely gotten faster. It makes me want to push harder and harder."

Connellsville's Kylie Pilot and Mikisa Solomon each left with a first-place medal. Pilot took top honors in the long jump (15-1), and Solomon had the best mark in the high jump (4-11).

Frazier's Queennesha Isaac had a strong day. Despite being from a small school and not usually competing against athletes from large schools such as Connellsville, Laurel Highlands and Uniontown, Isaac took second in the long jump, third in the 100 and fifth in the 200.

"It's a little intimidating, but I'm pretty happy with what I got," Isaac said. "I think I can improve on a couple of things and I'm definitely going to work harder."

Laurel Highlands came out on top with 190 points, followed by Uniontown (164), Connellsville (129), Frazier (32), Albert Gallatin (17) and Brownsville (10).

Laurel Highlands' Jerricka Belt and Melissa McCann were named co-MVPs on the track. Belt took first in the 100 (12.5) and 200 (26.2). McCann won the 400 (1:01.9) and the 800 (2:41). Both were part of the winning 1,600 relay squad (4:21). The Fillies' Kate Fields earned the field MVP with a win in the discus (95-6) and a second-place showing in the shot put.

Uniontown's Julie Friend won the 1,600 (5:34) and the 3,200 (12:10). Uniontown won the 3,200 relay (10:23.3).

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