Alle-Kiski high school notebook: Cheswick Christian track program enjoys strong start
Cheswick Christian Academy's first-year track and field program has burst out of the starting blocks.
The school sponsors boys and girls teams, both of which compete against other non-WPIAL programs.
The boys flashed their team speed Saturday on their way to a first-place finish at the Robinson Township Charter School Track and Field Invitational at Robert Morris' Island Sports Center. They topped the six-team field with a score of 137. Cheswick Christian Academy's girls placed fifth in their seven-team competition.
Junior JaJuan Malloy provided Cheswick Christian Academy with four first-place finishes. He won the 100 meters (11.65 seconds), the 200 (24.3), the 400 (56.06) and the long jump (18 feet, 3 inches).
Senior Andrew Maust took first in the high jump (5-8) and placed third in the long jump.
Freshman Andy Skledar won the javelin (84-10) and placed second in the 100, third in the 200 and second in the high jump.
Sophomore Antione Malloy, JaJaun's younger brother, placed second in the 200, 400 and long jump.
On the girls side, freshman Emma Lovic placed third in the high jump. Freshman Cydney Francis took third in the shot put.
R&R for wrestling star
During previous springs, Burrell wrestler Dakota DesLauriers stepped away from the mat and devoted time to the high school's rugby team.
This spring, however, is all about downtime for DesLauriers, who won his first PIAA title in March.
Partially because of plans to wrestle at Mercyhurst, DesLauriers didn't join the Buckheads. Another factor that led to the decision: A few free months allowed DesLauriers to get some overdue surgery on his left arm.
The surgery, completed in late March, removed a bone chip that was embedded in DesLauriers' left triceps muscle. DesLauriers said the chip stemmed from an elbow injury he suffered before his junior season.
“It's affected me a couple times,” said DesLauriers, who lost just once in his final two seasons at Burrell. “I definitely worried because it hindered me a little bit. … But you just get in that mindset where nothing can hurt you, nothing can stop you.”
To attain her ultimate goal, sophomore Samantha Smith must stop other girls from getting theirs.
Smith, a Tarentum resident who attends Shady Side Academy, is a gifted hockey goaltender with grand aspirations, which include earning a spot on the women's national team.
“I really want to play in college, wherever that may be, and my really big goal is to wear a Team USA jersey,” said Smith, a second-year starter in net at Shady Side Academy. “It's a lot of hard work to get there, and I have a long way to go.”
In addition to playing for Shady Side Academy, which competes in the prep-heavy Women's Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic, Smith belongs to the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite amateur organization. Earlier this month, Smith participated in the America's Showcase event at Robert Morris' Island Sports Center as a member of Team Mid-America.
The Showcase, designed to put top high school-aged players from around the country in front of college and Junior Hockey scouts, featured six girls teams. Smith, who split time in net with Mid-America teammate Laurel Brown, rejected 28-of-30 shots in 76 minutes of action. Her save percentage (93.3) ranked third among the Showcase's 11 female goalies.
Also at the Showcase
Freeport junior Cole Hepler finished with one goal and four assists in five games for Team Pittsburgh in the boys portion of the eight-team America's Showcase. Only three players from Team Pittsburgh, a Showcase finalist, had more points.
Fox Chapel senior Josh Tublin knows better than to call Andrew Tublin, a sophomore, his “little” brother.
The brothers are big reasons why Fox Chapel boys volleyball might challenge for a spot in the WPIAL Class AAA finals and a PIAA tournament berth.
Josh Tublin is a 6-foot Ohio State recruit who earned All-WPIAL second-team honors as an outside hitter last season.
He moved back to his natural position, libero, this spring. His justification: 6-foot-2 Andrew Tublin can handle those offensive responsibilities.
The younger Tublin, who missed last season with a stress fracture in his back, ranks among the team's kill leaders.
“It's funny, because Andrew is not the type of kid who gets super pumped up after a kill, and I'll jump up and down and give him a huge hug. He'll just be like, ‘OK.' He's that type of kid,” said Josh Tublin, who added that their older brother, Daniel, a 6-8 redshirt sophomore outside hitter at Stanford, is a high-energy player.
“I'm calmer, but if something is going well, I can get excited,” Andrew Tublin said. “I think (Josh) would rather see me shine than himself, which is cool.”