| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kiski Area 400 relay team catches break in state final

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel junior Ethan Martin leads the pack during the Class AAA boys 3,200-meter run final at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday, May 25, 2013, in Shippensburg.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.
Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Sunday, May 26, 2013, 10:21 p.m.

SHIPPENSBURG — Call the members of Kiski Area's boys 400-meter relay the beneficiaries of a technicality. Just make sure to also call them PIAA placewinners.

The Cavaliers finished eighth in the PIAA Class AAA track and field championship's 400 relay final, a performance that earned them a spot on the medal stand Saturday at Seth Grove Stadium. They had a time of 43.62 seconds.

To run at all Saturday came as a surprise, considering they initially failed to make the cut in Friday's preliminary round.

Kiski Area did not advance out of the prelims after placing second in its heat — only the top team in each of the four heats automatically qualified — and its time, 43.76, did not rank among the eight fastest times overall.

But Pennsbury, the winner of Kiski Area's heat, was pulled from Saturday's race, so the Cavaliers — senior Jake Wilson, senior Andrew Dickun, junior Ben Kinnamon and junior Corbin Neumann — found new life.

“I feel like we snuck in there, and nobody expected us to do this,” said Neumann, who ran the third leg.

Strong wind bursts stifled the team's effort to set a new personal record; the Cavaliers' best this season is 43.0.

But the Cavaliers still found satisfaction. After all, they finished the race. Last season, the Cavaliers were disqualified after leaving an exchange area early during their preliminary heat.

“Last year, we came into states and messed up,” said Dickun, who runs the anchor leg. “We knew we had to pick up the slack and bring home a medal.”

Kiski Area's boys 3,200 relay team, though unable to medal at the PIAA championships, avenged a loss to its WPIAL rival, North Allegheny.

The Cavaliers' 3,200 relay spent much of the season atop the Class AAA honor roll. But at the WPIAL championships, North Allegheny snagged gold, and Kiski Area took silver.

On Saturday, Kiski Area crossed the finish line in 8:12.19, while North Allegheny had a time of 8:20.17.

Junior Brent Kennedy, one member of the distance relay, also grabbed Kiski Area's other PIAA medal with a seventh-place finish in the Class AAA 3,200. Jostling among the leaders the whole way, he finished in 9:20.16, less than 10 seconds behind champion Ethan Martin, a Fox Chapel junior.

Between Ethan Martin and Kennedy down the final straightaway was Colin Martin, Ethan's brother, who placed fourth in the 3,200 with a time of 9:16.12.

Finishing just behind his twin is nothing new for Colin Martin, who did not beat Ethan in a race this season; both excelled in the 3,200 and the 1,600.

“I've been taking second place all this time to my brother,” Colin Martin said. “Just getting to take one win from him is all I want.”

There's a desire to beat his brother. There's no bitterness directed toward Ethan, though.

“Maybe one percent is (rooting against Ethan),” Colin Martin said. “I'd say the other 99 percent is absolutely just feeling great for him. He's been working really, really hard and training really hard all season. Him having that (title), it's something that's going to push us together.”

While the Martins are well known in the distance running community, Riverview senior Greg Wagner, who placed seventh in the Class AA 3,200, is something of an oddity.

While most 3,200 standouts ran cross country in the fall, Wagner strapped on a helmet and did his part for the Raiders' football team.

“Being a football player who never ran cross country or anything like that, this is just special to me,” Wagner said of his PIAA medal.

Bill West is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  2. Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
  3. Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
  4. Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
  5. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  6. Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
  7. Warrant issued for man accused of killing Brookline woman
  8. Memories of Steelers fan from Beaver Falls go beyond simple recall
  9. Emails among Governor Wolf’s aides reveal concern over AG Kane
  10. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment
  11. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions