Kiski Area 400 relay team catches break in state final
TribLIVE Sports Videos
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BWest_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Stupid Steelers
- Steelers running backs Bell, Blount will face drug charges
- Braves’ error, Sanchez’s sacrifice fly in 9th help Pirates snap long skid
- It’s only exhibition, but these Steelers could solidify roster spots vs. Eagles
- UPMC earnings turn positive, but pressures mount
- 1 injured in Pa. Turnpike crash in Beaver County
- GOP: Wolf ‘Fresh Start’ campaign violates Pennsylvania law
- Pa. trooper injured in pursuit in Washington County
- Karns City RB sets sights on playing full season
- EDMC to cut costs, roll out new grant
- Carroll incident draws police from 4 departments