ShareThis Page

WPIAL athletes win 17 gold medals at PIAA track and field meet

Chris Harlan
| Saturday, May 27, 2017, 9:21 p.m.
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 300 meter hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 300 meter hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Bentworth's Brenna Cavanaugh falls on the last hurdle of the Class AA 100-meter hurdle semifinals at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday, May 27, 2017, at Shippensburg.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Bentworth's Brenna Cavanaugh falls on the last hurdle of the Class AA 100-meter hurdle semifinals at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday, May 27, 2017, at Shippensburg.
Vincentian Acadaemy's Marianne Abdalah  competes in the Girl's Class AA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Abdalah won the silver medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Vincentian Acadaemy's Marianne Abdalah competes in the Girl's Class AA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Abdalah won the silver medal in the event.
Vincentian Acadaemy's Marianne Abdalah  competes in the Girl's Class AA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Abdalah won the silver medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Vincentian Acadaemy's Marianne Abdalah competes in the Girl's Class AA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Abdalah won the silver medal in the event.
Quaker Valley’s Zach Skolnekovich competes in the Boy's Class AA 3200 run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Quaker Valley’s Zach Skolnekovich competes in the Boy's Class AA 3200 run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
New Brighton's Anthony Milliner competes in the Boy's Class AA triple jump at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Milliner won the gold medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
New Brighton's Anthony Milliner competes in the Boy's Class AA triple jump at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Milliner won the gold medal in the event.
North Allegheny's Clara Savchik wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny's Clara Savchik wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
North Allegheny's Clara Savchik wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny's Clara Savchik wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 3200 meter run at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Avonworth's Hunter Robinson wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 200 meter dash at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Avonworth's Hunter Robinson wins the gold medal in the Girl's Class AAA 200 meter dash at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout reacts after a long throw while competing in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout reacts after a long throw while competing in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout competes in the Girl's Class AAA Javelin at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Wiltrout won her fourth state gold medal in the event.
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after setting a state record and winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after setting a state record and winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after setting a state record and winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens celebrates after setting a state record and winning the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens clears the last hurdle to set a state record and win the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.
Barry Reeger | For The Tribune-Review
North Allegheny’s Ayden Owens clears the last hurdle to set a state record and win the gold medal in the Boy's Class AAA 110 hurdles at the PIAA track and field individual championships at Shippensburg University on Saturday, May 27, 2017.

SHIPPENSBURG — Clearly, Ayden Owens was having a bad morning.

The North Allegheny junior reached Seth Grove Stadium early Saturday as the state's No. 1 seed in the long jump, but on a cool, damp day he placed just seventh at almost 2 feet short of his qualifying distance.

His frustration could have ruined the rest of his day.

“I was kind of angry,” Owens admitted with a laugh. “But I just wanted to forget about it and move on to the hurdles.”

Rather than ruminate, he chose instead to dominate.

Owens refocused to win both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles at the PIAA Class AAA track and field championship and broke a state record in the process, turning his rough morning into an afternoon to celebrate.

“When I was younger, it might have ruined my whole day,” Owens said. “But I've matured a lot, and I was able to say, ‘forget about it.' ”

He cruised through the 110 hurdles in 13.76 seconds, shattering a PIAA championship record set in 2008. The old record was 14 seconds flat, set by Montoursville's Keenan Michael. Owens' qualifying time was 14.19.

“I just went out as hard as I could and was running faster than I ever have,” said Owens, who also was seeded first in both hurdle events. “I was so clean, I didn't hit one hurdle.

“I got over the last hurdle, sprinted and saw 13 (seconds). I was like, ‘What?' I did not know that was in my range. Immediately I thought, ‘Is that the state record?' ”

The WPIAL had 16 individuals and one relay team win PIAA gold medals. Owens, Knoch thrower Jordan Geist (shot put/discus) and Avonworth/Northgate sprinter Hunter Robinson (100/200) were double winners in Class AAA.

Connellsville javelin thrower Madison Wiltrout won her event for the fourth consecutive year.

Other Class AAA winners from the WPIAL were Hempfield senior Hayden Fox (javelin), Upper St. Clair senior Harvey Kane (long jump) and North Allegheny junior Clara Savchik (3,200).

The Class AA winners were New Brighton senior Anthony Milliner (triple jump), Waynesburg senior Ben Bumgarner (3,200), Winchester Thurston junior Tristan Forsythe (1,600), Freeport senior Robert Reichenbaugh (800), Bentworth junior Brenna Cavanaugh (100 hurdles) and Burrell senior Nicole Scherer (400).

Norwin's 1,600 relay team with Nicholas Coleman, Kyle Turcovsky, Josh Coleman and Gianni Rizzo won the boys Class AAA title.

Geist felt a lot better with his performance Saturday at the PIAA Track and Field Championships than he did Friday.

Even though he didn't set a new personal record in the Class AAA discus, his throw of 207 feet, 6 inches set a new state record. Geist won the shot put Friday.

“I was hoping for a PR, but I'm satisfied with the state record,” Geist said. “I was pretty consistent. My first throw was 199, and I also threw a 207. Now it's time to move on.”

Geist drew large crowds every day to watch him compete.

When he hit two big throws, the crowd roared.

Wiltrout didn't let a sore right elbow stop her from winning her fourth PIAA Class AAA javelin title.

Wiltrout, seeded second, let her competition know right away that she meant business. Her first throw, the winning toss of 160-9, caught the eye of her opponents.

“That's what I like to do,” Wiltrout said. “Put one out there.”

Wiltrout, who set the national and state record of 185-8 in 2015, did attempt six throws. She only threw once at the WPIAL championship.

“This is awesome,” Wiltrout said. “After the last girl threw and knew I won, I teared up on the runway. I was so emotional, but this is a huge deal. I'm sort of speechless about it.”

Wiltrout said when she first started throwing the javelin as a freshman, she didn't know what to expect. Winning four state titles was beyond her wildest belief.

“The first year, I didn't think I'd win any,” Wiltrout said. “Now that I'm here, it's just a blessing.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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.