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Spring looks promising for Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe

| Monday, April 11, 2016, 12:06 a.m.
Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe finished second at the 2015 WPIAL championship meet.
Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe finished second at the 2015 WPIAL championship meet.
Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe finished second at the 2015 WPIAL championship meet.
Sewickley Academy's Summer Thorpe finished second at the 2015 WPIAL championship meet.

Sewickley Academy senior Summer Thorpe is in top form and looks ahead to becoming the second member of her family in two seasons to earn a WPIAL individual title on the Panthers' girls track team.

Thorpe (200-meter dash and 300 hurdles) was a dual winner in the Panthers' season-opening, Section 2-AA victory April 5 against Western Beaver.

Thorpe placed second at the WPIAL championship meet and third in the state in the 300 hurdles last year. Her time of 43.21 seconds at the PIAA championship made her a candidate for the National Federation of State High School Associations' Honor Roll.

And her sister, Aja, was WPIAL champion and third in the state in the 100 hurdles.

Aja Thorpe is a freshman hurdler and sprinter on the Yale University women's team.

Led by the two, the Panthers tied for 11th place at the state meet last season.

Sewickley Academy coach Derek Chimner said the prospect of breaking Aja's school records inspires the younger Thorpe.

Summer Thorpe said she likely will surpass her sister in the 100 hurdles and 200-meter dash, but downplays a sibling rivalry.

Aja Thorpe was WPIAL runner-up in the 100-meter dash a year ago.

“It's not so important for me to break her records, but to better my own,” Summer Thorpe said. “(By) doing that, breaking her school records will happen as I get to that point.

“We always encourage each other (and) rarely talk about beating each others' records, more so on how we both can improve.”

Thorpe, who plans to compete in college, said she is in the best shape of her career.

“My goals (are to) be the champion at every level,” she said. “I only see myself (improving) from here.”

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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