PIAA notebook: Vincentian's Abdalah repeats as 3,200 champion
SHIPPENSBURG — Vincentian Academy junior Marianne Abdalah looked like her old self Saturday at the PIAA track and field championships.
With the sun beating down and temperatures rising on the competitors in the girls Class AA 3,200-meter run at Shippensburg University's Seth Grove Stadium, Abdalah took command of the race from the start and breezed to her second consecutive title in 10 minutes, 51.60 seconds.
“I really wanted to win the title again,” Abdalah said. “It validates my title from 2015. I was able to run my race instead of other people's race. I made a few adjustments the past week to prepare for this race.”
Abdalah is a three-time cross country state champion.
The biggest things she changed were her speed and dropping the 1,600. She placed second to Eden Christian senior Lauren Gronbeck at the WPIAL championships in the 3,200 and second to Quaker Valley senior Hannah Bablak in the 1,600.
Abdalah said a better mindset also helped.
“I love running here,” Abdalah said. “Usually the 3,200 is one of the last races of a meet. Here it's first, and it's neat to hear the announcer say you're leading and the crowd cheering.”
Gronbeck finished fourth.
She said the heat bothered her, but she still wasn't sure she could beat Abdalah.
“Marianne was a beast,” Gronbeck said. “She ran a great race.”
The WPIAL also had three second-place finishers in the 3,200: North Allegheny sophomore Clara Savchik (Class AAA girls), Quaker Valley junior Zach Skolnekovich (AA boys) and Peters Township senior Nick Wolk (AAA boys).
The AA boys from the WPIAL dominated the race as they had six of the eight medalists: Waynesburg junior Ben Bumgarner (fourth), Winchester-Thurston senior Will Loevner (fifth), Sewickley Academy junior Griffin Mackey (sixth), Winchester-Thurston junior Ben Littman (seventh) and Southmoreland senior Ben Bickerton (eighth).
The Class AAA boys had four medalists. Following Wolk were North Allegheny senior Marc Migliozzi (third), Plum senior Jake Susalla (fourth) and Mt. Lebanon senior Todd Gunzenhauser (fifth).
Fox medals again
Hempfield junior Hayden Fox placed third in the Class AAA boys pole vault Friday and followed with a fourth-place finish in the javelin Saturday with a throw of 197 feet, 11 inches.
His big throw, his final of the competition, vaulted him from sixth place.
“I'm pleased with my performances,” Fox said. “Javelin is the fun event for me. Now, I'll have to work on improving my marks.”
Fox, however, will take a break from track. He's playing baseball this summer for the West Hempfield American Legion team. He was on the high school team as a freshman.
Greensburg Central Catholic senior Michelle Karabin ended her high school career by earning a silver medal in the Class AA pole vault. She finished second to record-holder Katie Jones, a South Williamsport junior who cleared 13 feet and shattered the record of 12-7.
Karabin cleared 12 feet for the second consecutive week.
“Katie deserved the win, wow,” Karabin said. “She had an amazing day. I was happy to clear 12 feet again. I was hoping for 12-6, but I'm satisfied.”
This and that
Obama Academy freshman Raven Haston placed eighth in the AAA girls 100 meters. ... Avonworth girls placed second in the AA team standings with 46 points. Hickory finished first with 48. ... Greensburg Salem senior Julia Howard earned two medals during the championship. She placed fourth in the long jump and third in the triple jump. Teammate Lawson Monta finished second in the shot put and sixth in the discus. ... The WPIAL had 16 individuals finish second.