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Quaker Valley, Sewickley Academy send many athletes to WPIAL track championships

| Monday, May 15, 2017, 7:15 p.m.
Quaker Valley's Zach Skolnekovich is a WPIAL favorite in the 1,600 and 3,200 run.
Quaker Valley's Zach Skolnekovich is a WPIAL favorite in the 1,600 and 3,200 run.

Quaker Valley senior Zach Skolnekovich hasn't made any changes for the WPIAL Class AA track championship meet Thursday at Baldwin, figuring if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Skolnekovich, a William & Mary recruit, is favored in the boys 1,600-meter run (4 minutes, 12.77 seconds) and 3,200 (9:17.77).

“I am just following my normal training plan,” he said. “It is important to continue to do the same things you have been doing throughout the season.

“I know I am fit, so I just need to maintain and stay (healthy).”

Quaker Valley coach Jerry Veshio expects the 1,600 relay of junior Ryan Weicht, senior Parker Redcross and senior Ike Lagnese to get a boost with Skolnekovich anchoring it. The team qualified in 3:30.

Veshio said Skolnekovich is confident and will be tough to beat.

Among other competitors in the 3,200 will be senior Griffin Mackey (9:58.03) and sophomore Henry Meakem (10:19.21) of Sewickley Academy and senior Jake Smiley (10:17.50) of Quaker Valley.

Sewickley Academy senior Ben Clouse (4:38.97) made it in the 1,600.

“I have some experienced runners in Griffin and Ben who have had great success in cross country and track,” Sewickley Academy coach Derek Chimner said. “We are looking for them to make the medal stand.”

The 3,200 relay of Clouse, Meakem, Mackey and senior Leo Harper (8:39.65) hopes to place in the top five and reach the PIAA championships May 26-27.

Chimner also expects strong showings from Harper in the 400 (52.22) and junior Sam Casale, sophomore Yeni Abakah, Clouse and Harper in the 1,600 relay (3:38.38).

For Quaker Valley, Redcross will compete in the 400 (51.34) and with sophomore Dom Lagnese, sophomore Ian Smith and Ike Lagnese in the 400 relay (44.88).

In field events, Dom Lagnese (149 feet) had the second-best discus qualifying throw.

Quakers sophomore Jackson Hoey advanced in the discus (137-9) and shot put (44-11).

On the girls side, the Quakers' 3,200 relay of junior Audrey Durbin, freshman Annie Wicker, senior Bearett Tarris and junior Lucie Kubinski is tops (9:44.73).

Kubinski in the 1,600 (5:17.81) and 3,200 (11:27.59), Wicker in the 1,600 (5:12.74) and Durbin (2:26.99) and Tarris (2:25.34) in the 800 made it individually.

Quakers' junior Franzi Nace ranks second in the triple jump (37-3 12). Freshman high jumper Elizabeth Wiehe (4-11 12) also qualified.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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