MCMURRAY – It’s not as though Washington’s Quorteze Levy was lacking for motivation, but as the gun sounded to begin the 110-meter hurdles yesterday at the Washington-Greene County Coaches Track and Field Championships, Levy got a little extra incentive when the winners for the 1,600-meter relay began to gather in the middle of the infield at Peters Township.
Levy, who earlier ran a 1:57.5 anchor leg to power the Prexies to a first-place finish, collapsing into the arms of his teammates as he caught his breath, certainly deserved to be recognized.
He noticed the scene unfolding. Someone shouted they’ll wait for him. And, after obliterating his personal-best split by five seconds, all he had to do was clear a few hurdles.
“I just took it like a sprint,” Levy said of his first-place 100 hurdles time of 15.69 seconds. “Ran all out.”
Seemed to be a familiar theme for the reigning WPIAL Class AA champs.
On a day when teammate Shai McKenzie was taken to the hospital about an hour after the meet started because of an allergic reaction, Levy and the rest of his teammates stepped up to carry Wash High to the overall team title with 192 points, easily eclipsing second-place Canon-McMillan (155).
It also made up for last year when the Prexies lost two of the three relays and wound up trailing Canon-McMillan by eight points for the overall team title, though they were the top Class AA team.
“To win as a team, and to keep doing as we’ve been doing, guys have to step up,” said Levy who also won the 300 hurdles in 40.55 seconds. “Guys stepped up in all different places.”
One of those was Darius Spinks, who was named track and overall MVP.
Spinks won the 100 and 200 dashes, the latter subbing for McKenzie, while also running on the 4x100 relay and taking top honors in the long jump.
His 100 time of 11.61 seconds may not have been the prettiest four numbers he’s seen grouped together, but it did come with a strong wind blowing directly in his face.
“I ran out of breath,” said Spinks, who edged Peters Township’s Mark Minjock by three hundredths of a second. “About 10 meters into the race I was thinking, ‘I have to put my head down and finish this race.’
“It was kind of hard to breathe.”
Canon-McMillan’s Alec Rideout won three events and took MVP honors for field events. Rideout, who was a double-event winner last year, took first in the javelin (158-6), shot put (51-10) and discus (157-8).
“I got three golds instead of two, so that’s always good,” Rideout said. “Plus all three were personal-bests.”
The cold weather – plus snow at the beginning, wind all the way through – made for typically horrendous conditions, but Rideout might have been the only participant yesterday who wasn’t complaining.
‘I don’t know what it is,” Rideout said. “I did well at county’s last year. I don’t know if it’s excitement or warming up too much because I’m so cold.”
Teammate Ryan Davey took top honors in the 400 (49.93) and 800 (2:03.97). He placed fourth in the 200 after having “about a minute” to cool down following the 800.
“I was feeling pretty good,” Davey said. “I kind of came out here just to have fun. It was kind of a workout for me; running well today was kind of my goal.”
Trinity’s Marcus Chadwick and Peters Township’s Nick Wolk won medals in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs, Hillers pole vaulter Mitchell Kendra was first in 11-6, and Wash High dominated the rest of the field events.
Josh Wise was first in the high jump at 6-0. Spinks’ long jump of 21-8 bested the competition. And Mijerean Witcher – despite nearly not jumping a fourth time, thinking this it only a preliminary round – recorded a 41-7 in the triple jump.
“We were confident,” Witcher said. “We won the (Class AA) championship last year, and we wanted to do it again.”