PITTSBURGH – It wasn’t quite the landslide it was last year, but the Washington High School boys track and field team’s pursuit of a second consecutive WPIAL Class AA team title wasn’t all that different.
A year after clinching the championship before the 300 hurdles had ended, the Prexies needed two more events before making the end of this one a mere formality.
So much for the loss of 2012 seniors Dustin Fuller, Austin Fuller, Joe Phillips and others slowing down the Prexies.
This Prexies team celebrated at mid-field at Baldwin, chanted, danced and took a victory lap, a WPIAL dynasty beginning to bloom.
“We lost a lot of talent last year, and people were doubting us,” said senior Quorteze Levy, who won both hurdles events and ran on a pair of first-place relay teams. “That just motivated us even more. To come here and do it again, that’s pretty awesome.”
Wash High topped Freedom, 93-48; Riverside, 90-51; and South Park, 93-48. The Prexies won the 100 and 400 dashes, swept the relays and hurdles and took first place in the high and long jumps.
The bounty of first-place finishes was enough, apparently, to warrant a fire truck escort home along Jefferson Avenue and to continue a dream season for the Prexies.
Never mind what was lost from last year.
“That’s the way to close out as a team,” said senior Josh Wise, who won the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches) and ran the third leg on the 400 relay team.
“Last year we were a lot deeper,” Wise added. “We pushed ourselves, but it was a little bit easier last year because we were so deep. This year we weren’t as deep, which made us dig even harder.”
Malik Wells won the 100 dash in 11.82 seconds, and DeQuay Isbell took the 400 in 50.97. Levy won the 110 hurdles in 15.53 seconds, the 300 in 39.48, nearly three seconds faster than anyone else.
Wells, Shai McKenzie, Wise and Darius Spinks, who also won the long jump with a leap of 22-0 3/4, took first in the 400 relay with a time of 44.32 seconds. Elijah Ellerman, Spinks, Levy and Isbell comprised the 1,600 relay team (3:23.56). D’Heaven Kelley, Levy, Ellerman and Del Bredniak helped the Prexies to a win in the 3,200 relay (8:15.47).
Wise admitted that members of Wash High’s team were counting points, anxious to know how soon they could clinch.
Turned out the 200 dash wasn’t quite as dominant at last year, but, hey, who’s counting?
“It’s a great feeling knowing that we’re back-to-back champs,” Wise said.
South Fayette pulls off stunner: The South Fayette girls team captured its first-ever WPIAL team championship by picking up points in the distance and throwing events.
Natalie Hilton was victorious in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs with times of 5:18.35 and 11:51.01.
Rachel Closky won the javelin (109-09) and discus (101-01).
South Fayette outscored Beaver, 79-71; Freeport, 80-70; and Southmoreland, 106-44.
“They did a great,” South Fayette head coach Joe Winans said. “I felt comfortable with our team and how strong they were. I’m really proud of those girls.”
Other top performances were turned in by Carly Evanish, who was first in the triple jump with a leap of 33-9; freshman Tori Valachovic, who won the 300 hurdles in 48.15 seconds; as well as Hannah Kenawell (third in the 400), Sydney Lerda (second in the 800); and Megan Allen (third in pole vault).
“They’re tough kids,” Winans said. “A lot of them are doing three or four events every meet. At this point in the season, that’s hard to keep doing. So for them to come out and do what they did was pretty impressive.”