California senior Kailyn Clancy does not mind pressure.
After winning the first state track title in school history last May when she put the shot 40-11¼ at the Class AA championships at Shippensburg University, Clancy is the odds-on favorite to stand atop the podium when the PIAA meet is held May 24.
Although she has seen success, which has included back-to-back trips to the state championships, Clancy is not satisfied. She also finished second at the state championships in the shot put as a sophomore and qualified in the discus last year after winning the WPIAL Class AA title with a throw of 112-5.
Clancy’s never-ending attention to detail and work ethic ensures her progress will never stop.
This season, she has tried out a new technique. After using a glide that looks better suited to ballet than for a field athlete, Clancy is learning to throw rotational. Along with countless hours in the weight room, which includes lifting 225-pounds with ease on the bench press, she refuses to settle for anything less than her best effort.
In a tri-meet April 8 against Bentworth and Washington, Clancy topped her state championship-winning mark by throwing 43-8 in the shot put. It comes as no surprise considering she reached 43 feet to claim the WPIAL Class AA title last May.
“Before I started track, I didn’t even know what throwing was or what a shot put or discus looked like,” Clancy said. “It’s kind of surprising how far I’ve come.”
The 43-foot throw is nothing unusual for Clancy, who is undecided on what college she will attend. In fact, at practice last week, with a college scout on hand, she hit the 50-foot mark.
Trojans head coach Darrin Dillow remembers the 2011 track season like it was yesterday. Clancy approached him as a freshman in pre-season workouts with the idea of giving throwing a try. She quickly came to enjoy the sport
Now, Dillow no longer has to instruct his state champion on mistakes with technique. As soon as the shot leaves her hand, Clancy knows if her motion was on or off.
Even in those rare instances, her throws are more than enough to best the competition.
“It really has been amazing to see how far she’s grown,” Dillow said. “When she won (the state title), I kind of just flashed back and said, ‘Where did this girl come from?’ I remember the first time she picked up a shot put. It’s amazing to see her go from where she was to WPIAL champion. She has worked really hard to get where she’s at.”
Clancy will get her first shot at postseason success next Thursday at the section championships, which are being held at California, and has her eye on another strong showing at the WPIAL Individual Qualifiers May 6.
“I just want to get better and do the best I can and get my numbers better,” Clancy said. “I was really happy and excited to win the state title last year, but I’m not done yet.”
Trinity adds girls lacrosse
The Trinity School Board approved the addition of a girls lacrosse program that will compete in the WPIAL for the 2014-15 school year at Thursday’s meeting.
The Hillers have fielded a girls lacrosse team at the club level for several years.
The Hillers already field a boys lacrosse team that participates in WPIAL Section 1-Division I, but a complete realignment of the sport is expected to be announced in mid-May. According to Trinity athletic director Bobby Jones, the school as requested that both programs compete in the WPIAL’s Division II.
Wise sets personal best
Washington senior Alyssa Wise, who won the PIAA Class AA titles in the 100- and 200-meter dashes last May, set a personal best in the 100 on Thursday when she ran 11.64 in a meet at Waynesburg.
Wise, a Pitt recruit, won the state title in the 100-meter with a time of 12.18 and claimed WPIAL gold with a time of 11.85.