Record performance by Wash High at meet

April 26, 2014
Wash High’s Alyssa Wise hands the baton to Aliyah Moye during the 1,600 relay Saturday. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

McMURRAY – With Alyssa Wise on the track, no lead against Washington is safe.

Wise and her teammates put together a dominating performance Saturday afternoon, equalling or bettering four records at the Washington-Greene Track & Field Championships at Peters Township.

Wise, a senior, won the 100-meter dash in a meet-record of 12.46. She beat her own record of 12.5 set in 2012.

Her 200 time of 25.1 not only won the event but tied another Washington sprinter – Tam Nixon – for the meet record. Nixon set the mark in 1998.

Wise is the defending state champion in both dashes and is a favorite to repeat.

“I’ve been working a lot with (coach) Richie Barnes in the weight room,” said Wise, who is headed to Pitt next fall. “I really feel stronger from previous years.”

That’s bad news for Wise’s opponents.

“My expectations are to improve my times a little more and go for the state titles,” she said. “Everyone expects me to do what I did last year, so I put a little pressure on myself.”

Wise joined Aliyah Moye, Tajah Haley and India March to turn in a 50.24 in the 400-meter relay, which broke the record of 50.5 set by Canon-McMillan in 2005. Wise, Da’Shea Sweeney, Moye and Haley won the 1,600 relay in 4:06.40, nearly six seconds faster than the meet record of 4:12.3 set by Peters Township in 1982.

“Our first intention was not breaking the (1,600) record. We just wanted to be first,” said Moye. “We knew there would be competition here. If you can come in as a Double-A team and beat Triple-A teams, that’s really good.”

Sweeney ran a personal-best 1:02 in the 1,600, a key factor in breaking the record.

“I felt like everyone was depending on me to get the lead,” she said. “We felt we could get beat by Ringgold because they are so good.”

For Jenna Lucas, this has been a year of change.

The senior at Fort Cherry High School fills her schedule with varsity sports, volleyball and golf in the fall, basketball in the winter and track – her specialty – in the spring.

It’s also been a very busy time for other reasons.

After Lucas accepted a track scholarship form the University of Central Florida, Jenna’s brother Jeremy decided to transfer from Penn State Behrend to UCF. Their parents decided to sell their house and move to Orlando to be close to their children.

The house sold quickly, more quickly than the family expected, so a rental was obtained. Moving boxes became important in the Lucas household.

All the changes have not affected Jenna.

Lucas, the defending PIAA Class AA javelin champion, not only won the event with a throw of 142-5 but also was named Girls Individual Field MVP by taking first in the discus (121-7), sixth in the shot put and eighth in the long jump.

“It’s been a pretty busy time,” said Lucas. “I’m glad my family is coming. I was nervous about leaving them behind. It’s a good thing.”

Lucas has found success in this meet even though the throwing area is not one of her favorites.

“You have to climb a mountain to get to (the throwing area) and the boys have a runway while the girls throw off the grass,” she said. “It’s hard to get your footing.”

Still, her mark was impressive if not great. Lucas has the best throw in the WPIAL this season with a 145-0 effort in a regular season dual meet. She won the state title with a 147-5 and expects to reach the 150s for the postseason.

“So far, I’ve been improving in all my other events,” she said, “but not javelin. The only difference is that I have new javelin shoes because my dad accidentally threw my old ones out when we were moving.”

Kailynn Clancy, the defending state shot put champion from California High School, skipped the meet to compete at the Penn Relays. Addy Knetzer of Chartiers-Houston stepped in and won the event with a throw of 40-0.

Ringgold’s Bailey Cooper took firsts in the 100 hurdles (15.62), 300 hurdles (48.13) and 400 (59.01).

Hannah Falcione of Peters Township was the Overall MVP by taking second in the long jump, third in the triple jump and second in the 100 hurdles.

Fort Cherry won the Class AA team title and Peters Township the Triple-A crown.

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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