Mike White| Saturday, May 23, 10:45 a.m.
Day two of state track championships from wonderful Shippensburg
2:35 - The individual events are over and Peabody's Pierre Carr just did the "daily double." Carr won the Class AAA 200 title. He won the 100 earlier today. I was a little off in my prediction earlier in the day that the WPIAL was done winning gold medals. In the past hour, Belle Vernon sopomore Matt Green was the winner in the Class AAA long jump with a personal-best mark of 23-7 1/2. Monessen's Tarelle Irwin won the Class AA boys' 200. Hempfield sophomore Rachel Serafin won the Class AAA discus. Also, Freedom's Ashley Adams did indeed win the Class AA shot put. the WPIAL won 12 individiual titles this season and one relay. That's a pretty good showing.
1:07 - Ooops I take that back. Freedom's Ashley Adams should win the Class AA shot put.
12:56 - Finally a state gold medal for Latrobe's Natalie Bower. She had won 12 WPIAL gold medals in cross country and track, but won her first state title this afternoon by placing first in the Class AAA 1,600. The WPIAL and City League is up to seven gold medals in individual events for the weekend. I doubt whether they will win another one.
12:35 - What a nice touch the PIAA added to the awards ceremony for the 100-meter dash. The man giving out the medals was Herb Douglas, a 1940 state champion in the 100-yard dash and a graduate of Allderdice High School. He went on to attend Pitt and won a bronze medal in the long jump in the 1948 Olympics. He presented the medal to Peabody's Pierre Carr, who finished first.
12:22 - Peabody's Pierre Carr made the City League proud again when he won the Class AAA 100-meter dash championship for the second year in a row.
12:15 - Just saw Billy Owens Sr., in his umpteenth year as an official at the PIAA championships. He's the father of former Carlisle High, Syracuse star and NBA player Billy Owens. In almos three decades of covering basketball in Western Pennsylvania and the state, I still say young Billy Owens was the second-best player I've ever seen in a "high school" game, not an all-star game. No. 1? LeBron James, when he played at Mellon Arena as a senior against New Castle.
12:00 - Union's Camern Lewis won her second gold medal of the meet, finishing first in the Class AAA triple jump. She won the long jump yesterday. Quaker Valley's boys' 3,200 relay team won the Class AA championship a short time ago.
11:08 a.m. Just one dispatch from Colin Dunlap here in equally-wonderful Hershey, at the Hershey Racquet Club where the second day of the PIAA boys' individual tennis championships are happening. As you might have read in this story the Timko sisters of Chartiers-Houston were eliminated in the first round of the Class AA double competition. And, to be honest, most of western Pennsylvania didn't fare well at all on the first day. The only players remaining right now are in Class AAA, where Upper St. Clair senior Jay Jones --- perhaps one of the nicest kids in the history of high school sports --- is set to begin a semifinal match against Great Valley senior Mark Milbrandt and the Fox Chapel doubles team of Shankar Rajaput and Brad Portnoy will play heavily favored Matt Savran and Coby Kramer-Golinkoff of Lower Merion. Those matches are starting right now.
10:40 a.m. Beaver Falls' Todd Thomas admits he has no idea about long jump technique. Heck, he never tried track and field before this season.
But Thomas is pretty darn good for someone who is clueless about how to jump. Thomas, a Pitt football recruit, finished third in the Class AA long jump this morning at the PIAA championship meet at Shippensburg University with a leap of 22 feet, 8 inches. Thomas leaped 22-8 on his first jump of the competition.
"I just jump. I have no idea what I'm doing," Thomas said. "Track is alright. I prefer basketball and football, but third in the state? Hey, what can you say about that? I'm pleased."
Thomas, who signed with Pitt's football team in February, said he still isn't sure if he will attend Pitt as a freshman, or a prep school. He is not sure if he will be academically qualified. "I have some final tests to take. We'll see what happens then," Thomas said.
Thomas will run on Beaver Falls' 400-meter relay team later today.
10:30 a.m. - Rochester's Leighandra Williams, the sister of former Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams, did not qualify for the Class AA girls' 100-meter dash. Leighandra still has the 200 to run.
10:15 a.m. - Norwin's Leslie Kovach won the Class AAA girls' 1,600-meter run. It was a great way to cap her career. She had never won a WPIAL or PIAA title before.
"I've had some bad experiences at WPIAL. It's never been my meet," said Kovach, a senior.