Mike White| Friday, May 22, 11 a.m.
PIAA track and field blog below.
Terrelle Pryor did plenty during his football career at Jeannette High School, winning championships and becoming the first player in Pennsylvania history to rush and pass for more than 4,000 career yards.
But Pryor also caused the PIAA to clarify one of its rules.
The PIAA has long had a rule saying postgraduates can't participate on high school teams. But when Dunmore High School was getting ready to face Jeannette and Pryor in the PIAA Class AA football championship in 2007, Dunmore used a quarterback from Wilkes College in practices to emulate Pryor. Nice idea. Dunmore obviously had no one who could come close to imitating Pryor, so Dunmore went to a higher level.
When word of the move got out, Dunmore came under scrutiny. The PIAA examined the situation and said Dunmore didn't break any rules because the player didn't play for Dunmore. But since then, the PIAA used stronger language in its rule, saying alumni or postgraduates are prohibited from practicing with a team.
At PIAA meetings earlier this week, the organization stressed the rule again and said it applies to all sports. The PIAA also is considering a proposal that says a high school team can scrimmage or play a game against an alumni team, but it will count toward the high school team's scrimmages or games played during the regular sesaon.
It's an interesting subject. Consider this scenario. A former baseball player from John Doe High School is home on break and throws batting practice to the high school team. Stuff like that happens all the time, but it can't happen any longer, unless that former player is a coach, or a volunteer coach approved by the school. Want to know the main reason for the rule clarification? Liability.
If an individual who isn't a coach comes to a high school team's practice and ends up hurting an athlete, who is reponsible? There was a controversial case a few years ago at Methacton High School when a college wrestler practiced with the high school team and a high school wrestler ended up paralyzed.
PIAA track and field notes
From Shippensburg University
11:45 - Stop in downtown Shippensburg and you get a good whiff of manure. I'm just sayin'.
Where it comes from, I don't know. Must be time of year to fertilize.
11:45 - Two athletes from the WPIAL won gold medals this morning at the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University. Connellsville's Rodney Richter won the Class AAA discus for the second year in a row with a throw of 183 feet, 8 inches. His winning throw was 10 feet farther than the second-place throw. Union's Cameron Lewis won the girls' class AA long jump with a leap of 18-5 1/4. Lewis is only the second girl from Union to ever win a PIAA title.
Half of the field-event finals will be contested today, plus preliminary running events. All finals in running events will be tomorrow.
1:55 - Peabody's Pierre Carr ran the fastest 100-meter dash itimes (10.73 seconds) in the Class AAA preliminary heats. He is trying to win the 100 for the second year in a row. The semifinals and finals are tomorrow.
Latrobe's Natalie Bower had the fastest time in the Class AAA girls' 1,600 preliminary and The Ellis School's Janessa Benn the best time in the Class AA girls' 1,600 preliminary.
2:50 - The WPIAL just got its third champion of the day. Freedom's Ashley Adams won the Class AA discus championship. Adams also is the No. 1 seed for the shot put tomorrow.
4:25 - Freedom's Ashley Adams became the third champion from the WPIAL today. She won the Class AA discus and is the No. 1 seed tomorrow for the shot put.
4:30 - It's been a beautiful day weather-wise. Sunny. Temperatures in the high 70s. But some runners aren't quite used to the heat yet. Two have thrown up near me after their races. Seriously. But one eventually got to a trash can to finish "yakking."
The Penn Hills girls' 400 relay team was disqualified in the Class AAA preliminary heat. Apparently, they were outside of one of the exchange zones. Penn Hills was the WPIAL champion and always has a top 400 relay team.
4:35 - I've always thought this and it gets reenforced every year I come here: You have to be a little insane to pole vault.
4:55 - This meet started at 9 a.m. So it's now official: It has become boring.
This won't end for probably another hour or so.
5:05 - PIAA Executive Director Bob Lombardi just stopped at the media tent to inform us that the paid attendance today was 4,405. Also, the meet had 2,518 athletes, the most ever.
5:10 - Here are the WPIAL and City League athletes who had the best times in preliminary heats today:
CLASS AAA BOYS - 100 - Pierre Carr, Peabody (10.73).
CLASS AA BOYS - 800 - Kevin Jewell, East Allegheny, 1:56.56; 200 - Tarelle Irwin, Monessen, 21.87.
CLASS AAA GIRLS - 1,600 - Natalie Bower, Latrobe, 5:00.44.
CLASS AA GIRLS - 1,600 - Janessa Benn, The Ellis School, 5:07.13.
Look for updated blogs from Shippensburg throughout today and tomorrow.
5:15 - I'm wondering if there is any chance I can find an establishment in Shippensburg or nearby Chambersburg tonight that will have the Cavaliers-Magic game on TV? Or will I have to suffer through the Red Wings and Blackhawks? I think I'll just go to my room.