May 23—Clear, sunny skies and temperatures in the low to mid 80s greeted Gateway track and field athletes as they competed at last week's WPIAL Class AAA championships at Slippery Rock.
Senior Jayson Jenkins and junior Amaya Robinson picked up a medal as Gateway was represented in 11 events overall.
Robinson, who competed at WPIALs as a freshman in 2019, was seeded sixth (12.58 seconds) in the 100-meter dash. The top six seeds were separated by a half second.
She ran a 12.66 in her preliminary heat and finished third, putting her seventh overall heading into the finals.
In the finals, she bumped up one spot and landed in sixth on the medals podium in a time of 12.74, just one one-hundredth of a second away from fifth and eight one-hundredths of a second from fourth.
Upper St. Clair sophomore Dani Prunzik won the 100 with a time of 12.33.
The top four finishers in each Class AAA boys and girls event automatically punched tickets to Saturday's PIAA championships in Shippensburg. The top eight received medals.
Robinson also qualified for the 200, and she ran a time of 26.86 in her preliminary heat to place 20th overall.
The 200 was one of the faster girls events at WPIALs as the top five finishers met the state qualifying standard.
Jenkins was seeded 11th heading into the preliminaries of the boys 110 hurdles with a seed time of 15.74.
He bettered that seed time in his preliminary heat, finishing second (15.67) to earn an automatic berth in the finals.
Jenkins then ran and leaped his way to a finals time of 15.72 and a seventh-place finish.
He got one shot to run the 300 hurdles and finished with a time of 40.86, nearly two seconds better than his 42.63 seed time that had him ranked 16th coming into the meet.
His effort landed him in ninth, missing a top-eight medal by 43 one-hundredths of a second.
West Mifflin senior Dontae Lewis captured both boys hurdles events with times of 38.35 in the 300 and 14.69 in the 110.
The boys 400 relay of Jenkins and juniors Elijah Heller, Cooper Hayes and Michael Stuckey made a run at a medal. They won their heat with a time of 44.42 seconds, better than their seed time of 45.25.
That heat time placed them 11th overall in the final standings. Mt. Lebanon medaled in eighth with a time of 43.82.
Senior Omarion Davidson joined Jenkins in running both boys hurdle events, and he placed 16th in the 110 with a season-best 16.28.
He also recorded a 44.33 in the 300 hurdles and finished 20th.
The girls 3,200 relay of juniors Emma Sandor, Kiyara Sawyers and Megan McFetridge and sophomore Marina Grado placed 15th overall with a season-best of 10:15.57, nearly 10 seconds better than their seed time (10:25.03).
Senior Luke Whisel broke into the top 16 of the boys 3,200 as he finished 16th with season best of 10:06.97. His previous best this spring was a 10:10.06.
Freshman Remy Bose made his WPIAL debut in the shot put and placed 15th out of 22 in the field with a top toss of 43 feet, 1 inch.
Fellow freshman Kierra Pitts also broke into WPIAL competition in both hurdle events, and she placed 18th in the 100 (17.57) and 20th in the 300 (51.59).
Gateway junior Meredith Geno tied for 18th in the pole vault with Norwin's Hannah Shaw and Greensburg Salem's Annie Zahorchak. All three cleared 9-0.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .