COAL CENTER — The athletes gathered at California on a windy Wednesday faced one another in the season-long team schedule of meets, but had the opportunity to shine individually — and win a medal or two — in the Section 6-AA Championship.
The Lady Trojans’ Makayla Boda added two more gold medals to her trophy case after she swept the hurdles. The senior won the 100 high hurdles in 16.28 seconds and powered her way through the 300 intermediate hurdles in 46.96 seconds.
She also placed fourth in the long jump.
“The time in the 100 hurdles was a personal best for this season,” said Boda. “I jumped 14-10 in the long jump, which is, eh. I used to get 16 feet when I was a sophomore. I don’t know what happened.”
Boda considers herself a 300 hurdler and uses the high hurdles to prep for the longer distance.
“The 100 high hurdles helps with the 300,” said Boda.
She did meet her expectations in the 300 hurdles, however.
“I want to try to get 46 something in the 300,” Boda said after winning the high hurdles. “I get 47 (seconds), 47.2 or 47.5, like every time.”
Boda understands where she needs to improve to keep dropping time as she seeks to break the school record.
“The last stretch. I feel my technique is not as good. My technique goes when I get tired,” explained Boda. “I’m trying to go for the school record (in the 300 intermediate hurdle), 45.5 (seconds).”
Boda said she feels like a senior academically, but not athletically, because of the lost season last spring due to the pandemic.
“With schoolwork, I’m a senior. In sports, I feel like I was cheated out of track. It’s sad. I wish I could go back,” said Boda.
Waynesburg Central’s Ashlyn Basinger had a solid meet, winning the 100 (12.86), 200 (26.55), and 400 (1:03.50). She also anchored the Lady Raiders’ 400 relay that won gold in 52.08 seconds.
“It’s not as good as usual,” critiqued Basinger. “I was hoping to PR in the 400 and 100.”
Basinger has high personal aspirations as the time for the WPIAL Championships nears.
“I’m hoping to stick with all four events. The 100, for sure. I feel I am most successful in the sprints,” said Basinger.
She, too, has her sights set on a school record before the season ends.
“The school record in the 400 is 59 seconds. It’s a lot for me to drop,” added Basinger.
Brownsville’s Malaree Duggan-Hudock won the triple jump and finished second in the pole vault.
“I jumped 31-6 in the triple jump. I was hoping for 32 feet (for the WPIAL standard),” said Duggan-Hudock, adding, “But, I’ll take what I can get.”
Duggan-Hudock is making her mark on the long history of Brownsville track as the girls’ first pole vaulter.
“The school wanted a pole vaulter in my freshman year. They asked me if I wanted to do it,” said Duggan-Hudock. “I would love to win the pole vault (Saturday in the county meet). I want to get the highest I can.”
The sophomore is in her first high school track season after her freshman season was cancelled because of the pandemic.
“I almost feel like a freshman. I haven’t gotten used to big events like these. Middle school has fewer events,” said Duggan-Hudock.
Teammate Jolena Quarzo cruised to first-place finishes in the 1,600 (5:29.09) and 3,200 (11:28.56). She also ran the anchor leg of the Lady Falcons’ victorious 3,200 relay.
Waynesburg Central’s Lake Litwinovich (800, 2:45.09), 1,600 relay (4:37.11), Taylor Shriver (pole vault, 10-0), and Claire Paige Miller (shot put, 29-0) all had first-place finishes.
The Lady Trojans’ Jordyn Cruse won the javelin with a throw of 93-3. Charleroi’s Isabella Panasko won two events, finishing first in the high jump (4-6) and long jump (15-4).
Washington’s Eden Day won the discus with a throw of 83 feet.