Alle-Kiski spotlight athletes: Kendall Allen and Sam Griffiths
School: Shady Side Academy
Claim to fame: Fox Chapel resident was the highest WPIAL girls golfer to place in the PIAA tournament, finishing a career-best fourth with a 154 on Oct. 27 at the Heritage Hills Golf Resort. To qualify for the PIAA event, Allen shot a 1-under-par 71 to take medalist honors Oct. 18 at the PIAA girls West Regional Qualifier.
What are your plans during the offseason?
I usually go to the Neville Island Golf Dome. It’s an indoor driving range. I work on my swing and try to fix things. Winter is usually a time I step back and look at everything with my swing.
What’s your favorite course you’ve had a chance to play?
I’d have to say the nicest and my favorite is Trump National in New Jersey. It was so pretty and nice there.
What’s the best round you’ve played?
My freshman year, I shot a 70 at Tom’s Run for regionals. I think that has to be up there.
Who’s the person you’d most like to play 18 with?
I’d like to play with Annika Sorenstam. I think she’d have a lot to teach me.
Sport: Cross country
Claim to fame: Griffiths was the lone Mustangs runner to qualify for the PIAA Class AAA championships, with a time of 16 minutes, 51 seconds at Thursday’s WPIAL meet in Slippery Rock.
Plum placed 15th overall, while Griffiths finished 29th out of 353 runners.
Is it bittersweet knowing you’re the only Plum runner headed to Hershey?
Yeah, it kind of is, but I can bring two people with me to states. I’m bringing (teammates) Eddie Amori and Drew Sheldon. They can’t run, but they can experience the whole thing. Eddie’s a freshman, and he could be there next year, and Drew is one of my best friends, so he can cheer me on.
What were the biggest factors in allowing you to conquer the 17-minute mark?
I feel like it was just drive, a will to get past that mark. Plus, I really kept to what coach (Joe Ionta) told me to do as far as mileage and not drinking pop. I guess it’s really bad for runners. It’s something he always told us, and I guess it’s true.