Mycah Clemons had high expectations for Mycaiah
Valley junior track star Mycah Clemons offered up a little scouting report on younger sister Mycaiah a year ago, when Mycaiah was in eighth grade.
“She’s going to dominate next year in the 300 hurdles,” Mycah said. “She should smash the school record in the 300 hurdles. She could be in states next year. That’s what I expect out of her.”
The one thing she did not expect was for her sister to win the 100 hurdles, where Mycah won a PIAA Class AA title as a sophomore.
“She won’t get me in that,” Mycah said before the 2001 state track finals.”
Mycaiah Clemons exceeded a lot of expectations this year, edging out Mycah for the state championship in the 100 hurdles and taking second in the 300 hurdles this past weekend at the PIAA finals in Shippensburg.
Mycaiah won the 100 hurdles in a time of 14.61, just ahead of Mycah’s 14.73. Mycah got a gold medal of her own in the long jump with a distance of 17-05.25.
It was the 100 hurdles that set off a bout of teasing between the two sisters, particularly when a reporter asked Mycaiah when she thought she could win.
“The thought came across my mind on the third-to-last hurdle,” Mycaiah said. “That’s when I felt I might win this.”
“She never beats me out of the blocks, and she never will,” Mycah said, then turned to her sister. “Don’t even think about it.”
“That’s what you said about me winning,” Mycaiah said.
Teasing aside, Mycah was quick to say that she was fine as long as she and her sister took the first two spots. In fact, she has been trying to get her sister to stay at Valley. Mycaiah is expected to transfer to Penn-Trafford for the next school year.
They were two of only three track and field athletes from the east to win PIAA championships.
The third was Peabody senior sprinter Maurice Sales, who won the 200-meter dash in a time of 21.82 seconds, a school record. He is the first City League athlete to win the 100 or 200, since Allderdice’s Brian Irvin did it in 1988.
Sales took second in the 100 meters in a time of 10.85 seconds
“We decided to put the city on the map,” Sales said, referring to himself, Yvonne Ferguson of Westinghouse and Carmen Bruce of Schenley. “We want to show we do have speed. We will work hard and we can make it at states.”
Bruce, a Georgetown basketball recruit, has been doing that since she won the shot put as a sophomore. She won her fourth and fifth state medals this year. She took second in the shot put for the second consecutive year with a throw of 43-8.25. Charity Payne of Selinsgrove won with a throw of 44-8.
Bruce took fourth in the discus with a distance of 124-2 after taking eighth in the event as a junior.
Ferguson, who won City League championships in the 100, 200 and 400, earned two medals at states. She took third in the 400, her best event, with a time of 55.78 and was seventh in the 200 with a 25.12.
West Mifflin senior Kerry Durica, a Duquesne track recruit, took fourth place in the Class AAA triple jump with a distance of 37-08.75. She was 11th in the long jump.
The other individual Class AAA girls medalist in the east was Penn Hills freshman Sha-Tira Snell, who took fifth in the 100 hurdles.
Gateway took fifth in the 400 relay and Penn Hills was sixth.
Norwin senior Adam Hadbavny took seventh in the discus. WPIAL javelin champion Tony Carr of Woodland Hills took eighth in his event at states.
Carr’s teammate, Steve Breaston, and Gateway’s David Wiley, battled for the top spot in the 400 all season, before Breaston won the WPIAL championship, but neither made the finals at states.
Kiski Area’s Joey Tutchstone, a WPIAL champion in the 110 and 300 hurdles, did not medal in either event.
The Freeport girls had a very solid showing at the state meet. Freshman Lacey Cochran took third in the 400 with a time of 58.20, an improvement on the 60.23 seconds she ran to win the WPIAL title.
Cochran also runs with the Freeport 1,600 relay that took third in the state meet with a time of 4:06.06.
Senior Joelle Ambrose also runs that event. Ambrose won two individual medals. She took fifth in the 300 hurdles, the event she won at the WPIAL finals the last two years. She was seventh in the 100 hurdles.