Burrell girls relay golden again at WPIAL championships
The Burrell girls 400-meter relay team pulled off a four-peat Thursday at the WPIAL track and field championships at Baldwin High School.
The Bucs team of Taylor Johnson, Allee Kuhns, Mckenzie White and Olivia Kelly captured the Class AA title in a time of 50.56 seconds, edging runner-up Shenango by four one-hundredths of a second.
“It feels really good. We’ve been working for this moment all year long, and we finally got it,” senior Taylor Johnson said.
Johnson led off the race and handed off to Kuhns who then passed the baton to White. Kelly ran the anchor and crossed the finish line just ahead of Shenango’s Angelica Klein.
“I don’t get off the track until I know Olivia is winning,” White said. “I stayed on the track until the very last possible second because I couldn’t tell. It was so close, but she pulled ahead, and it was the best feeling I’ve ever had.”
Burrell came in as the top seed with the only time under 50 seconds (49.97).
“I just kept my speed up, and (the Shenango girls) started dying down,” Kelly said. “I knew I had to push and lean. I knew it right away, and I screamed.”
The Burrell sprint relay was one of several Alle-Kiski Valley girls finishers to produce performances that earned trips to the PIAA championships, set for May 25 and 26 at Shippensburg.
The top five finishers in each Class AA event and top four in Class AAA automatically qualified for states. Also, individuals or relays placing eighth or better punched tickets to states if their mark met the PIAA standard.
Deer Lakes junior Kiera Cutright captured the Class AA 300 hurdles title in 45.94. She shaved nearly two seconds off her seed time, and her finals performance was a school record.
“It felt really good,” Cutright said. “I am happy with my time and the school record.”
Cutright outdueled Shenango’s Logan Ferrucci (46.42) and Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow (46.76) for the title.
“I’ve never been to states before, but I am excited,” Cutright said.
The Burrell girls 3,200 relay of Faith Remich, Lauren Brown, Ashley Brown and Megan Malits knocked four seconds off its seed time and finished as runner-up (10:05.26).
“We’ve been working for this for two years. We all were able to run great,” Remich said.
Freeport also will be going to states in the girls 3,200 relay, as Lurena Stewart, Sarah Lipniskis, Lexi Dell and Maggie Hollobaugh ran 10:23.86 and placed fifth.
Freeport sophomore Sidney Shemanski, the defending champion in the Class AA 800, placed second in 2:15.07. She led for most of the race, but Shady Side Academy freshman Melissa Riggins caught her at the end (2:16.07).
Fox Chapel posted three qualifying performances, all in the Class AAA distance events.
Senior Caelen Miller placed third in the 1,600 (5:08.92) and hopes to improve on her PIAA 13th-place finish from a year ago.
Foxes sophomore Grace Sisson finished third in the 3,200 (11:08.96). Junior teammate Sarena Seeger was fourth (11:11.72).
Burrell’s Naomi Hanna tossed the shot put 34 feet, 7 inches and placed fourth overall.
Deer Lakes junior Mackenzie Spence will make her PIAA debut after taking third in the Class AA discus (110-1).
Sharrow will compete at states in the 300 hurdles after placing fourth (16.40).