Shady Side Academy’s Dino Tomlin wins PIAA hurdles title

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Sunday, May 27, 2018 | 2:09 AM


SHIPPENSBURG — Winning a state track title isn’t as simple as one, two, three, but counting to 22 helped Shady Side Academy’s Michael “Dino” Tomlin win a state title.

That’s how many steps he needs to reach the first jump in the 300-meter hurdles. It was only about a month ago, Tomlin said, that he first started counting them at the beginning of every race.

“I had to know my steps,” he said. “Before I was just running at it and (taking) however many to get up to it. Now that I’ve got a number to count to it, I’m more comfortable approaching it. I know when I’ve got to bring my lead leg up.”

Tomlin looked comfortable Saturday.

The junior won a state title in the 300 hurdles at the PIAA Class AA track and field championships in 37.93 seconds. His time was almost five-tenths of a second faster than his WPIAL-winning effort.

His fastest regular-season time was 40.45, so he’s peaked in the past few weeks, an improvement Tomlin credited to his smoother starts.

“It’s just made it easier for me to time it up,” Tomlin said. “If you take yourself out of the race at the first hurdle, it’s way harder. If I can stay in it, toward the end and at the end, I’ve got to will everybody.”

Tomlin, whose father coaches the Steelers, runs in the small-school classification, but his state finals time was comparable with any Class AAA finalist not named Ayden Owens.

The eight-person Class AA final included three other hurdlers from the WPIAL. Derry’s Shawn Broadway took second (38.33), Riverside’s Calvin Wetzel placed fourth (38.86) and South Park’s Sam Hartman (39.32) was seventh.

Tomlin lists more than a dozen college offers for football, many from the Ivy League.

“It feels funny,” he said of being a state track champion. “I don’t know how to describe it. I’m ready for football, though. I can tell you that.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter @CHarlan_Trib.

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