Aliquippa’s M.J. Devonshire wins 3 golds, replaces Quips great in record book
Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 7:26 PM
Breaking a WPIAL record made M.J. Devonshire smile, but what he liked most was that he’d supplanted a fellow Quips great.
“Another Aliquippa guy does it again,” said Devonshire, who won the 100 meters in 10.67 seconds at the WPIAL Class AA track and field championship Thursday at Slippery Rock University. It was the first of three gold medals that the Kentucky football recruit won on the day.
Devonshire also claimed the 200 meters and ran a leg on Aliquippa’s 400-meter relay team that won the WPIAL title for the sixth consecutive year. His winning 100-meter time was two-hundredths of a second faster than Tommie Campbell’s meet record from 2005.
“When I’d seen 10.67, I knew I was close (to the record),” said Devonshire, who bettered his 10.73 personal-best. “I didn’t know what his was exactly. I just knew it was a 10.6.”
Devonshire challenged another meet record later when he ran away with the 200 meters in 21.73 seconds. His time was only four-hundredths off the Class AA meet record set by Clairton’s Trenton Coles (21.69) in 2011.
With a comfortable lead, Devonshire cruised to the finish line.
“If I’d know that, I would have given a little more effort at the end of that race,” he said. “But it’s OK. We’ve got next week.”
This was the second year in a row that Devonshire wore three gold medals around his neck, earning himself a spot in both Aliquippa and WPIAL history. To him, the one that mattered most was the relay.
The Quips have won the 400-meter relay 13 times in the past 16 years including six in a row since 2014 — which is chronicled on the team’s T-shirts. Devonshire combined with Avante McKenzie, Daevon Harris and Chinua Solomon to win this year’s race in 42.82 seconds.
“You can’t be the one to slip up and not be on the shirt,” Devonshire said. “We get a shirt every year, and it’s year after year after year. So this is a big thing in Aliquippa.”
Now, as Devonshire turns his attention to states next weekend, he’ll head to Shippensburg anticipating more gold. A year ago, he placed fifth in the 100 meters and didn’t reach the finals in the 200. But this year he has the state’s fastest Class AA time in the 100 meters and the fourth-fastest in the 200, according to milesplit.com statistics.
“Knowing that,” he said, “coming in I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .