Baldwin’s Brendan O’Malley earns bragging rights by winning 3 WPIAL gold medals

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Friday, May 17, 2019 | 1:30 AM


Brendan O’Malley’s twin brother Bailey won WPIAL gold last season and defended his shot put title again Thursday.

So now that his brother owned two gold medals, Brendan knew exactly what he had to do.

“I had to win three,” said the senior, who won the boys 200, 400 and long jump Thursday at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championship at Slippery Rock University. His team also took third in the 400-meter relay on a very busy afternoon.

The WPIAL titles were the first for O’Malley, who joined South Park thrower Maura Huwalt and Aliquippa sprinter M.J. Devonshire as winners of three events.

“Whenever you come in expecting to win one, (winning three) is awesome,” O’Malley said. “You keep piling more on top. This is the best it could have gone. I could have lost the 200. I could have lost the 400. But I didn’t. This was exactly how I wanted to leave the WPIAL.”

O’Malley’s third victory — a 200-meter drag race with North Allegheny’s Joey Porter Jr. – saw him pull ahead in the closing stretch at SRU’s Mihalik-Thompson Stadium and win by less than two tenths of a second. O’Malley finished in 22.09 seconds and Porter crossed in 22.24. Gateway’s Nana Adusepoku was third at 22.27.

“I felt like I could win it but I didn’t know how tired I would be,” said O’Malley, who entered as the second seed behind Porter. “I wanted to get out fast and stay in there. But once we started coming down this front stretch and I was neck-and-neck with all of them, I got a little surge of energy. I said I’ve got this.”

O’Malley started his day by winning the long jump at 23-2¼ — an event interrupted by the 200-meter preliminaries. He then ran the 400-meter relay and the 400-meter prelims and final before returning to the track for the 200 final.

“I think I sat down for two or three minutes before the 200,” O’Malley said with a laugh.

If he was tired, it didn’t show.

O’Malley won the 400 meters in a personal-best 48.74 seconds, battling Latrobe’s Zakh Williams to the finish line. Williams’ recorded time was also 48.74. But the 200-meter win in the early evening showed O’Malley’s quickness.

“My top speed is the thing that kills people,” O’Malley said. “Sometimes during a race I don’t even get there. But once I get up to that top speed, there’s not a lot of people that can catch me.”

Check out highlights from the WPIAL track and field championships on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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