Deer Lakes’ Yourish sets gold standard at WPIAL track meet

Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 8:14 PM

Deer Lakes senior Josh Yourish already had won a trio of silver medals at WPIAL meets.

One of those silvers came in the 1,600-meter run during Thursday’s WPIAL Class AA championships at Slippery Rock.

But gold was what Yourish craved, and gold is what he got in the 800.

Seeded first, Yourish opened a lead and expanded it at the end to win by more than two seconds with a time of 1 minute, 58.28 seconds.

“It would’ve been a little bit of a disappointment to not close it out (with a win) this year,” said Yourish, who lowered his own school record in the event.

“Having all of those second places and capping it off with a championship, I’m thrilled with how my season went and how my WPIAL experience is ending.”

Yourish, a George Mason commit, hopes to improve on his eighth in the 800 from last year’s PIAA meet.

“I have to drop my (800) school record a little bit because we have a freshman, Carson McCoy (fifth at WPIALs), coming after it,” Yourish said.

Plum senior Hunter Linhart just missed his personal best in the boys Class AAA discus, but he’s OK with that. He has a gold medal in his possession.

Linhart unleashed a top throw of 147 feet, 6 inches, one inch from his career best set at states last year, and claimed his first WPIAL title.

“I felt really great today,” said Linhart, who added a ninth in the javelin. “I was telling people all week that it was going to come down to one throw between the top five or six throwers, and if one of us caught (a good throw), we were going to win. I happened to catch it today, and it worked out great.”

Linhart captured first by more than a foot over the runner-up, McKeesport sophomore Colin Lyons (146-5).

“Last year, I did really well at states, and I’m excited to go again this year because I feel I can throw further,” Linhart said.

While Linhart and Yourish brought home their first WPIAL crowns, the Burrell girls 400 relay keeps adding to its championship tradition.

Sophomores Jocelyn Vickers and Madi Walsh, senior Alle Kuhns and junior Olivia Kelly won the relay’s fifth straight WPIAL Class AA title, its sixth in seven years and 12th overall.

Kelly anchored the final stretch for the second year in a row. The relay, which came in seeded second to Mohawk, bested Mohawk and Shenango for the title, and it was the only AA girls team to go faster than 50 seconds (49.86).

“Besides winning WPIALs, (going under 50 seconds) was our other goal,” Kuhns said. “Our next one is breaking the school record. So, we’ll see if we can do that. It’s such a good feeling. This is my last year, and having a gold medal just makes it so much better.”

Deer Lakes senior Kiera Cutright is golden again in the 300 hurdles. She came in seeded second to Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow, but she was the first to the finish line with a winning time of 45.29.

Sharrow ended with a time of 45.69. The local rivals were the only two in the event to finish under 46 seconds.

“I was really hoping to get first again,” Cutright said. “I worked really, really hard for this. I’m so happy. Kaylen and I are friends, and we talk before every meet. It’s nice to know I am competing against someone who has the same amount of passion as me and who wants to win but who also is a good sport at the end of the race.”

Sharrow kicked off her day in the 100 hurdles, and she came from the No. 3 seed (15.93) to win WPIAL gold in a time of 15.45.

“I knew it was going to be close because we were all seeded right around each other,” said Sharrow, who outlasted runner-up DeAnna Sposato, a senior from South Allegheny, at the tape.

“So, I just put it in my head that I gotta pump, I gotta run as hard as I can. No mistakes, and it worked out.”

Sharrow will run the 100 hurdles at states for the first time. Last year, she finished fourth at WPIALs and earned an automatic nod to states, but she opted out to concentrate on the 300.

“I know there’s going to be thousands of people there watching,” Sharrow said. “I feel pressure, but not by people in the stands, so I’m OK with it. I’ve just got to prepare just like I did last time.”

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

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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