Fox Chapel’s Rowan Gwin part of WPIAL distance running dominance at state meet

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Saturday, June 1, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Rowan Gwin learned from experience when planning his race strategy in the 1,600-meter run during the PIAA Class 3A Track and Field Championships at Shippensburg University.

Butler senior Drew Griffith is one of the greatest distance runners to ever come out of Western Pennsylvania. Gwin didn’t want to burn himself out by trying to pace himself with Griffith’s start.

“I learned from past meets that going out with Drew is not a good idea,” Gwin said. “This track season, I have just stayed back and raced my own race. It paid off because going into that last lap, I felt great and was able to throw down a 60 (seconds) my last lap.”

No one could catch Griffith, who set a national record by crossing the line in 3 minutes, 57.08 seconds.

No one ended up catching any of the top WPIAL runners, either. Gwin placed fourth with a time of 4:07.06. Ringgold’s Ryan Pajaka finished second, Hampton’s Dale Hall placed third, and North Allegheny’s Jack Bertram finished in fifth.

Foxes coach Tom Moul wanted to make sure to get a picture of all five runners together.

“That was funny,” Moul said. “I went down there to where all the kids were and said, ‘We have to get a picture with this five.’ It was inspiring to see that.”

Gwin, an Appalachian State recruit, believed this group of distance runners had an opportunity to showcase the district’s strong brand of distance running.

“The WPIAL being top five was one for the history books, but it was bound to happen,” Gwin said. “The WPIAL has been so strong the last couple of years, and the times we set at the WPIAL show that. I think four of the top five seeds were from the WPIAL.”

Mason Miles was Fox Chapel’s top individual placer at the state meet. Miles finished in third place in the shot put with a throw of 58-4½ feet.

“He made us a little nervous,” Moul said. “His first two throws weren’t great. Once he got to the finals, he launched one at 58. He doesn’t seem to get too rattled.”

Anna Troutman also joined Miles and Gwin on the medal stand. She finished with a leap of 5-4 in the high jump to place sixth overall.

Moul was happy to see Troutman medal during her senior season.

“State medals had been elusive for her before this year,” Moul said. “She won state medals at both indoor and outdoor. It meant a lot to her.”

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