Girls relay team headlines Penn Hills showing at WPIAL track meet

Saturday, May 27, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The girls 1,600-meter relay team saved what could have been a total loss for the Penn Hills track team at the WPIAL Class 3A championships at Slippery Rock.

The Indians’ relay team — consisting of Maliah Powell, Janaya Coleman, Mylah Faulk and Milani Oliver — finished in third place to earn a bid to the PIAA championships in Shippensburg. Penn Hills’ relay team finished in 4 minutes, 2.38 seconds.

Mackenzie McIntyre will run for Oliver at the state meet. Oliver has a commitment to play in an AAU basketball tournament and will be unavailable.

“They all worked really hard,” Zelkowitz said. “They trained through the winter and stuck with it. Mylah Faulk ran for us in cross country and has run well. She’s the team captain.”

This was the second straight year Penn Hills will send athletes to compete at states. Thrower Angelo Allen, who is now at Seton Hill, qualified for the Indians last season.

Before the 1,600 relay team ran, things were looking bleak for Penn Hills. Achen Green, who was one of the favorites to win the 110 hurdles, pulled his hamstring and was forced out of the 300 hurdles as well.

“I just had a feeling it wasn’t our day,” Zelkowitz said. “Achen got injured, and our high jumpers struggled. We had another runner who finished behind someone in a slower heat and just missed out on going to states.”

For individual performances, Paris Bey finished fifth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 40.58 seconds, Daemar Kelly finished ninth in the high jump with a leap of 6 feet, 1 inch, and Michai Oliver placed 10th with a best jump of 5-11.

On the girls side, Faulk was the top individual finisher. She finished in seventh in the 400-meter dash with a time of 59.49 seconds.

McIntyre was 10th in the 100 with a time of 12.68 seconds. Kali Booker finished in 15th in the 200 with a time of 26.26.

Zelkowitz said he was excited to see what the Penn Hills relay team could do at states. The Indians have been consistently improving all season.

“They have a good chance to get a medal,” Zelkowitz said. “I think they have a chance to do well. Even though Mackenzie is a short-distance sprinter, I keep telling her speed kills. She will fight through the pain and do a good job in the 400 for us.”


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