Penn Hills freshman Pinnix shines on track

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019 | 1:30 AM


Penn Hills freshman Miniya Pinnix has set lofty expectations on the track with a strong indoor season.

Pinnix took 10th in the 800-meter run after finishing with a time of 2 minutes, 17.64 seconds at the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association state indoor track and field championship Feb. 24 at State College. The time was a personal best.

Her prior personal best occurred during the fourth TSTCA meet of the season, when she finished second behind Greensburg Salem’s Malia Anderson with a time of 2:20.01 on Jan. 25.

“I feel like I did good, but I can always do better. It was a good experience because I never did indoor before. It was fun to see how the track was banked,” Pinnix said.

Pinnix missed the podium after finishing outside of the top eight. However, she was the third freshman to finish in the top 10 in the event.

Greencastle-Antrim junior Taryn Parks won with a time of 2:09.87.

Pinnix took second in the 800 after finishing with a 2:21.48 at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association indoor championship Feb. 16 at Edinboro.

Earlier in the indoor season, Pinnix won the 800 at TSTCA meets on Jan. 5 and Feb. 9.

Going into the season, Pinnix was confident in her ability on the track, however she was curious how she would stack up against runners older than her.

“In the first meet, I was scared because I wasn’t going to run two laps and all I ever ran was outdoor,” Pinnix said. “Also, I only (had run) against people who were my own age, but I was running against people who were seniors and juniors. It was intimidating, but once I got on the track it was fine.”

Pinnix, who has run track since 2012, wanted to compete year-round in pursuit of her goal: an outdoors WPIAL championship as a freshman.

Running track always has been part of her life because her aunt and uncle, Angela and Robert Dorrset, ran.

Even though Pinnix managed to drop more than four seconds in the 800, she understands she needs to continue to drop time if she wants to realize her collegiate aspirations to run at Oregon or UCLA.

“I was very confident going into the outdoor season, but I didn’t think I would be as high as I am. I’ve been surprised with how my times have dropped,” Pinnix said.

“There is always someone else that wants the same thing I want, so I have to keep working to make me be out on the podium.”

Pinnix, who loves the 400 and 800, wants to drop her time to 56 seconds in the 400 and 2:15 in the 800.

The Indians 1,600 relay team of junior Eliza Brennan, freshman Drew Hines, junior Kiera Ward and Pinnix finished in ninth place with a time of 4:03.74, an improvement from its 4:11.70 time at the TSTCA indoor championship.

The 800 relay team of the same runners finished 18th with a time 1:48.66 at states (1:48.71 at the TSTCA event).

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