Perseverant Penn Hills sends contingent of runners to state meet

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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | 11:01 AM


Paris Bey, Tymere Alston, Tindah Mofor and Achan Green came together as a strong 1,600-meter relay team during the South Fayette Invitational in late April.

When they put up a time of 4 minutes, 28 seconds during their first race together, Indians coach Lee Zelkowitz was excited to see what they could do on the bigger stage.

During the WPIAL Class 3A championship meet at Slippery Rock University, they delivered. Penn Hills’ relay team finished with a time of 3:23.93 to set a personal best and punch a ticket to the PIAA championships at Shippensburg. Penn Hills only sent one relay team to states last season. This year, the Indians will need more seats on the transportation east.

Zelkowitz was happy for Bey, who missed out on qualifying in the 300 hurdles when he slipped on the track due to the wet conditions.

“He has a lot of stamina,” Zelkowitz said. “The 300 hurdles is his event. When they came back from the rain delay, the track was slick and he slipped on the track. We knew he was capable of doing a great job leading off the relay.”

Bey’s perseverance was part of a theme throughout the event for Penn Hills. Green, a senior hurdler, was in a similar spot to Bey last year. Green injured his hamstring before the finals and missed out on qualifying.

Green was among the favorites to win the 110 hurdles this season. He delivered by finishing the race in 14.61 to win his first WPIAL championship.

“I was really proud of Achan,” Zelkowitz said. “When he got through the prelims, he was nervous about last year and not pulling his hamstring. When Achan got through the prelims, I told him last year never happened.”

Penn Hills’ 400-meter relay team, consisting of Kali Booker, Maliah Powell, Jadyn Golden and Mackenzie McIntyre, qualified by placing fourth with a time of 48.91 seconds.

McIntyre also qualified for states in the 200 dash with a time of 25.56 seconds. Booker also qualified in an individual event by finishing fourth in the 100 dash.

“She’s really understanding what kind of runner she’s becoming,” Zelkowitz said of McIntyre. “She had an iffy hamstring but was able to run through it.”

Powell also finished in seventh place in the 400 dash with a time of 58.85 seconds. Ronald Porter finished in fifth place in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 7 inches.

“He didn’t make it to states, but he had a good first season running and jumping,” Zelkowitz said. “He was able to hit a few PRs, and I’m looking for big things from him next year.”

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