Pinnix leads Penn Hills indoor track into state event

Thursday, February 21, 2019 | 8:57 PM

Entering the season, Penn Hills indoor track and field coach Lee Zelkowitz didn’t know very much about freshman Miniya Pinnix. However, after a few practices and the first meet, Zelkowitz knew he had something special.

Pinnix finished second in the 800-meter run with a time of 2 minutes, 21.48 seconds at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association indoor championship Feb. 16 at Edinboro.

She finished behind Greensburg Salem senior Malia Anderson, who won in 2:18.48.

With the runner-up finish, Pinnix qualified for the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association indoor championships Feb. 24 at State College.

The meet was held past deadline for this edition.

“She ran well (at Edinboro), but it wasn’t her best. I hoping she can get a PR when she gets up to states,” Zelkowitz said.

Pinnix ran her personal best during the fourth TSTCA meet of the indoor season, when she finished second behind Anderson with a time of 2:20.01 on Jan. 25.

“She’s really fearless on the track. She takes it out and really puts it out there. The two times she took second was to the girl from Greensburg Salem. Last year, Anderson finished fourth in the outdoor and Anderson had the best time in the indoor for a while,” Zelkowitz said.

“But Miniya really goes after her like she wants to beat her, while the other girls run to be in second place. She’s going to be a good one, she really is. She’s really a tough runner.”

Earlier in the indoor season, Pinnix won two 800 events at TSTCA meets when she ran a 2:24.37 on Jan. 5 and 2:25.63 on Feb. 9.

The Indians’ girls 800 and 1,600 relay teams will compete at the state championship after finishing second and third, respectively, at the TSTCA indoor championship.

The relay team of junior Eliza Brennan, freshman Drew Hines, junior Kiera Ward and Pinnix finished with a time of 1:48.71 in the 800 relay and 4:11.70 in the 1,600 relay.

Heading into the state meet, Zelkowitz thought the relay teams had a chance to medal. However, Zelkowitz wanted to see them reach a personal record as they work to prepare themselves for the outdoor season.

“Realistically, I will be happy if they PR in both relays. I think they have a good chance to medal, but if not, we’re going to be really happy with that. It’s going to give them confidence for the outdoor season,” Zelkowitz said.

“Everything builds to the outdoor season, and I think we’re on a good footing to really take it to the next level for the outdoor season.”

The Indians had athletes compete in other events but not qualify for the state meet.

Brennan finished seventh in the 200 with a time of 26.69, and Hines finished seventh in the 400 with a time of 61.18.

Ward finished 17th in the 60 hurdles with a time of 10.32, and took 21st in the 60 dash with a time of 8.60.

On the boys team, freshman Angelo Allen finished 12th in the shot-put with a throw of 42 feet, 2.50 inches.


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