Quaker Valley runner Annie Wicker among WPIAL favorites in distance events

Friday, May 10, 2019 | 8:10 PM

Quaker Valley junior Annie Wicker is among favorites in the girls 3,200-meter run at the WPIAL Class AA track and field championship meet Thursday at Slippery Rock.

But wanting to save herself for the 1,600, she decided to compete in the 800 instead.

Wicker ranked second in the 3,200 (11 minutes, 00.94 seconds), third in the 1600 (4:58.26) and fourth in the 800 (2:21.84) on the WPIAL performance list as of May 5.

“I decided that the 3,200 might have been too much with the 1,600 since the time between WPIALs and states is so short,” said Wicker, the WPIAL runner-up in the 3,200 last season. “Running the mile and 3,200 at Baldwin (Invitational meet May 3) really took a lot out of my legs.

“(My coach and I) figured that the shorter race, the 800, would be a better decision as opposed to doubling with the 3,200.”

Wicker expects to be a serious contender for the PIAA title in the 1,600 May 24-25 at Shippensburg. She placed fifth the past two seasons.

“Since the WPIAL field for the 1,600 is so competitive, I definitely will aim for a good time there, then focus on recovering and tapering for states the next week,” she said.

Wicker said even if she qualifies for states in the 800, she will not compete.

“I won’t be running the 800 at states, but since it is a competitive field, hopefully, I can run a good time,” she said.

Wicker placed second in the 1,600 (5:00.13) and fifth in the 3,200 (11:00.94) at the Baldwin Invitational.

Among other ranked Quakers are freshman Anna Cohen, fourth, 3,200 (11:43.30); sophomore Francesca Courtney, sixth, 100 hurdles (16.44) and ninth, 300 hurdles (49.44); freshman Ainsley Commens, ninth, pole vault (9 feet 1 inch); and sophomore Claire Kuzma, third, discus (122-4).

On the boys side, senior Dom Lagnese ranked first in the discus (160-3).

Other high-ranked Quakers are junior Daniel Ford, second, 1600 (4:30.36) and fourth, 800 (2:01.78); junior Bobby Patterson, sixth, 800 (2:05.24); junior Paul Szuba, third, javelin (158); and the 1,600 relay team, fifth (3:34.32).

Sewickley Academy had only one ranked competitor overall: senior Nella Tsudis, 14th, girls 200 dash (27.50) and 12th, 400 dash (62.74).

“My goals are to finish the season out strong,” Tsudis said. “It would be amazing to qualify for states.”

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