Sharrow, Burrell girls again have high expectations for track season

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 | 9:48 PM

Kaylen Sharrow has her sights set on a return to the PIAA championships in the Class AA 300-meter hurdles.

The Burrell senior placed third in the 300 at WPIALs last year and challenged for a medal at states.

“I trained throughout the offseason, and I think I am ready for a good season,” Sharrow said. “I was close (to a state medal) last year, and I hit a hurdle and didn’t make it. My goal this time is to get that medal (at states).”

Sharrow also is looking ahead to life after her senior season and a track career at Clarion.

“It is a great opportunity for me, and it also was a tough decision between track and basketball,” Sharrow said. “It just really feels like home. I want to carry over a good senior season to college.”

Sharrow is one of several Alle-Kiski Valley athletes who made their mark last season, including representing the area at the PIAA championships at Shippensburg.

The Burrell girls have plans to return to the WPIAL Class AA team finals, and Sharrow, along with state qualifiers Alle Kuhns, Mckenzie White and Olivia Kelly from the 400 relay (10th at states) and Ashley and Lauren Brown and Megan Malits from the 3,200 relay (18th at states) hope to help lead the way.

The Bucs sprint relay will attempt to win its fifth straight WPIAL title this spring.

“The torch has been passed to another group of girls,” said Burrell coach Steve White, who saw the team finish second to Shenango in 2018. “It’s tough to maintain that high level year in and year out, but we’ll see.”

Deer Lakes senior Kiera Cutright, a Point Park recruit, is out to defend her WPIAL Class AA title in the 300 hurdles, and she knows the event will be loaded again.

“I am super excited and hoping for the same result, but it’s also nerve wracking knowing who will be after my title,” said Cutright, who took sixth in the 300 hurdles at states. “I am happy to be in a position to win another title, but it won’t be easy.”

Freeport junior Sidney Shemanski battled Shady Side Academy’s Melissa Riggins for the Class AA girls 800 title at both the WPIAL and PIAA meets. Riggins prevailed both times with Shemanski second, and they were separated by only 17 one-hundredths of a second at states.

Shemanski said she’s ready for more close races with her rival and friend.

“We really bring out the best in each other,” said Shemanski, the WPIAL 800 champion as a freshman. “We helped each other bring our times down because we were pushing so hard. It’s just awesome going against her.”

Times, heights and distances recorded through the regular season again will be used to determine the qualifiers for the WPIAL championships, set for May 16 at Slippery Rock University.

The top 24 in each Class AAA event and top 16 for Class AA will compete, and all ties will be eliminated.

Highlands junior CJ Thimons ran at states last year in the boys Class AAA 800 after taking fourth at WPIALs.

“Just getting (to states) was a surprise to me, and for the first (trip), it was awesome being there,” Thimons said. “I learned a lot from it, and I know what I need to do to get back there.”

Fox Chapel senior Sarena Seeger and juniors Grace Sisson and Christian Fitch earned distance qualifying marks to states last season, and they added state cross country appearances in the fall.

“A number of kids had good indoor seasons, and we had more kids go to states than we ever had before,” Fox Chapel coach Tom Moul said. “We had a bunch of medalists at the Tri-State championships. We hope that success carries over to the outdoor season.”

Deer Lakes senior Josh Yourish pulled double duty at states last year. He medaled (eighth) in the boys Class AA 800 and also was a part of the Lancers 3,200 relay.

Plum senior Hunter Linhart made a toss of 147 feet, 7 inches in the boys Class AAA discus at states and finished 10th overall.

Also back after competing at states last year are Deer Lakes senior Mackenzie Spence (girls AA discus), Lancers junior AJ Dorman (boys AA 100 and 200 dash) and Lurena Stewart and Maggie Hollobaugh from the Yellowjackets girls 3,200 relay.

Freeport senior Austin Romanchak ran with the boys 1,600 relay at states last year, but coach John Gaillot said he will concentrate his track efforts more toward the individual sprints and the sprint relay.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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