South Fayette’s Amy Allen claims 4 PIAA medals, wins gold with 400-meter relay

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Saturday, May 29, 2021 | 10:40 PM


SHIPPENSBURG — When Amy Allen qualified for states as a sophomore, she ran one event and went home.

“I didn’t even medal,” said the South Fayette senior, thinking back to 2019. “I was ninth and I was like, ‘So close.’ I just put in the work my junior year since it got canceled, and I’m just super happy to be back and it’s all paid off.”

This time, she had a busy but bountiful day at the PIAA Class AAA track and field championships.

Allen left Seth Grove Stadium with four medals, including gold from the 400-meter relay. She also placed third in the 400 meters, seventh in the 200 and fourth in the 1,600 relay.

“It’s awesome,” she said.

WPIAL Class AAA athletes claimed five gold medals Saturday led by Moon runner Mia Cochran, who won two individual events (1,600 meters, 3,200). Also winning were West Mifflin’s Dontae Lewis (300 hurdles) and Hempfield’s Dan Norris (discus).

But nobody likely had a busier afternoon that Allen. She barely had time to celebrate the 400-meter relay win before running off to another race.

“We were on the podium for the four-by-one and I said, ‘Someone needs to go check me in for the 400,’” Allen said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’”

Ultimately, all of that running was rewarded. Her 400-meter relay team entered as the WPIAL champion and No. 1 seed, and the Lions lived up to those lofty expectations.

Allen ran the anchor leg after junior Amanda Marquis, junior Melana Schumaker and freshman Olivia Renk took their turns. They finished in 48.17 seconds, or more than a half-second ahead of Central Valley.

“We haven’t made it (to states) in the four-by-one in any of my years in high school,” Allen said. “And then to come out and win it is just shocking.”

The team’s winning time was slower than the 47.85 posted last week at the WPIAL meet, but the conditions were far less favorable. The temperature was in the 40s and the track was wet.

“With the weather and everything, that’s impressive for us,” Allen said.

Amanda Marquis also was part of the 1,600-meter relay that took fourth with seniors Emma Fleck and Baylee Carpenter as the two other runners.

Twice, Allen stood on the medals podium alone. She finished the 400 meters in 57.31 seconds for third, and posted a 25.54 in the 200 for seventh.

But her highlight was the 400 relay.

“To win it with those girls,” she said, “that’s so fun.”

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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