Trib HSSN May Madness: Ayden Owens, North Allegheny vs. Brendan McKay, Blackhawk

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Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 9:00 AM


Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday and running through 9 a.m. Wednesday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this first-round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Wednesday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the boys. Round 1, Day 13:

Ayden Owens vs. Brendan McKay is a battle between two of the best athletes from the WPIAL in their sports, one shining bright in track while the other was dominating the diamond.

Ayden Owens — North Allegheny Class of 2018

(Track and field)

• 2018 Gatorade Pennsylvania men’s track and field athlete of the year.

• As a senior in 2018, Owens was ranked in the top 10 nationally in seven track events.

• Captured six PIAA championships, including three straight 300-meter hurdles state titles.

• Won back-to-back PIAA 110-meter hurdles championships in 2017-18, won the PIAA 200-meter dash his senior year and also finished second in the long jump that year.

• Four-time New Balance national all-American.

• As a senior, Owens won a national title and set a New York state record by winning the 60-meter hurdles in 7.59 seconds at the New Balance indoor nationals.

• Won back-to-back WPIAL championships in the 110-meter hurdles and won the 300-meter hurdles and the long jump at the 2017 district championships.

• Began his college track career at USC before transferring to Michigan.

Brendan McKay — Blackhawk Class of 2014

(Baseball, basketball)

• 2013 and 2014 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review baseball all-star team and 2014 player of the year.

• 2013 and 2014 Gatorade Pennsylvania player of the year.

• Four-year member of the Blackhawk baseball team that won a WPIAL championship in 2012 and lost in district title game in 2014.

• Blackhawk was a combined 61-17 in McKay’s four years with two trips to the PIAA playoffs.

• Finished his senior year with a record of 8-1 with a 0.56 ERA and 130 strikeouts.

• In that senior season, McKay broke the WPIAL and PIAA consecutive scoreless innings record and fell 11 innings shy of the national high school record with a total of 72⅓ scoreless innings, third longest in U.S. high school baseball history.

• Lost only two games in his career, going 29-2. One loss came his sophomore season and one came against West Allegheny in the 2014 title game his senior year.

• McKay played his college baseball as a pitcher and first baseman at Louisville and plays Major League Baseball with Tampa Bay.

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