Winning 300 hurdles at WCCA meet a breeze for Burrell’s Sharrow

Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 7:22 PM

As Burrell’s Kaylen Sharrow stood at the starting line, the hurdlers in the other lanes weren’t what concerned her most.

“The first thing that came to my head was, ‘Oh my god, the wind!’ ” said Sharrow, who starred down 20-mph gusts Saturday at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association championship in Latrobe. “I thought, ‘The wind is going to mess me up really bad,’ but I knew that it’s against everyone. Everyone has to fight the wind. So I just did my thing.”

Sharrow won the 300-meter hurdles in 47.10 seconds, taking first place by more than a second and a half. The winning time wasn’t her personal best but, under these conditions, the senior was thrilled nonetheless.

“It feels good to fight through all of this wind and still get on top,” Sharrow said. “It makes me really happy.”

She also placed third in the 100 hurdles in 16.42 seconds.

The weather was sunny and dry — making for good footing on the track — but the wind was unrelenting. The gusts affected some events more than others, particularly those throwing or jumping.

“It certainly doesn’t help the cause,” Burrell coach Steve White said. “Going over a hurdle — especially the three around the corner — that’s hard.”

The 300-meter hurdlers started with the wind at their backs, then faced a crosswind on the curve and powered down the home stretch into a headwind.

“When you’re going over the hurdles and the wind’s blowing, your saying, ‘Am I going to get blown the other way? Am I going to hit (the hurdle) because it’s pushing me?’ ” Sharrow said. “I just kept pumping my arms, and I knew I’d make it over. You have to have the right mindset to get through it.”

Her coach credits Sharrow’s mindset for more than Saturday’s win. Sharrow is a multisport athlete and focused more on AAU basketball in years past, White said, but shifted her attention more to track this school year.

“I think she finally realized that track and field was her thing and fully committed,” White said. “That’s when you’ve seen tremendous progress.”

Sharrow has accepted a track scholarship to Clarion. Her personal best in the 300 hurdles is 46 seconds, but both she and her coach believe she can run in the 45s — weather permitting.

“We think the 300 is really her event,” White said. “In the 100 (hurdles), she’s surpassed my expectations. In the 300, I still don’t think she’s run her best yet. There’s a lot things we still need to clean up — technical things. She can get in the 45s, I’m sure of that.”

Kiski Area had more than dozen athletes earn top-five medals, including a pair of runner-up finishes by thrower Jean Starr and distance runner Kierra Shreffler. Starr placed second in the girls shot put (38-9½) and third in the discus (116-4). Shreffler took second in the girls 3,200 meters (11:55.78) and fourth in the 1,600 meters (5:32.15).

Jake Folaron was third in the boys 3,200 (10:12.26), and Kiski teammate Angelo Pisani was third in the 800 meters (2:03.59).

Valley’s DeAisha James claimed third in the girls long jump (16-3½).

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

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