Avonworth sprinting star bags triple in high style
Some of the top sprinters at the Butler Invitational Friday were running like deer, but that didn’t scare one of the premier speedsters in the state.
Her first name is Hunter, after all.
Hunter Robinson, a junior from Avonworth, claimed the triple crown in the sprinting events for the second year in a row at the 53rd annual meet held at Art Bernardi Stadium at Butler High School. The meet, which included a record 65 teams, serves as a litmus test for competitors hoping to contend for WPIAL and PIAA titles next month.
Robinson won WPIAL and PIAA Class 2A titles in the 400 a year ago and showed Friday that she could be headed for more gold — in multiple races — this spring. Robinson blazed to first-place finishes in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. She beat out another WPIAL sprint champ, Burrell’s Nikki Scherer, in all three races. Robinson had times of 12.17 in the 100, 24.81 in the 200 and 55.43 in the 400.
“I was really happy with how things went,” Robinson said. “I wanted to do what I did last year at this meet and I knew that I could. It was just a matter of how much did I want it. And I wanted it pretty bad.”
Robinson didn’t run alongside her sister, Hayden. Hayden also is one of the WPIAL’s best sprinters, but missed the meet Friday because of an injury.
Hunter Robinson wasn’t the only triple winner. On the boys side, North Allegheny junior Ayden Owens won the 200, as well as the 110 and 300 hurdles. His time of 37.56 in the 300 was a meet record
It has become commonplace for Knoch star Jordan Geist to break records and draw large crowds to watch him throw, and that was again the case Friday. Geist broke his meet records in the shot put and discus.
He first shined in the discus, throwing 196 feet, 8 inches. Then, after the sun went down, Geist had a heave of 74-21⁄ to win the shot put. 2
“This has never been a good place to throw, so I’m completely satisfied with what I did today,” Geist said. “It seems to be that 74 is getting to be the average in shot, and I was able to hit that today. And 195 seems to be the average in discus, and I hit 196 today, so I’m completely satisfied.”
Geist will compete in the prestigious Penn Relays next week in Philadelphia.
Two other meet records fell. Quaker Valley’s Zach Skolnekovich shattered the 3,200 mark with a time of 9:18.02. Skolnekovich also won the 1,600. Butler’s Taylor Weaver won the girls pole vault with a record leap of 11-11.
Three other performers won two individual titles: Hampton’s Jason Goodman (long jump; triple jump), North Allegheny’s Clara Savchik (1,600; 3,200) and Burrell’s Lizzie Weimer (shot put; discus).
Ambridge’s Isaac Elliott won the 100 boys title with a time of 10.95. Elliott, a senior, is healthy again after seeing his sophomore and junior seasons derailed by hamstring injuries. He also suffered a hamstring injury in the indoor season this winter.
“It’s a great win because I pulled my hamstring the last couple years and it’s just good to come back and I’m healthy and ready to go,” Elliott said. “… I can move forward from this.”