Simple strategies make Emily Carter a success on the track: “I jog around and rest. Make sure I hydrate and then I do the best I can,” she said.
It certainly worked for the Bethel Park sophomore during the WPIAL track and field championships held May 16 at Slippery Rock University. She captured gold in the 1,600 and 3,200 races and qualified in both events for the PIAA championships set for May 24-25 at Shippensburg University.
In winning the metric mile, Carter clocked a 4:59.42. Though quick, the time is not her fastest. Her personal record is 4:57.
“I hope to do that at states,” she said.
In the district meet, Carter planned a sub-five minute mile, but was taken aback by the pace she set for herself. Through the first half of the race, she was five seconds faster than usual.
“I was looking to go under five. That was the main goal, but the race did not go as planned,” she said. “I went out really fast.”
That altered her strategy.
“So then the last two laps was just win,” she said. “Yes, going out too fast really messed up my last lap, because I didn’t have anything left.”
Carter did, however, have enough left to win the two-mile race. She covered the eight laps in 10:37.89.
Carter said her experience in cross country enables her to go the distance in track. During the fall, she took third in the WPIAL and 11th in the PIAA. During the winter indoor season, she won both the mile and 3,000-meter events in the tri-state then went on to place fourth and second in those respective races at states. She has also competed nationally in cross country competitions.
“Yes,” she said, “I think cross country helps my running in track.”
While Carter was the area’s only individual double champion, she was not the only distance winner.
Anderson claims gold
Patrick Anderson added a precious medal to his collection as the Mt. Lebanon junior captured the gold in the 1,600-meter race.
“This feels pretty good,” he said. “It’s the only thing that I didn’t have (WPIAL) yet.”
Anderson has quite the running resume. During the fall, he claimed the PIAA Class AAA boys’ cross country title after finishing runner-up in the WPIAL. He competed in the regional and national cross country championships. He garnered Pennsylvania Gatorade Runner of the Year acclaim. Plus, he competed in the prestigious Penn Relays this spring, finishing in the Top 10 among high school runners in the mile.
In winning the mile, Anderson played a game of cat-and-mouse with Zachary Kinney. The North Allegheny senior, who finished runner-up to Anderson in the PIAA cross country finals, took turns leading the pack. Anderson, however, out-legged his rival, winning the 1,600 in 4:15.09. Kinne clocked a 4:16.77.
“The race went pretty well. According to plans,” Anderson said. “It was either me taking it out or Zach. We traded it off, but I feel the end of the race is where I excel. I was definitely holding out for a kick at the end there.”
Anderson, nor the rest of the field, had much of a kick left in the 3,200 as Kinney won in 9:13.47, nearly five full seconds ahead of his teammate, Daniel McGoey (9:18.11). Anderson finished sixth in 9:29.53.
Other top male performers in the WPIAL championships included:
• Elias Zajicek of Chartiers Valley; fourth in the 800 with a state-qualifying time of 1:55.81.
• Isaac Kane of Upper St. Clair, fifth in the 200 dash in 22.49.
• Mason Ventrone of Mt. Lebanon, second in the high jump (6-03). He added sixth in the long jump.
• Caleb Nelson of CV, fourth in the triple jump (44-0.75).
• Scott Orzechowski from Bethel Park, fourth in the javelin (153-06).
• Mike Conaboy from BP, sixth, shot put (48-02).
Visit pamilesplit.com for a complete list of results from the WPIAL championships.