Wheaties may be the breakfast of champions. But what do winners eat for lunch?
For South Fayette’s Amy Allen, an Asian sesame salad with chicken from Panera Bread fueled a four-gold medal performance during the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships held May 19 at Slippery Rock University.
“They gave us a baguette, too,” Allen said. “And, I got a cookie. I said, ‘well I can’t really eat the cookie before I race.”
So Allen consumed the cookie after devouring the competition. It was just dessert for her individual triumphs in the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Allen also anchored the 4x100 and 4x400 relays to victories.
“I’m so happy about the relays. So exciting,” Allen added. “To win them with these girls who are some of my best friends is awesome.”
The 4x100 win was sweet revenge for the Lions because the unit that featured Dea Monz, Melana Schumaker, Olivia Renk and Allen had lost to Central Valley in its own invitational earlier this track season. During the district finals, however, South Fayette clocked a state-qualifying time of 47.85 to win the race by nearly a second over the Warriors, who finished in 48.11. The mark also was a full second faster than the group’s best time this season.
“Insane,” said Allen. “We really came together as a team and executed perfectly.”
Emma Fleck, Baylee Carpenter and Amanda Marquis joined with Allen for the gold in the 4x400. The group posted a 3:57.80 time, three full seconds ahead of second-place West Allegheny.
A heavy favorite to win her marque event, Allen captured the 400-meter dash with a personal-record time of 56.01.
“I ran the race I expected,” Allen said. “Usually, I push out hard and try to get in front of everybody by the 200 mark. I heard someone yell out splits and it was a 23 and I thought oh my gosh I don’t even do a 23 in the two. How did I do that? That was awesome. At the end I kind of died. But I was still happy with getting a PR.”
Though she had limited experience in running the 200, Allen won that talent-laden race with a 25.31 time.
“I was iffy about the 200 because I didn’t have as much experience. It wasn’t one of my main events this year,” said Allen, who had excelled instead in the 300-meter hurdles during the regular season. “So I was surprised and pleased with the win. It was something different.”
Allen said her experience paid off against a younger field that included Upper St. Clair sophomore Dani Prunzik, the 100-meter champion.
“She is awesome. Incredible,” said Allen of Prunzik. “Obviously coming into (the 200) I was kind of worried because of her and the Trinity girl (Allyssa Clutter) too, especially coming out of lane five to win. I was hoping to be in four but it worked out perfect. I was very happy about that.”
Allen advances to the PIAA championships to be held May 28-29 at Shippensburg University. As a sophomore, she qualified in the hurdles after a bronze-medal finish in the WPIAL and placed ninth at states.
“It’s awesome, particularly since I will be going with all my friends,” Allen said.
Perhaps a pit stop at a Panera Bread in Shippensburg is on the horizon.