Young athletes succeed for Highland Athletics
Monday, April 25, 2022 | 12:25 p.m.
Brooke Signorella was coming off a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles at the annual Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational, but her sprint wasn’t quite over.
The sophomore from the Highlands quickly returned to the starting line as as soon as the hurdles were cleared of the track it was time for her next race, the 100 metres.
Signorella’s quick recovery is one of her many special talents on the track and one she shares with several other Highland underclassmen who have made impressive contributions this season.
“Things are moving forward,” coach Chad Walsh said. “We have a lot of young kids contributing. Every week they seem to get a little better. This is a positive point for us. Our numbers are up this year. We have a lot more participation. Some of these young children have been surprising.
After placing fourth in the 100 hurdles in 17.91 seconds, Signorella placed eighth in 13.60 in the 100 meters at the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational on April 8 at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium.
“I expect great things from her,” Walsh said of Signorella, who also competes in the long jump and high jump. “It seems like every day, every week, she picks it up a little more. Technique is improving. Over the next few weeks leading up to the WPIALs, she will have the opportunity to see where we stand with her. »
Junior Cassidy Davis also put in an impressive performance in Latrobe, finishing third in the long jump with a mark of 16 feet, 51⁄4 inches. Norwin’s Nataiah Robertson-Dutrieuille took first place (17-23⁄4).
“She’s just powerful,” Walsh said of Davis. “She is either first or second in the double competitions. She just seems to get stronger every week.
“She will get more technique every week. She starts to catch it, hits the board really hard and rappels down into the pit and refines the technique.
Davis also tied for ninth in the high jump after clearing 4-6 and clearing 5 feet in practices. Sophomore Cadence Chambers also made an impact in the high jump.
Rookie Tyarah Woody is another promising sprinter for Highlands. She placed 11th in the 100m (13.73) and competed in the 200m and long jump. Sophomore Elizabeth Ransom competed in the 200m and long jump. Junior Eve Johnson and senior Rebekah Young are the top middle and long distance runners.
Senior Ahmonti Ondo is back in the hurdles after finishing 22nd in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles at the WPIALs last season.
Senior Lilly Johnson is another of the team’s most experienced athletes. The returning WPIAL qualifier finished 16th in the shot put at the WPIALs last season and continued to post high marks. She finished 13th in the shot put with a mark of 28-11⁄2.
“She works really hard,” Walsh said. “She spends more time after training to film herself, criticizes her technique. It seems to click.
Senior Fatama Shareef added depth to the throwing events.
On the boys side, second Kyan Chambers tied for seventh in the high jump in Latrobe after clearing 5-6. He also finished fifth in the long jump with a 19-8 jump. Walsh said he’s gone 5-10 in the high jump and 20 feet in the long jump this season. Junior Ashton Hatajik also nailed the high jump, eliminating 5-4 at Latrobe. Senior Kalle Lammert was the triple jump leader.
Junior twins Logan and Noah Leslie were key point scorers in the shot put and discus. They were 18th (104-9) and 28th (100-2) respectively in the javelin in Latrobe. Roman Vivirito also contributed to the throwing events. Freshmen Trevor Grant and Tyler Bender also added to the javelin field.
Junior Zach Dunlap and freshmen Darius Cherry and Nygel Jack contributed in the sprint events. Sophomore Eliott Bannister and senior Justin Do led the way in the middle distance and long distance events.
Highlands has gone winless in four double meets in the 4-3A section, but Walsh is confident the athletes will continue to improve heading into post-season competition. The Golden Rams will participate in the Pine-Richland Invitational on May 6 to prepare for the WPIAL meeting, which will take place on May 18 at Slippery Rock.
“Just keep improving. Start reaching for their PR,” he said. “The kids that we have now that show they’re in the mix, we just want them to keep improving, honing their skills and improving their technique every week and working. Hopefully at the end, it bears fruit for us.”