Artemis Conaboy’s face lit up when she recalled what the weather was like at last year’s Tri-State Track Coaches Association Championship.

“It was great,” said Conaboy, a senior sprinter at Bethel Park. “There was no wind. It was nice and sunny.”

It was also an aberration, something those in attendance were reminded of Saturday on what was a chilly and extremely windy day at West Mifflin High School.

“[The wind] pushed you so hard that you felt like you were taking a step backwards,” Conaboy said. “This was one of my first experiences with wind this bad.”

And while the sun wasn’t much of a help, it didn’t keep Conaboy from still having a sunny disposition. Like the rest of the athletes, Conaboy just went out and tried her best, which in her case earned her a title in the 400-meter run.

Conaboy was one of the winners at the TSTCA Championship, which annually serves as one of the area’s largest invitationals the first month of the season. Running in the event a season ago, Conaboy ran the 400 in a personal-record time of 57.71 seconds when she finished in second place. And while Conaboy’s time (58.46) wasn’t nearly as good Saturday, it was enough to give the Seton Hill recruit the title after edging out Norwin’s Melani Schmidt (58.97).

Four athletes won individual titles in two events, and two of them were girls from South Fayette. Senior Olivia Renk won the 100 and 200, while sophomore Delaney Schumaker claimed titles in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles. Gabby Pistner of Saint Marys won the 1,600 and 3,200, and Neshannock’s Jaden Kirkwood captured first-place finishes in the boys discus and shot put.

“On a day like this, you don’t really expect a PR, you just have to go out and do your best,” said Schumaker, the runner-up in the 300 hurdles at last year’s WPIAL Class 3A championships.

Schumaker won the 100 hurdles in 15.76 and the 300 hurdles in 45.15. The two-title performance continued what has been a blistering start to the season for Schumaker, who previously set PRs and school records in both events (15.33 and 44.46).

Meanwhile, Renk was queen of the sprints Saturday, winning gold medals in the 100 and 200 courtesy of times of 12.83 and 25.16. Upper St. Clair sophomore Sadie Tomczyk was second in both races. Renk, a Saint Francis recruit, was third in both at the WPIAL Class 3A championships a season ago.

“In the 100, I knew I was going up against great competition, so I was just happy to win,” Renk said. “In the 200, I wasn’t expecting to run the time I did. There was a giant tailwind, so I was kind of surprised with that time.”

The wind also provided an extra challenge for high jumpers, who were sometimes glancing at a shaky bar as they made their approach.

“Sometimes on a couple of people’s run-ups, it was really moving,” Emery Moye said. “Like sometimes they had to hold it down so it stayed. And then you’d run up and it would just fall off. It was a little annoying, but you get used to it.”

Moye didn’t seem to mind too much, as the junior from Pine-Richland used a jump of 6 feet, 1 inch to grab the title in the boys high jump. Moye had gone 6-5 on multiple occasions this season prior to Saturday’s meet.

“It wasn’t the best jump, but a win’s a win,” he said.

Boys runners compete in the preliminaries of the 100-meter dash at Saturday’s Tri-State Track Coaches Association Championship. (Brad Everett/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Penn Hills senior Achan Green continued his comeback by winning the 110 hurdles (15.27) and finishing second in the 300 hurdles (40.80). Green tore his left hamstring at last year’s WPIAL championships, an injury that sidelined him for six months. Green won the 110 hurdles with a PR of 14.85 at the TSTCA Championship a season earlier.

“The wind definitely held me back,” he said. “I wanted to PR, but because of the bad weather and the head wind, that definitely made it a lot harder.”

While PRs weren’t common Saturday, there were some. One of them came from a thrower who said he was feeling a bit under the weather. Pine-Richland junior Ryan Beam captured a gold medal in the javelin after producing a career-best throw of 178-10. That edged out Canon-McMillan’s Louis Liberatore, who had a top heave of 177-5.

“It was a pretty big tailwind,” Beam explained, “so if you didn’t get it up at the perfect time, the wind would get it pretty bad.”

But with the bad came the good, and for many of the athletes participating, just getting out and competing was a good thing.

“It definitely gets in your head that you’re not going to run your best time,” Renk said, “but it helps to know that everyone is in the same position.”

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at