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Track: South Fayette’s Phoennik captures WPIAL triple jump title

Written by Brad Everett on .

A girl with a last name not particularly easy to spell -- at least the first few times -- gave her competitors a little grammar lesson last Thursday.

Her name is now synonymous with "WPIAL champion."

South Fayette senior Courtney Phoennik became a district champ by winning the triple jump at the WPIAL Class 3A championships. Phoennik, who entered the event as the No. 2 seed, had a winning jump of 38-2 ¼. Canon-McMillan's Chyna Beck jumped 37-6 ½ to place second.

With the win, Phoennik became the first South Fayette girl to win a WPIAL gold medal in a jumping event in at least 20 years. She also placed seventh in the long jump after leaping 17-5 ½.

Phoennik will compete in this weekend's PIAA championships at Shippensburg University. She will be the No. 4 seed in the triple jump. Two other South Fayette girls will join her in Shippensburg -- Amanda Oliver (100, 200) and Rachel Helbling (400). Helbling placed fifth in the 400 last year.