Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freak Injuries Slowing Norwin

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Freak Injuries Slowing Norwin

Article excerpt

Although they are just callow teenagers, Sydney Black and Kelsey Plecenik find themselves on the comeback trail this spring.

They are two of the top athletes on the Norwin High School track team, but both girls were injured on their way to the state indoor track and field championships Feb. 23 at Penn State. As the two traveled to State College, their car hit a patch of black ice and rolled, injuring both girls.

Each girl is well-known for her athletic prowess at Norwin. Black, a senior who also played right-side hitter for the Norwin volleyball team, placed ninth in the high jump at the WPIAL championships last year, achieving a height of 5 feet, 1 inch. She also placed ninth in the triple jump at 35-1/2.

In the winter, Plecenik set a school record (37-41/2) while placing second in the triple jump at the TSTCA Indoor Championship meet at Edinboro University, and finished third in the high jump, clearing 5-1.

Plecenik, a sophomore, qualified for the WPIAL championships in the 200-meter dash last May. Although she sustained an injury in the race, she still helped Norwin's 1,600-meter relay squad achieve a 12th-place finish with a time of 4:08.51.

Plecenik, who also plays forward for the Knights section-runner- up soccer team, also became part of a three-way tie for first place in the pole vault at the TSTCA championships. She cleared a height of 11-3.

Plecenik sustained a concussion in the car accident, as well as various bruises and scrapes. Her neck was sore and initially required her to wear a brace.

Black did not incur any major injuries as the result of the accident, although she said she was very sore afterward. Then on her first jump at the state indoor championships, she sustained a broken left ankle.

"Right now I'm not cleared to do anything," Black said. "My doctor is getting me to lift [weights] with my upper body -- it's all upper body and ab work. I can't bear any weight on my ankle -- my legs have changed completely."

Nonetheless, Black had another appointment with her doctor this past Tuesday. …

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