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Last week: Kuchera won the long jump, triple jump and 100-meter hurdles at Friday’s Baldwin Invitational, one of the largest track meets in the state. She was the only athlete to win three titles in individual events.
Check this out: It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say Kuchera is one of the best jumpers in the history of the WPIAL. Earlier this spring, she long jumped 19 feet, 6 ¼ inches, fourth-best in WPIAL history (the No. 1 mark is 20-1). She also triple jumped 40-9, second-best in league history (the best is 41-2 ½). Kuchera, a 5-foot-2 junior, is the defending WPIAL champion in the long jump and hurdles. Kuchera spent 10 years as a competitive dancer before giving that up two years ago. She will compete in the WPIAL championships May 17 at Slippery Rock University.
Do you think you can get either of the all-time WPIAL marks in the triple jump or long jump? Yeah, I do think so. If not by states this year, then definitely next season.
So, is it a goal to get both marks this season or just to win state championships? Honestly, both.
Are you proving you don’t have to have good size to be successful in these events? Some of the best are tall, but some of the best are short. It doesn’t matter how tall you are. It just matters how much power you can get.
Would you admit that the triple jump is kind of an odd event to learn, with that hop, skip and jump? I think, in general, it is. But I think my dancer background made it way easier for me.
Do you miss dance at all now? Yeah, I do. I think it helped me a lot for track.
What’s your favorite kind of music now? I like R&B.
Do you listen a lot to anyone in particular? I never did this before. But before a lot of meets this year, I listen to a lot of Michael Jackson.
You’re school nickname is the Big Macs. Have you ever eaten a Big Mac? Yes. I really like Big Macs (laugh).
Do most kids like them or not? I think so. When you go to Canon-McMillan, it’s an automatic. You should at least try one.
With you being named Rose, did you watch the Run for the Roses Saturday? No, I did not.
Do you know that’s what they call the Kentucky Derby? No, I didn’t know it was called that.
— By Mike White