Area athletes take silver medals in WPIAL track finals
Second-place showings qualify area athletes for state track finals
Silver was the shine on the medals for the top local finishers during the WPIAL track and field championships held at Baldwin.
Mt. Lebanon’s Mark Buda, Beatrice Goodyear and Kelsey Potts along with Kristina Coyne from Chartiers Valley, Alec Ridout from Canon-McMillan and James Smith from Upper St. Clair scored second places in their specialty events. In Class AA, Amanda Balzer from Chartiers-Houston also was a runner-up.
The group lead a host of area athletes into this weekend’s PIAA championships, set for May 24-25 in Shippensburg.
Coyne, recently named The Almanac’s Female Athlete of the Year for 2013, secured second place in the high jump. The Eastern Michigan track recruit also finished fourth in the high hurdles.
In the Class AA hurdles, Balzer was second in the highs and sixth in intermediates.
While Springdale’s Emily Lelis won both hurdle events in Class AA, Hempfield’s Maddie Holmberg dominated those distances in Class AAA.
Homberg (14.98) narrowly defeated Goodyear (15.18) in the high hurdles and she bested the field in the intermediates, including Natalie Corrado, who finished fifth.
Smith finished runner-up to Dylin Wilhoite from Penn Hills in the 800-meter dash. Wilhoite won in 1:55.88 while Smith trailed in 1:55.92. Lebo’s Billy Doughterty followed in eighth place.
Meanwhile, Buda claimed second in the javelin with a 188-4 toss. Baldwin’s Luke Smorey won the event with a 200-3 distance. Buda will throw at Brown University next fall.
Rideout dominated the other throwing events. He secured second in the shot put and finished fifth in the discus.
Potts kept pace with all but Brianna Schwartz in the 1,600. The freshman covered the course in 4:55.17, but Schwartz, a sophomore from Shaler, won the race and shattered a long-standing WPIAL record with a blazing time of 4:47.07. Potts’s teammate Audrey Gordon followed in eighth place while Betsy Erlanger took third and also finished under five minutes. The Upper St. Clair senior, who will run at Delaware, posted a 4:56.35 time.
Erlanger also added fourth (11:07.94) in the 3,200. Lebo’s Jillian Hunsberger took third (11:07.91) while Shannon Malone of North Hills won the race in 10:41.24.
Schwartz also shattered the record in the 800 run with a 2:10.38 time. Bethel Park’s Amanda Ruschel claimed the bronze medal in 2:14.72 and Lebo’s Julie Kocjancic secured sixth in 2:15.78.
The WPIAL awarded the first eight finishers with medals but only the top four finishers automatically qualified for the state championships. Places 5 through 8 had to meet qualifying standards.
The other top male finishers in the meet included:
• John Rutkowski from USC, third and fifth in the 200 and 400 dashes.
• Mitch Valko from South Fayette, fourth, high hurdles.
• John Heagy from Lebo, fourth, high jump.
• Evan Bream from Lebo, seventh, long jump.
• Billy Ruschel from BP, fourth, triple jump.
• Joe Ferrari from Lebo, tied for fifth in the pole vault.
• David Kincaid from Chartiers-Houston, third, high hurdles.
• Josh White from Seton-La Salle, eighth, discus.
In other boys’ performances, Lebo’s 400 and 1,600 relay teams finished third and fifth overall, while USC’s 1,600 took sixth and Canon-Mac’s foursome took third in the 3,200.
Other top female finishers included:
• Riley Leisman, Canon-Mac, fourth, 100 and 200 dashes.
• Juliana Galante, Lebo, fifth, 100 dash.
• Emily Griffin, Lebo, fifth, 200 meters.
• Ellie Meinzer, Lebo, seventh, 400 run
• Dejalynn Peterson, CV, fourth, 400 run.
• Maddie Williams, PT, fourth, pole vault.
• Alexandra Stevenson, BP, fourth, discus.
• Rachel Wattick, CM, eighth, discus.
• Kathleen Davey, CM, seventh, shot put.
• Caroline DeFrank, Canevin, third, 3,200.
• Natalie Hilton, South Fayette, fifth, 3,200 run.
• Megan Byham, SF, sixth, high hurdles.
• Tori Valachovic, SF, fifth, intermediate hurdles.
• Nicole Egan, SF, sixth high jump.
• Raja Rutherford, SLS, fifth, long jump.
• Emily Bigler, KO, fifth, triple jump.
• Carly Evanish, SF, sixth, triple jump.
• Kasey Buchholz, KO, eighth, triple jump.
• Katie Palmer, KO, fourth, discus.
• Addy Knezter, CH, fifth shot put.
• Jullian Welch, KO, eighth, shot put.
South Fayette’s 1,600 girls’ relay team finished fourth and its 3,200 unit placed third. The Canevin girls’ 3,200 relay was fifth.
In Class AAA, Mt. Lebanon’s 400 relay team took second. Lebo placed fifth and seventh in the 1,600 and 3,200 relays. Peters Township also finished fifth in the 3,200 relay.