Canon-McMillan dominating track and field
Canon-McMillan dominated the Washington-Greene Track and Field Championships, winning the boys’ title with 156 points and claiming runner-up laurels in the girls’ competition, and is now prepared to challenge for bigger prizes in critical competitions on the horizon.
The Big Macs will host the first round of action in the WPIAL Class AAA boys’ team championships. Competing in one of the four quadrangular meets at Canonsburg Memorial Stadium with the boys will be Indiana, Laurel Highlands and Penn Hills. The Lady Macs will battle defending champion Hempfield as well as Laurel Highlands and Thomas Jefferson.
Meanwhile, Mt. Lebanon will host another of the sites for the first round of the team competition. The boys will challenge Moon, South Fayette and Trinity for the right to advance to the finals. The girls will entertain Chartiers Valley, Moon and Mt. Pleasant.
Action commences at 3 p.m.
The winning teams from each of the four quadrangular meets advance to the finals set for 4 p.m. May 8 at Baldwin. Baldwin, which will also host its 41st annual track and field meet May 2, will also be the site of the WPIAL individual championships set for May 15. Top finishers advance to the PIAA finals set for May 22-23 in Shippensburg.
Alec Rideout of Canon-McMillan plans to be a finalist and then some.
A state qualifier last year, Rideout has dominated the field events this spring.
At the start of the season, the senior broke the school record in the discus. And, just this past weekend, he eclipsed the mark by more than 14 feet to smash the meet record at the Washington-Greene County Coaches Track and Field Championships held at Peters Township Stadium.
Rideout won the event with a heave of 185 feet, 11 inches. Not only did the throw shatter the previous mark of 166 feet held by John Reihner since 1971, it was five feet longer than the previous best throw in the state. David Lucas of Warwick set the mark with a toss of 180 feet, 6 inches.
Rideout, who wrestles and plays football for the Big Macs, also won the shot put with a throw of 56 feet, 8 inches, and finished fourth in the javelin.
At last year’s WPIAL championships, Rideout finished fifth in the discus and second in the shot put. He has had his eye on a PIAA gold medal since fouling on his three attempts in last year’s state championships.
“Losing in states was tough,” he said. “I hate losing, and it changed my whole attitude. That’s when I started putting in even more time with watching video and perfecting my technique.”
Diligence, indeed, has been Rideout’s secret to success says his throwing coach. “Alex’s the hardest working athlete I’ve coached in 31 years,” said Joe Grosso. “He’s a beast in the weight room and at the beginning of the season, he came to me and said he was going to break both records. I believed him. I keep waiting for him to reach his plateau, but he keeps moving forward.”
The Big Macs moved forward to the top of the podium as a team at the County Coaches Meet, winning the boys’ title with 156 points. Peters Township finished runner-up with a 146.5 total.
Juniors Ethan Linderman and Michael Strusko also produced wins for Canon-Mac, which will participate in the Pine-Richland Invitational this weekend.
Linderman captured the 3,200-meter run in 9:47.27 and the 1,600 with a 4:38.27 time. Strusko won the 800-meter distance with a 2:01.88 time.
Meanwhile, Mark Minjock paced Peters Township. The senior sprinter claimed MVP honors at the meet. He finished first in the 100- and 200-meter dashes with times of 11.52 and 23.82.
Michael Erenberg dominated the jumping. He swept the long, triple and high-jump competition.
On the girls’ side, Peters Township and the Lady Macs switched positions with the Indians winning the team title, 186-154.
Hannah Falcione claimed overall MVP honors. The PT sophomore secured second in the long jump, third in the triple jump and second in the 100 hurdles.
Other gold medalists for the Lady Indians included: Chloe Grzb in the 3,200, Kaitlyn Janusey in the long jump and Manasi Jadhav in the triple jump. Delaney Wehn won the one-mile run.
Haley Yenchik was Canon-Mac’s lone winner. She claimed the top slot in the pole vault.
Addy Knetzer was the lone champion for Chartiers-Houston, taking first in the shot put.
At the South Fayette Invitational, the Lady Lions captured first place while the boys’ took third in the team standings.
Sydney Lerda, Allison Gates, Taylor Timmons and Morgan Gimigliano combined to win the 4-by-800 relay. Natalie Hilton captured the 1,600 run and took third in the 800.
Lerda managed seventh in the 400 while Bri Rees and Hannah Kenawell took second and third. Kenawell added seventh in the long jump.
Rachel Schuman, who was third in the 100-meter dash, anchored the 4-by-100 relay team of Nicole Egan, Jess Antoszewski and Nicole Molinaro to a fourth-place finish. The 4-by-400 team of Rees, Kenawell, Meghan Allen and Timmons took fourth.
Other females to earn medals included: Allison Gates, fourth, 3,200; Carly Evanish, fourth, high jump and eighth, long jump; Alana Blatz, fifth, pole vault and Courtney Phoenik, eighth, javelin.
Tori Valachovic secured seconds in both the high and intermediate hurdles.
Nicole Egan earned silver in the high jump and fourth in the high hurdles.
The Mt. Lebanon boys dominated as Patrick Kimball won the 300-meter hurdles, Jon Heagy won the high jump and Joe Ferari took first in the pole vault. Troy Apke, Julian Carapellotti, Shane Lefever and Jacob Rolfsen combined to win the 4-by-100 relay.
Aaron Gaunt and Ryan Lerda guided the SF boys.
Gaunt won the 200 dash and finished fourth in the 100. Aaron Mack followed in seventh place in the 100 meters. Lerda captured the gold in the 3,200. He added third in the 1,600. Pat Brady followed in seventh.
Frank Morelli finished fourth in the 800 run. He helped the 3,200-meter relay team of Devan Sandala, Ben Meindl and Brady to a silver medal. The 4-by-400 team of Mitch Ford, Zach Russell, Meindl and George Slater finished fifth.
Individually, Sandala placed eighth in the 800; Ford was sixth in the 400; Slater collected eighths in the 400 and long jump as well as sixth in the triple jump. Morelli added fourth in the 800.
Other top finishers included: Aaron Pfeil, fifth, 3,200; Graysen Molinaro, seventh, shot put; Sam Guadagnino, eighth, high jump; Devin Nock, eighth, javelin, Chris Populo and Max Hanich, sixth and seventh in the pole vault.