Track and Field

2016-2017 MSA Sports Male Athletes of the Year
July 5, 2017
Darius Wise and Austin Butler were both 'Cats in high school, Wise playing for the Beaver Bobcats and Butler for the Latrobe Wildcats. But when it comes to athletes, Wise and Butler are top dogs. Wise and Butler, who both graduated last month, have been selected the MSA Sports Co-Athletes of the Year. The MSA Sports staff selects the athlete of the year from all WPIAL schools. In the days of high school athletes specializing in one sport, Wise and Butler were throwbacks. They were multi-sports athletes - in the same three sports. But it's not just competing in three sports that made them stand out, it's what they achieved in the three sports that made them two of a kind.

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Maddie Holmberg
May 31, 2017
Maddie Holmberg was one of the most accomplished competitors in the history of WPIAL track and field during her time at Hempfield Area, winning more than a dozen gold medals between district and state competitions. Holmberg, now a standout for Penn State's track and field team, is this week's feature for the WPIAL Alum Q&A. Holmberg was a four-year varsity letterwinner for the Spartans track and field team, including her freshman season in 2012. That year, she and the Lady Spartans captured the WPIAL team championship in Class AAA. Individually, Holmberg took first in the long jump, while finishing second in the 100-meter hurdles.

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Scholastic Notebook
April 8, 2017
A star hurdler is emerging in girls track and field at Oakland Catholic, but the last time we heard much of her, she was at Penn Hills. Jayla Ellis is a sophomore at Oakland Catholic who has run the 100-meter hurdles in 14.1 seconds this spring. According to WPIAL girls track and field historian Jim Faiella, that is the second-fastest time in the history of the WPIAL. Lindsay Dolan of Center ran 14.1 in 2006. Ellis burst onto the WPIAL track scene a year ago, winning the 100 hurdles as a freshman and finishing fourth in the state. But Ellis attended Penn Hills last year. She transferred to Oakland Catholic for her sophomore year.

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WPIAL Hall of Fame Class of 2017
The newest class of the WPIAL Hall of Fame includes a current NFL player, a former NFL head coach and a high school coach who sent almost a dozen players to the NFL. The 2017 class was announced by the WPIAL at a news conference Thursday at the Heinz History Center. This is the 10th anniversary of the Hall of Fame. The inductees with NFL ties are: Terrelle Pryor, who played for the Cleveland Browns last year and has signed with the Washington Redskins; former New York Jets head coach Joe Walton; former Woodland Hills coach George Novak, who sent 11 players to the NFL.

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MSA Sports Top 25 WPIAL Stories of 2016 Recap
January 4, 2017
It case you missed it, here is a look at our annual end of the year countdown of top stories or events from around the WPIAL. As we begin 2017, we look back at some of the top stories from around the WPIAL in calendar year 2016 with the entire countdown. #25 - CROSS-COUNTRY RUN ENDS

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MSA Sports Top 25 WPIAL Stories of 2016 – #5 through #1
January 1, 2017
It has become a tradition like no other...at least during the holiday season here at the MSA Sports Network. As we close out 2016 and another great high school sports year, we look back at some of the top stories from around the WPIAL in calendar year 2016. We conclude our countdown with #5 through #1. #5 - YOUNG AND OLD FINAL FAIRWELLS

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MSA Sports Top 25 WPIAL Stories of 2016 – #20 through #16
December 30, 2016
It has become a tradition like no other...at least during the holiday season here at the MSA Sports Network. As we close out 2016 and another great high school sports year, we look back at some of the top stories from around the WPIAL in calendar year 2016. We continue our countdown with #20 through #16. #20 - FROM NUMBER ONE TO DONE

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – Sewickley Kings of Single-A Again
July 12, 2016
Sewickley Academy is once again on top of the Class A standings in the chase for the MSA Sports Cup after leapfrogging defending champ Greensburg Central Catholic. In fact, the Panthers and Centurions have been tagging in for titles the last five years with GCC winning in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 and SA claiming the Cup in 201--2011, 2013-2014 and now in 2015-2016.  The championship for Sewickley Academy is the schools 9th in 13 years of the competition and was aided greatly by district and state championships in boys golf and boys tennis along with WPIAL crowns in boys cross-country and boys soccer.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – A New Champ Wins Double-A
July 9, 2016
For only the fifth time in the thirteen years of the MSA Sports Cup Class AA chase, the torch has been passed to a new champion. Greensburg Central Catholic won the first three years, followed by a five year run by Shady Side Academy and three of the last four years the AA Cup has gone to Quaker Valley with a one year run at the top by Seton-LaSalle two years ago. Now the AA crown is coming to Beaver County thanks to Beaver High School. After a couple of close calls in recent years, the Bobcats were lifted to the top spot in part because of district championships won in each season...girls tennis in the fall, ice hockey in the winter and a second straight WPIAL title in girls track & field in the spring.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – SF Three-peats in Triple-A
July 7, 2016
In the first ten years of the MSA Sports Cup, while there were a couple of dominating schools in the other three classifications, the chase for the Class AAA Cup had been up for grabs with eight different schools earning The Cup. However in the last three years of the season long competition, Triple-A has become the pride of the Lions. After finishing as the runner-up in 2012-2013, South Fayette has staked its claim on top in Class AAA as the Lions are the first school in this classification to win a third consecutive MSA Sports Cup.

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MSA SPORTS CUP RESULTS – NA Remains Perfect in Quad-A
July 6, 2016
Another school year is in the books and another MSA Sports Cup in Class AAAA is headed to North Allegheny High School. NA captured the schools 13th Cup in 13 years since the MSA Sports Network started this school year long competition to determine the top sports programs in each classification. There are 20 sports in which schools can earn points in the competition and the Tigers earned points in 18 of them. While it was not the highest point total or largest margin of victory, North Allegheny still cruised to their final Quad-A Sports Cup as they will move up to 6-A starting this fall. The second place school finished 430 points behind NA.

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PIAA Track & Field Highlights – Day Two
May 29, 2016
It was a one-of-a-kind day for Dom Perretta. He pulled off an unassisted double and triple play. Perretta, a senior  made history at the PIAA individual track and field championships Saturday at Shippensburg University. His double play came when he won the Class AA 800- and 1,600-meter runs. His triple play was that he won both events for the third year in a row. The effort put Perretta into the record book. He became the first runner in PIAA history to win both the 800 and 1,600 three consecutive years – in any classification. But Perretta did more than win both events again. He set a Class AA championship meet record in the 800 with a time of 1 minute, 50.10 seconds, breaking the mark of 1:51.96 set 29 years ago.

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PIAA Track & Field Highlights – Day One
May 27, 2016
Is it really a 12-pound shot put in Jordan Geist’s hands? The way it sails on his throws, you’d swear it was a softball. Geist, a junior at Knoch High School, is the No. 1 high school shot putter in the country this spring and Friday he added some distance to his reputation as the best shot putter in Pennsylvania history. Geist set another meet record when he threw 74 feet, 3 ½ inches at the PIAA track and field championships at Shippensburg University. He broke the 11-year-old Class AAA record of 70-0 set by Central Dauphin’s Ryan Whiting, who made the U.S. Olympic team in 2012.

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WPIAL Alum Q&A – Julie Kocjancic
May 24, 2016
Very few high school track and field or cross-country athletes earn the opportunity to continue their athletic career at the college level. Julie Kocjancic, a former standout at Mount Lebanon High School, now excels at both sports at Penn State University. The junior runner is the focus of this week's WPIAL Alum Q&A.

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Scholastic Notebook
May 22, 2016
Plum’s Alex Kirilloff has a good chance to be selected in the first round of the June 9 Major League Baseball draft. Teams love his bat and also like the way he plays the outfield. At Plum, they also love the way he pitches. Kirilloff has a bright future as an outfielder, but at the present, he is one dominating pitcher. He is certainly one of the best hurlers in the WPIAL. When Plum defeated Peters Township, 2-0, in the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals Thursday, Kirilloff led the way with his hitting – and pitching. He had a double and triple at the plate. But he also pitched six innings , struck out 11 and gave up only one hit.

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2016 WPIAL Individual Boys Track & Field Results
May 19, 2016
The broken records have become a broken record. Another meet, another record for Jordan Geist. A junior at Knoch High School, Geist won two more gold medals at the WPIAL track and field championships Thursday and broke a record that had been around for 44 years. Geist won the Class AAA shot put with a throw of 72 feet, 7 inches. Although it was a little short of the best mark in Geist’s career, he broke the championship meet record set in 1972 by Baldwin’s Ron Semkiw. Geist is the top shot putter in the country this year and one of the best of all time.

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2016 WPIAL Individual Girls Track & Field Results
It was Summer time in May. Sewickley Academy senior Summer Thorpe won both hurdles events at the WPIAL track and field championships Thursday at Baldwin High School. Thorpe is a Notre Dame recruit who won the 100 hurdles in 14.58 seconds and the 300 in 43.86. Her 300 time set a new Class AA championship record. Thorpe had never won a WPIAL title before this year. Thorpe was one of five girls who won two WPIAL titles in individual events, but another big story in the meet was the Robinson sisters. Hunter and Hayden Robinson attend Avonworth but compete under the name of Avonworth/Northgate because of a cooperative sponsorship.

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North Allegheny and Freeport Win Boys WPIAL Track & Field Team Crowns
May 10, 2016
The North Allegheny Tigers made it four straight Class AAA Team Track & Field championships Monday at Baldwin High School. NA defeated Seneca Valley, Hempfield and Norwin for the schools 12th boys teams track title. The Tigers also won four straight championships between 1993 and 1996. In Class AA, there was no three-peat for the Beaver Bobcats as Freeport returned to the top of the boys Track & Field team mountain by beating Washington, South Park and Freedom. The crown is the 5th in school history and first in six years. Freeport won back-to-back WPIAL Class AA team track & field championships in 2002 and 2003 and again in 2009 and 2010.

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Hempfield and Beaver Repeat as WPIAL Girls Track & Field Champs
The Hempfield Spartans continued their historic run on Monday in the 2016 WPIAL Girls Team Track & Field Class AAA Championships at Baldwin High School. The Spartans captured another Triple-A title as they join North Allegheny by winning a record tying fifth straight district crown. The Tigers mark was set from 2000 to 2004. The Spartans beat Butler, Mount Lebanon and Seneca Valley on a cool, gray day that turned golden again for Hempfield In Class AA, the Beaver Bobcats became the fifth team in the last eleven years to repeat. The Bobcats won in a bloated six team championship field that included Shenango, South park, Freeport, Greensburg Central Catholic and Burrell.

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Scholastic Notebook
May 6, 2016
It was against lowly competition, and each game lasted only five innings. But still, the recent pitching performances of Zach Bowen were ones for the national record book. Bowen is a sophomore at Serra Catholic who pitched back-to-back perfect games. Both games were blowouts and lasted only five innings because of the 10-run rule. Bowen’s first perfect game came April 27 against Clairton in a 17-0 win. Then this past Monday, Bowen pitched another perfect game in another 17-0 win, this time against Geibel Catholic. According to the National Federation of High School Associations record book, only two other pitchers are known to have thrown consecutive perfect games. Mike Bradley of Fort Bragg, Cal., did it in 1991 and Anthony Velasquez of Bayside, N.Y., in 2006.

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Scholastic Notebook
April 29, 2016
It’s unlikely that the Pittsburgh Central Catholic baseball team will make the WPIAL playoffs this season. That’s highly unusual. Central Catholic’s string of six consecutive playoff appearances would be broken. But that’s not what makes the Vikings’ situation unusual. What makes Central Catholic’s case so unusual is that Central Catholic is the defending WPIAL Class AAAA champion. Since 2000, the WPIAL champion in the largest classification has missed the playoffs the following year only twice. Mt. Lebanon won in 2006 and missed the playoffs in 2007. Hopewell won in 2000 and missed the playoffs in 2001.

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Scholastic Notebook
April 15, 2016
This is the second year that North Hills has scheduled almost all of its home baseball games in the evening. But this is the year the stars are shining brightest for North Hills.  North Hills has been one of the surprise teams of WPIAL baseball. Look at the always loaded Northern area section of Class AAAA (Section 1) and you’ll see North Hills alone at the top of the standings. Wow. Look at the MSA Class AAAA rankings and you’ll see North Hills near the top at No. 3. Gasp. The reason for the surprise is North Hills has never been associated much over the past decade or so with winning baseball. The last time the Indians finished above .500 in the section was 2003. Their last section championship was 2002.

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WPIAL Girls Sports Realignment
February 16, 2016
We all knew it was coming. A major change to the WPIAL high school sports landscape based on the PIAA's decision to increase from four to six classifications in basketball and softball, plus the increase in other sports such as soccer, volleyball and lacrosse. The WPIAL Board of Control approved the various steering committee's re-alignment suggestions starting with the 2016-2017 school year. This alignment also will be for the 2017-2018 school year. For interactive listing, CLICK HERE. GIRLS BASKETBALL Class 6A

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WPIAL Boys Sports Realignment
We all knew it was coming. A major change to the WPIAL high school sports landscape based on the PIAA's decision to increase from four to six classifications in football, basketball and baseball, plus the increase in other sports such as soccer and lacrosse. The WPIAL Board of Control approved the various steering committee's re-alignment suggestions starting with the 2016-2017 school year. This alignment also will be for the 2017-2018 school year. *For an interactive listing, CLICK HERE FOOTBALL Class 6A

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MSA Sports Top 25 WPIAL Stories From 2015 Countdown: #10 – #1
January 1, 2016
It has become a tradition like no other...at least during the holiday season here at MSA Sports. Here is a look back at another great high school sports year with the top stories from around the WPIAL in 2015. We conclude our countdown with #10 through #1. #10 - GOLDEN TRIBE

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