Track and Field

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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WPIAL Alum Q&A – April Krivoniak
November 30, 2015
Competing in one college sport is very challenging, but playing two sports at the collegiate level is incredibly impressive. April Krivoniak, a junior at Robert Morris University, competes on both the volleyball and track and field teams for the Colonials. As a result, she is the featured athlete on this week’s installment of WPIAL Alum Q&A. Krivoniak’s diverse athleticism was on display prior to college, as she competed in three sports, including basketball, while at Greater Latrobe High School. She made quite a mark on the volleyball court, however, as she became a four-year starter for the Wildcats. She was a three-time section honoree, and during her sophomore and season campaigns, Krivoniak earned All-WPIAL honors.

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Scholastic Notebook
October 30, 2015
If you want to see variety, check out Paris this fall. But we’re not talking the city of Paris. We’re talking the junior do-it-all player for the Seton-LaSalle football team named Paris Ford. He is a Ford that is souped up with versatility. He is undoubtedly one of the most versatile – and best – players in the WPIAL. Ford is listed as a receiver and defensive back. He is a stud at both positions. But he also runs the football and returns kicks and punts. How versatile is he? Well, Seton-LaSalle has moved the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Ford to linebacker because that’s where they could use him the most.

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Scholastic Notebook
October 16, 2015
Aliquippa is the only school in the WPIAL to have four running backs rush for more than 4,000 yards in their careers. There will likely be one for the thumb by the end of the season. Aliquippa senior running back Kaezon Pugh went over 3,000 yards two weeks ago and now has 3,210. Barring injury, Pugh should get 4,000 this season. He has three regular-season games left and Aliquippa should play at least two playoff games. The Quips are undefeated and played in the WPIAL Class AA championship seven years in a row. What’s impressive about Pugh is his yards-per-carry average. It’s almost 10 for his career. Pugh has 3,210 yards on 324 carries (9.9 average).

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2014-2015 MSA Sports Male Athlete of the Year
June 27, 2015
Riley Stapleton comes from a family of athletes. Growing up, he and his three brothers used to play every sport imaginable and even invent their own events. “My oldest brother [Kevin] used to come up with competitions like who can race around the block the fastest or who can touch the highest spot on the wall,” said Stapleton. But never mind the brothers. If you could put all of the athletes in the WPIAL on a wall, Stapleton would be at the highest spot. Stapleton, who graduated from Indiana High School earlier this month, is the MSA Sports Male Athlete of the Year. All athletes in the WPIAL are eligible for the award. Stapleton competed in three sports at Indiana High School and had a big impact in every one.

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2014-2015 MSA Sports Female Athlete of the Year
Madison Wiltrout’s right arm always seemed to have some magic in it. It is what enabled her to play years of baseball with the boys. She was a center fielder and pitcher before giving up the sport after eighth grade. Then in the spring of her ninth-grade year, Wiltrout picked up a javelin and started throwing it with the right arm. Different sport. Different object to throw - and a magic act that had never been seen before in the history of U.S. high school track and field. WIltrout was a state champion in the javelin at the end of her freshman year. Before her sophomore year was finished this year, that right arm had put Wiltrout in the national record book.

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Scholastic Notebook
May 29, 2015
Spring is the time for things to bloom, right? This spring has been a time for a group of young WPIAL athletes to sprout. One of the storylines for spring sports in the WPIAL has been the young blood that has flowed through the league and made an impact. In case you didn’t notice, it has been a spring where an unusually a number of sophomores or freshmen did some terrific things in a few different sports. Let’s examine:

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PIAA Track & Field – Saturday Highlights
May 23, 2015
A baseball field sits next to the track at Shippensburg University, and Beaver Falls’ Dom Perretta turned a double play at the PIAA track and field championships Saturday. Perretta won two events – the Class AA 800 and 1,600 – on the final day of the two-day competition. He was one of only two WPIAL athletes to win two events. Knoch’s Jordan Geist won the Class AAA boys shot put Saturday, one day after he won a gold medal in the discus. For Perretta, it was the second year in a row he won both the 800 and 1,600. Perretta is only a junior, which means he could finish his career with a half dozen gold medals. No opponent could keep up with Perretta in either race this year. “I’m happy I won, but I really wanted that record in the 800,” said Perretta.

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PIAA Track & Field – Friday Highlights
May 22, 2015
Three athletes from the WPIAL won championships on the first day of the PIAA track and field championships Friday at Shippensburg University. Two have national reputations. One was certainly a surprise champion. The three winners were Connellsville sophomore Madison Wiltrout in the Class AAA javelin, Knoch sophomore Jordan Geist in the Class AAA discus and – get this – Trinity Christian junior Tyler Carter in the Class AA triple jump. Wiltrout winning was practically a given. She set a national high school record a few weeks ago. Geist winning was also a good possibility. Even though the shot put is his best event, he was also the No. 1 seed in the discus.

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