5 things to watch at the WPIAL Class AA girls track and field championships

Sunday, May 12, 2019 | 6:37 PM

The WPIAL track and field championships are Thursday at Slippery Rock, the first time at the venue after spending the previous 20 years at Baldwin.

There are numerous returning Class AA girls champions who are looking for a return trip to the PIAA championships May 24-25 at Shippensburg.

Here are 5 things to watch in the WPIAL Class AA girls competition:

The Great Maura

South Park senior Maura Huwalt already has a track scholarship to Auburn. Last season, she won all three throwing events at WPIALs. She said she wants to repeat that feat and then attempt to win state gold.

Flying Falcon

Brownsville junior Gionna Quarzo won the WPIAL 3,200-meter race last year, and she is looking for a repeat Thursday. Quarzo’s qualifying time of 10 minutes, 29.29 seconds is more than a minute faster than her closest competition, Shenango sophomore Carmen Medvit (11:33.91).

Freshmen ruled

Three freshmen shined at last year’s championship, and that trio is looking to shine again as sophomores. South Park’s Maddie Raymond is seeded No. 1 in the 100 and 200 dashes, Beaver’s Emma Pavalek is seeded No. 1 in the 400 and the high jump and Shady Side Academy’s Melissa Riggins is No. 1 in the 800 and 1,600.

Young talent

There are not many seniors competing in the sprint events. There are 16 athletes in each event, and there is only one senior competing in the 100. There are two in the 200, four in the 400 and five in the 800. Keep an eye on freshmen Neleh Nogay of Neshannock, sophomore Serena Slusarcyk of Derry, sophomore Jocelyn Vickers of Burrell and junior Skye Eicher of Frazier in the sprints.

Leaping Kaylen

Burrell senior Kaylen Sharrow is seeded No. 1 in the 300 hurdles and No. 2 in the 100 hurdles. In the 100 hurdles, her competition is South Allegheny senior DeAnna Sposato, Beaver Falls senior Marauna Mullins and Deer Lakes senior Kiera Cutright. In the 300 hurdles, Cutright is the returning champion. Others to watch include California sophomore Makayla Bode, Fort Cherry senior McKenzie Faure and Beaver junior Gracie Stovka.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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