Breaking down changes to the 2023-24 WPIAL track and field alignment

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Monday, August 8, 2022 | 9:28 AM


The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL track and field season:

2022 WPIAL championships

Class 3A boys: Butler

Class 3A girls: North Allegheny

Class 2A boys: Shenango

Class 2A girls: Quaker Valley

Notable changes

• WPIAL track and field alignment will look quite similar for the next two years, at least in Class 3A. Several Class 2A sections will look quite different.

North Catholic will move up to Class 3A for the next two years, slotting into Section 4.

Quaker Valley, Freeport, Knoch and West Mifflin have all dropped down to Class 2A, leaving 51 boys teams and 49 girls teams in Class 3A.

• In Class 2A, Section 2 welcomed Section 3 transfers Hopewell, Freedom and New Brighton, as well as OLSH from Section 1. Much of Section 7 — Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Leechburg and Valley — moved to the A-K Valley-heavy Section 4 with Freeport and Knoch, as well as holdover Springdale.

Section 3 will include newcomers Carlynton (from Section 5), Eden Christian and Sewickley Academy (from Section 2) and Shady Side Academy and Riverview (from Section 4), as well as Quaker Valley from Class 2A.

Section 7 will feature Clairton, East Allegheny, Neighborhood Academy/Ellis School, South Allegheny and Trinity Christian (from Section 4), Serra Catholic (From Section 8) and Winchester Thurston (from Section 3), along with West Mifflin from 2A.

Derry and Ligonier Valley moved from Section 7 to 8 with regional rivals Frazier, Geibel, Greensburg Central Catholic, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland and Yough.

Class to class

• The Avonworth, Beaver and Central Valley girls teams will compete in a Class 3A section (Section 8) but will be in the Class 2A competition at the WPIAL meet.

The Greensburg Salem boys, likewise, will compete in Section 1-3A during the regular season but will be in the WPIAL Class 2A championship meet.

New to the WPIAL

Aquinas Academy will compete in WPIAL track and field with boys and girls teams for the next two-year cycle.

Past champions

Butler leads all WPIAL girls track and field teams with 14 titles in its history. Others with five or more include defending champions North Allegheny (12) and Quaker Valley (8), as well as Hempfield (6).

The Butler girls won four straight titles between 2017-21. There was no 2020 champion after the season was canceled because of the pandemic.

• On the boys side, North Allegheny’s 13 titles are a league high, followed by Butler (9), Riverside (7), Mohawk (6), Freeport (5), Hempfield (5) and Washington (5).

Butler has won the past two WPIAL titles. North Allegheny won four straight from 2013-16 and won again in 2018.

Key dates

March 6: First practice date

March 11: First scrimmage date

March 17: First play date

March 28: First section dates

May 2: WPIAL team semifinals

May 10: WPIAL team finals

May 17: WPIAL individual championships

May 26-27: PIAA championships

2023-24 alignment

Class 3A

Section 1: Greensburg Salem, Hempfield*, Indiana, Latrobe, Norwin, Penn-Trafford

Section 2: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Uniontown

Section 3: Butler, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler

Section 4: Armstrong*, Hampton, Highlands, Kiski Area, Mars, North Catholic

Section 5: Central Catholic/Oakland Catholic, Franklin Regional, Gateway, McKeesport, Penn Hills, Plum, Woodland Hills^

Section 6: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, Thomas Jefferson, Upper St. Clair

Section 7: Canon-McMillan, Chartiers Valley, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, Trinity, West Allegheny

Section 8: Ambridge, Avonworth*, Beaver, Blackhawk*, Central Valley, New Castle

Class 2A

Section 1: Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, Riverside, Shenango, Union

Section 2: Aliquippa, Hopewell, Freedom, Rochester, New Brighton, OLSH, South Side, Western Beaver*

Section 3: Aquinas Academy, Carlynton*, Cornell*, Eden Christian Academy, Quaker Valley, Sewickley Academy, Shady Side Academy, Sto-Rox, Riverview

Section 4: Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Knoch, Leechburg, Springdale, Valley

Section 5: Brentwood, Burgettstown, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Keystone Oaks, McGuffey, South Park, Washington

Section 6: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Brownsville, California, Charleroi, Monessen, Waynesburg Central, West Greene

Section 7: Clairton, East Allegheny, Neighborhood Academy/Ellis School, Serra Catholic, South Allegheny, Trinity Christian, Winchester Thurston, West Mifflin

Section 8: Derry, Frazier, Geibel Catholic, Greensburg Central Catholic, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Yough

*Cooperative sponsorship

^Voluntarily playing up

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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