Brentwood’s Dirling, McPherson shine at Baldwin Invitational
By: Ray Fisher
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 10:09 AM
Brentwood junior Rebecca Dirling logged a medal-winning effort at the 45th annual Baldwin Invitational held May 4 at Baldwin Stadium.
Dirling secured sixth place in the girls javelin with a toss of 117 feet, 10 inches. She also competed in the discus event.
“I think I gave a strong overall performance, and I knew what I had to do in order to medal,” Dirling said. “My season has been the best so far. My goals are to keep improving my distances each meet.
“I would like to thank all my coaches for their countless hours they put in to help me become a better athlete.”
Dirling is a three-sport athlete with a 3.7 grade-point average. She also participates in basketball and golf at Bentwood, and is a member of the Garden Club and steering committee.
In track and field, she competes in all three throwing events — javelin, discus and shot put.
“Rebecca was definitely a bright spot for us in the girls javelin (at the Baldwin Invitational),” coach Mike Cramer said.
Another bright spot for Brentwood was the all-around athletic display by sophomore Aaron (A.J.) McPherson, who competed in the 100-meter dash, 400 relay, long jump and triple jump.
“Aaron was 1⁄100th out of the finals in the 100,” Cramer said. “He should make it to the WPIAL finals in four events; we may cut it down to three so we don't spread him too thin.”
McPherson teams up with two seniors, Evan Vickless and John Gomez, and junior Nick Czerwien in the 400 relay.
At Baldwin, Gomez (100, 200), Vickless (200) and Czerwien (long jump) also participated in individual events. Czerwien placed 11th in the long jump.
Two other Brentwood seniors at the meet were Nathan Mingle (300 hurdles) and Julia Walter (100).
Brentwood's boys team was represented by several other athletes, including sophomore Ian Thomas (200, 400, discus), freshman Qulik Evans (800), sophomores Shashak Gurong (800), Eddie Gomez (1,600), Aiden Huffman (3,200), John Milcic (hurdles, high jump) and Ethan Wright (110 hurdles), freshman Nicholas Milius (javelin, shot put) and sophomore Peter Carozza (javelin).
Along with Dirling and Walter, the Brentwood girls were represented by sophomore Jensy Perez (100, 200), freshmen Abigale Czerwien (200) and Kirsten Gross (400), junior Courtney Cillo (400), sophomores Akir Deng (800) and Adele Sedlar (100 hurdles), freshman Cesia Garcia (hurdles), juniors Anna Betz (300 hurdles), Quintasia Streeter (high jump, triple jump) and Natalie Murrio (long jump, triple jump) and sophomore Mandy Race (discus, javelin).
Last Chance Meet
Dirling won the girls javelin event with a toss of 119-1 at the Last Chance Meet held May 8 at West Mifflin.
Streeter tied for fifth place in the high jump event; freshman Kristen Gross finished ninth in the 400.
For the boys team, McPherson (100, long jump, triple jump) and Milcic (110 hurdles) were medalists. Milcic also competed in the 300 hurdles.
Brentwood's qualifiers for the WPIAL Class AA championships consist of Milcic (hurdles), McPherson (100, long jump, triple jump), Gross (400), Streeter (high jump) and Dirling (javelin).
The boys 400 relay unit also qualified.
Ray Fisher is a freelance writer.