Five things to watch at the WPIAL Class AAA boys track and field championships

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | 5:47 PM

The WPIAL track and field championships are Thursday at Slippery Rock, the first time at the venue after the event spent more than 20 years at Baldwin.

Action begins at 11 a.m. with running preliminaries and early field events. The afternoon field events are scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

There are numerous returning Class AAA boys champions who are looking for a return trip to the PIAA meet May 24-25 at Shippensburg.

Here are five things to watch in the WPIAL Class AAA boys competition:

Long jumpers

There are five jumpers who have leaped more than 23 feet this season. Leading the way is Mt. Lebanon junior Mason Ventrone, who has gone 24 feet, 1 ½ inches. The second best jump is Hempfield record holder, senior Gavin Mayo, at 23-7 ½. Seven jumpers already have reached the state qualifying mark of 22-3.

Cam’s back

Greensburg Salem senior Cam Binda was the 2018 WPIAL Class AAA 1,600-meter run gold medalist. He’s not running the 1,600 on Thursday, though. He has the fastest time in the 3,200 (9:07.99) and is looking to win his second WPIAL title after leading the Golden Lions cross country team to PIAA and WPIAL Class 2A titles in the fall. Mt. Lebanon’s Patrick Anderson, who finished second in 2018, and Cam’s brother Dylan Binda, who placed fourth, are in the 1,600. Greensburg Salem senior Mark Brown, who finished third, will be trying to win the 800.

Sprinters galore

The WPIAL is loaded with outstanding sprinters in Class AA. In the 100, 10 runners have reached the state qualifying standards of 11.10 seconds. Only eight will qualify for the state meet if they reach those times again. The top 100-meter dash time is 10.78 by Uniontown junior Ahmad Hooper. There are five sub-11.0 runners. In the 200, there are 11 runners who have reached the state standard of 22.50. The fastest 200 time is 22.01 by North Allegheny’s Joey Porter Jr., a Penn State football recruit.

Going for two

Baldwin senior Bailey O’Malley is the returning shot put champion. He was the only WPIAL thrower to reach the state standard of 52 feet during the regular season. His best throw is 54-11 ½. O’Malley’s brother, Brendan, is one of the top long jumpers in the WPIAL.

The Rebel Yell

If you’re near the javelin area and hear someone yelling, it will likely be Hempfield junior Jacob Boord. He is seeded first with a throw of 172-2.

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

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