Five things to watch in the WPIAL Class AAA girls track and field championships

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | 5:54 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.

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

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

The Mighty Casey

North Allegheny junior Casey Burton edged Oakland Catholic senior Jayla Ellis to win the long jump in 2018 with a leap of 19 feet, 3 ¾ inches. Ellis, however, has the best jump this season at 19-1 ¾. Burton’s longest jump is 18-10 ½. Burton also is entered in the 100-meter dash.

Leading the pack

Ellis is seeded No. 1 in the 100 hurdles and the long jump. She also is entered in the high jump. Ellis is capable of winning three gold medals. She has the fastest time in the hurdles and has leaped 5-3 in the high jump.

Looking for a double

Hempfield senior Mackenna Orie is the returning champion is the discus. She placed second in the shot put. The DePaul commit has the best throws coming into the competition. Orie is capable of huge throws. She has been over 50 feet in the shot and 160 in the discus in warmups and at practice.

Loaded high jumpers

The WPIAL can send only eight girls to states in the high jump. Nine already have reached the state qualifying mark of 5-3. The top jump this season is Latrobe junior Sadie Wetzel (5-6 1/2). The next best is Hempfield senior Jenna Uncapher at 5-5. There are two girls at 5-4: Franklin Regional sophomore Aly Kindelberger and Canon-McMillan senior Cerena McBride. The returning champion is Hempfield senior Rebeccah Pyo (5-1).

Overloaded 100

The high jump isn’t the only event that is loaded. The 100 already has nine sprinters who have met the state qualifying standards of 12.50 seconds. Avonworth/Northgate senior Hayden Robinson is the returning champion. Her best time is 12.01.

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

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