Franklin Regional’s Todero leaps into spotlight at WCCA meet

Friday, May 3, 2019 | 5:00 PM

Franklin Regional’s Rayna Todero leaped into the spotlight at the annual Westmoreland County Coaches Association outdoor championships.

The Panthers sophomore took first place in the girls triple jump at the invitational held April 27 at Latrobe Memorial Stadium, hitting a mark of 37 feet, 3 inches.

Todero has proven that big things don’t have to come in large packages. She made an immediate impact on the FR track and field program a year ago as a freshman.

“Rayna was more than a letterwinner her freshman year. She was the team’s field MVP, as well as school record-holder in the triple jump,” coach Bob Ralston said. “And she went to states.

“When you look at Rayna, you would not think she is a jumper because of her size. I’m not sure if she’s 5-foot tall, but she can really leap.”

Franklin Regional placed seventh in both team competitions, won by the Norwin girls and Hempfield boys.

“I was pleased with our performances considering there were 40 to 50 mph wind gusts,” said Ralston, who is in his seventh season as coach. “Most of the medal winners will be back next year to compete again. I expect our overall performance to improve.”

Along with Todero, FR’s girls team was led by other medalists, including junior JoJo Huczko, who finished as the runner-up in the pole vault.

“Our biggest surprise of the year is JoJo Huczko,” Ralston said. “This is her first year in track and first time trying the pole vault. She has taken to it quickly.”

Other individual medalists were seniors Tiffany Jolayema (discus), Makenna Grieco (100) and Jordan Yanigo (300 hurdles), junior Allie Coker (shot put), sophomore Aly Kindelberger (high jump) and freshman Marissa Mansouri (pole vault).

Jolayema, who holds the school record in the discus and was an all-WPIAL goalkeeper in soccer, has a 3.97 GPA. She plans to attend Slippery Rock in the fall.

Coker, a transfer from Indiana, and Kindelberger broke school records in the shot put and high jump, respectively, earlier in the season.

Grieco, Rayna Todero, senior Kaleigh Todero and junior Eva Martino also teamed up to finish fourth in the 400 relay.

For Franklin Regional’s boys team, senior Jacob Hnath rambled to second place in the 800 in 2 minutes, 2.99 seconds, as did the Panthers’ 400 relay team of sophomore Colton Johns and seniors Zach Gordon, Ryan Beard and Tommy Christafano. Gordon led the FR football team in rushing and touchdowns last season.

The Panthers’ 1,600 relayers — Hnath, Johns, junior Andrew Harris and sophomore Anderson Petrazzi — secured fourth place at Latrobe, and Johns (100) and Beard (200) were individual medalists.

“Everyone did about what we expected,” Ralston said. “WCCA is not the place to get new personal-bests. The weather never seems to be ideal for that (meet), and the prom really messes things up for us.

“Their prom is the earliest prom in Western Pennsylvania, and it’s always scheduled the night before the WCCA meet, which is very hard on the older athletes. Considering how many kids that effects, I wish Franklin Regional would take that into consideration and change the date (of the prom).”


More High School Track and Field

Butler’s Drew Griffith, Mt. Lebanon’s Logan St. John Kletter defend state indoor titles in mile
Shaler notebook: Junior sets school record at indoor track meet
Nearly a national record holder, Butler’s Drew Griffith running the best he ever has
Senior shot putter leads Fox Chapel indoor track state qualifiers
Top A-K Valley athletes gather for TSTCA indoor track championships