Gera, Campbell earn MVP honors in Lady Spartan/Wildcat track and field invitational

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Friday, April 16, 2021 | 10:15 PM


Springtime weather sometimes will test an athlete’s mettle, especially in track and field.

Athletes face various conditions, from warm and comfortable to cold, windy, rainy and, sometimes, snowy.

Cold and rain greeted the athletes that competed in the 29th Annual Lady Spartan/18th Annual Wildcat Invitational Friday at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium.

Conditions were less than ideal, and times and distances weren’t great.

Only one meet record was broken, and that was by Hempfield senior Bella Gera is the discus. Her throw of 151 feet, 8 inches broke the mark of 140-6 set by Hempfield’s Kim Kanala in 2008.

Gera also won the shot put with a throw of 42-1. By winning both events, she earned field MVP honors.

“The conditions weren’t great,” Gera said. “The circle was slippery, and I couldn’t do a full turn and just did a half turn. My throw was bad, but I wanted the record in the shot.

“The discus, I warmed up, and I was shot putting it. I was able to hit one, which was too bad for the conditions. I was definitely looking for more.”

Two other athletes were double winners, and both were in the hurdles. Clare Marsh of Saint Joseph Catholic Academy won the 100 and 300 hurdles to earn track MVP, and Latrobe’s Brennan Campbell won the 110 and 300 hurdles to win the boys track MVP.

Hempfield boys and girls won the team titles, edging North Allegheny.

Others to win for the Hempfield girls were Makayla Lander in the javelin and Giana Torri in the high jump.

Campbell hadn’t heard the final results of the 300 hurdles and was pleased when he learned he won.

“I don’t think the weather helped any of the runners,” Campbell said. “It was good overall. It feels good to be able to compete after last season. I worked pretty hard in the offseason, and it feels good to be back at a big meet.”

The coronavirus canceled the 2020 track and field season.

“I’ve been stuck in the high 15s,” said Campbell, who was a member of the winning 1,600-meter relay team with Ryan Sickenberger, Augie Mucci and Nick Rauco. “It’s very early in the season, and this was our first big meet. We have bigger meets coming. I’m happy where I’m at right now, but I have to keep working.”

Campbell ran a 53-second split in the 1,600-meter relay race.

The Hempfield boys winning titles were Dan Norris (discus), Sam Parker (high jump) and Tanner Barnhart (pole vault).

Norwin boys and girls finished third. The Knights had numerous winners.

Winning for the girls were Jordyn Turcovski (100), Bernadette Zukina (400), Aleksandra Brozeski (long jump) and the 400 relay team. The Norwin boys winners were Aaron Schmook (javelin) and the 400 relay team.

The other boys winning titles included Latrobe’s Ryan Sickenberger (100), Greensburg Central Catholic’s Joe Blahovec (200), Indiana’s Owen Putt (400), Greensburg Salem’s Quintin Gatons (1,600) and Franklin Regional’s Jeff Downs (long jump).

The girls winners included: Greensburg Central Catholic’s Corinn Brewer (pole vault) and Franklin Regional’s Rayna Todero (triple jump).

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

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