Greensburg Central Catholic boys capture WPIAL Class 2A title; Quaker Valley girls repeat

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023 | 9:55 PM


When the Greensburg Central Catholic boys track team was riding home from the 2022 WPIAL Class 2A track and field championship, coach Mike Brewer’s athletes told him that, next year, they were coming back for a ring.

The team kept its word.

Greensburg Central Catholic claimed the Class 2A title Tuesday by defeating Quaker Valley, 80-70, South Park, 92-58, and Shenango, 91-59. Quaker Valley placed second.

The meet came down to the final race, the 1,600-meter relay. A Quaker Valley win would have tied the score, and the title would have been decided by first-place finishes.

The GCC team of Samir Crosby, Nick Dlugos, James Brewer and Jake Havrilesko broke a school record in 3 minutes, 29 seconds to win the race and claim the team’s first title. The only other Westmoreland County 2A squad to win a team title was Burrell in 2005.

Brewer had a big meet for the Centurions. He won the pole vault, the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and ran the third leg of the winning 1,600-meter relay.

Crosby won the high jump and placed second in the long jump with a personal record of 21 feet, 2 12 inches. Da’sjon Craggette won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and was on the winning 400-meter relay team.

Other winners included Amari Mack in the triple jump and Havrilesko in the 400, and Nick Bossart placed second in the discus and Nick Szekely was second in the 1,600 and 3,200.

“We’ve been building towards this for 11 years now,” Mike Brewer said. “Every year, we got a little better. The athletes know we care for them, and they sacrificed for the team. Our motto has been, ‘We Want A Ring.’ They earned it.”

Havrilesko said to win the final race was amazing.

“Everyone pulled together,” Havrilesko said. “It was a great team effort.”

Quaker Valley coach Jared Jones said he couldn’t be prouder of his team.

“We weren’t supposed to be this close,” Jones said. “Greensburg Central Catholic was the big favorite, but I’m proud how well battled. To be in a position to win the meet on the final race was amazing.”

The Quaker Valley girls won their second consecutive title by blowing away the competition. Winchester Thurston finished second. It was the Quakers’ ninth WPIAL title.

Quaker Valley defeated Winchester Thurston, 92-57, Knoch, 100-50, and Derry, 100.5-49.5.

The Quakers dominated on the track, winning every race except the 100 and the 1,600-meter relay, where Jones said they purposely ran a slow race to give the boys time for strategy.

“The girls were favored, and it didn’t get to their heads,” Jones said. “They were phenomenal. They handled things well.”

Quaker Valley had two athletes break school records. Sarah Nard won the pole vault with a jump of 10-2, and Joyce Olawaiye jumped 39-5 in the triple jump.

Other winners included Eleana Cain in the 800 and 1,600; Mia Gartley and Oumou Thiero tied in the high jump; Zora Washington won the 200; Cecilia Montagnese won the 3,200; Kwilai Karto won the 100 hurdles; and Nora Johns won the 300 hurdles.

Washington, Karto, Thiero and Vanessa Pickett all were members of the winning 400-meter relay team.

Derry was making its first trip to the finals, and coach Mark Curcio hopes they learned from the experience.

“The underclassmen know what it takes to get here and what it takes to win,” Curcio said. “It’s been an amazing season. Hopefully we’ll be back next year.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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