Greensburg Central Catholic, Norwin ready for team finals in WPIAL track

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Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 5:04 PM


When Mike Brewer took over the Greensburg Central Catholic track and field program 10 years ago, he had a team of 12 — five boys and seven girls.

Now the program has a full roster and Wednesday, the boys and girls teams are hoping to perform at a high level for more than a gold medal. They want rings for winning the Class 2A team titles.

Brewer said he likes his teams’ chances in both championships at 3 p.m. at Peters Township. Greensburg Central Catholic’s boys, making their second consecutive trip to the finals, will be facing strong teams from Shenango, Riverside and South Park. The GCC girls will face solid squads from Quaker Valley, Riverside and Shenango.

The boys finished third in last year’s finals behind Riverside and Shenango.

“We’re at full strength,” Brewer said. “We lost a couple key members from both boys and girls teams, but the returning starters and newcomers have made us stronger.

“The future looks bright. We’ve built a program that a third of the school now comes out for the team. It’s become a family.”

Brewer feels his teams have a good chance at winning.

“I’m an engineer by trade. I have analyzed the meet carefully,” Brewer said. “There are some very strong teams. There are things you know that will happen.

“The key is getting to 76 points. We will win or lose by the number of third-place finishes we get. It’s the little things that have to happen to bring us to victory. The kids have talked all season about winning and getting rings.”

One runner GCC welcomed back from a midseason injury is senior sprinter Joe Blahovec.

Other boys Brewer is counting are Danny Dlugos (javelin and shot put), Cole Spivak (discus and shot put), Jaydin Canady (sprints), Nate Dlugos (jumps), James Brewer (hurdles and pole vault), Amari Mack (hurdles and triple jump), Jake Havrilesko (middle distance), Nick Szekely (distance), Kyler Miller (800), Jackson Vacanti (800) and Charles Slike (800).

“We have a balanced team,” Mike Brewer said. “We don’t have many holes.”

Mike Brewer’s daughter Corinn heads the girls team along with Ella Zambruno (sprints), Eva Denis (sprints) and Sara Felder (sprints). Brewer’s daughter is capable of competing in multiple events, so he must decide in which four she will compete.

“I tend to put Corinn up against the other team’s best,” Mike Brewer said.

She is ranked No. 1 in the WPIAL in the pole vault, No. 2 in the 100 hurdles, No. 4 in the high jump and No. 6 in the 300 hurdles. She could possibly compete in other events.

Other girls Mike Brewer is counting on are Sasha Hoffman (hurdles), Isabella Marquez (hurdles and jumps), Sara Blahovec (triple jump and javelin), Avery Davis (1,600), Jonah Althof (3,200), Addi Vacanti (800), Liz Dlugos (throws), Cadie Peters (throws) and Erin Landis (400).

While Riverside and Shenango are the favorites, Mike Brewer is fine with that.

“It’s appropriate that a team in Beaver and Lawrence County would be favored,” he said. “On paper, we have a shot. That’s all I ask for.”

Norwin in 3A final

Norwin track coach Tim Van Horn couldn’t be prouder of his teams for making the WPIAL Class 3A championship at West Mifflin.

There they will face a tough challenge from three other excellent teams. The boys will battle Butler, North Allegheny and Mt. Lebanon, while the girls will face Butler, North Allegheny and South Fayette.

“It’s a true testament for the work we’ve done starting back in December,” Van Horn said. “We worked hard every week. We have a nice mesh of athletes. We’ve been working our tails off every week. We’re showing people what we’re made of.”

Van Horn said to win a WPIAL title, everyone has to step up.

“We looked at the ranking of some of the top kids in the WPIAL,” Van Horn said. “We have to be at our best on Wednesday. Who will step up?”

Some of the boys Van Horn is counting on are Trey Huha (long jump, triple jump, sprints and 400 relay) Anthony Petrulo (shot put and discus), Aaron Schmook (javelin), Cody Scherle (discus and javelin), Andres Breauchy (800, 1,600 and 3200), Dom Barca (sprints and long jump) and Anthony Singer (hurdles). Ryan Schiller (hurdles) will miss the meet because of an injury.

The top girls include Nataiah Robertson-Dutrieuille (sprints and jumps), Bernadette Zukina (200 and 400), Layla Robertson (100- and 300 hurdles and relays), Emma Jiancristoforo (800, 1600, 3200), Rosemary Gaydos (distance) Ashley Laukus (high jump), Brandi Brozeski (hurdles, high jump and triple jump), Bella Brozeski (300 hurdles and relays), Alexa Walton (middle distance), Riley Morningstar (shot put and discus) and Trinity Wills (shot put and discus).

“We’re pretty solid in every aspect,” Van Horn said.

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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