Hempfield, Neshannock win competitive spirit state championships

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Saturday, January 29, 2022 | 7:20 PM


Hempfield competitive spirit coach Suzannah Mayer could sense the nerves in her team Friday at Day 1 of the PIAA championships and it impacted their routine, but the Spartans were still able to finish third in the preliminaries and advance to the finals.

With a championship on the line Saturday, the Spartans shook off any jitters and put together a sterling performance to take home the Class 3A Large Division championship at the state finals in Hershey.

“Winning the state championship is a dream come true,” Mayer said. “We knew it was a real possibility, but we also knew we had to be perfect. The teams in our division are all so strong, so we had to be our best.”

Hempfield posted a score of 94.2, besting runner up Cumberland Valley’s 92.9. South Fayette (90.8333) was third and Penn-Trafford (85.8) placed sixth.

The Spartans are captained by Natalie Lippa and Camryn Green.

“We told the girls today that they need to relax, stay calm and do what they know,” Mayer said. “Do nothing less and nothing more than what we do every day in practice.”

Neshannock took home the Class 2A Large Division title with a score of 84.9, beating out Elk County Catholic by a little over two-tenths of a point. Laurel (82.2) placed fourth.

Butler (85.2) finished second to McDowell in the Coed Division.

North Hills (84.8833) was fifth in the Class 3A Small Division and Thomas Jefferson (82.8667) finished sixth.

Ringgold (67.667) placed 10th in the Class 2A Small Division.

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer

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