Hempfield’s Orie continues to raise the bar in advance of Lady Spartan Invitational

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 6:08 PM

Hempfield thrower Mackenna Orie has continued to climb the record board in the shot put and discus.

The senior now ranks second in school history in both events after an outstanding performance Tuesday against Indiana.

She hopes to continue the upward cycle at the 28th annual Lady Spartan/17th annual Wildcat Invitational at Memorial Stadium in Latrobe. The meet is scheduled for Friday but could be moved to Saturday to avoid inclement weather.

If the event is moved to Saturday, field events begin at 9:30 a.m., and running finals start around 1 p.m.

The annual event features some of the top track and field teams and athletes from the WPIAL and surrounding districts. This year’s field has expanded to 22 teams, including North Allegheny, Avonworth/Northgate, Morgantown (W.Va.) and DuBois, along with Norwin, Greensburg Salem and Kiski Area from Westmoreland County.

“We’re excited that the field has expanded,” Latrobe assistant coach Michele Butler said. “We hope to expand and get more schools from other districts to attend. Coaches are finding out that we run an outstanding meet.”

The invitational would probably have more teams from the WPIAL, but the past few years it had to battle for competitors with the Tri-State Coaches Association meet, which also is Saturday.

“It’s a good meet to see how your athletes rank at the mid-point of the season,” Hempfield track coach Ron Colland said. “I expect there will be a lot of outstanding athletes competing.”

Orie is one of those athletes.

The DePaul commit threw the discus a personal best 148 feet, 7 inches Tuesday, moving to with a 1 foot, 2 inches of leader Kim Kanala’s throw of 149-9.

It places her fifth overall in the WPIAL as she jumped over South Park senior Maura Huwalt (147-7) and Hempfield’s Beth Obruba’s (146-9 in 1995).

Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray said Orie could challenge the state marks this season.

Orie’s throw of 46-3 in the shot put beat her earlier PR of 45-3 and jumped her from eighth to sixth in WPIAL history. She leaped over Hempfield’s Sammi Fetter (46-1/4) and Ambridge’s Maria Morsillo (46-1).

She is now an inch-and-half behind Hempfield’s Rachel Serafin (46-41/2).

“This event is a great invitational to be involved in,” Rolland said. “One year, we did have 33 schools compete. It’s a traditional thing to carry on and have. You’ll see some great performances from both the boys and girls. There have been many fond memories.”

Some of those memories will be remembered during the meet as Jasmine Jones, Bridget Guy and Taylor Canon will be inducted into the Lady Spartans Hall of Fame.

Colland said a lot of credit for the success of the event goes to Latrobe coach Andy Wnek and his staff for running it.

North Allegheny junior Casey Burton (100), Norwin senior Jessica Kolesar (200, long jump), Greensburg Salem senior Malia Anderson (800), Norwin senior Emily Brozeski (300 hurdles), Hempfield senior Rebeccah Pyo (high jump), Kiski Area junior Jean Starr (javelin) and Norwin senior Lexi Gray (triple jump) are some of the top female athletes competing, along with Latrobe’s Faith Mucci (sprints) and Sadie Wetzel (jumps), Norwin’s Jordyn Turkovski (sprints) and Penn-Trafford’s Lizzie Cermak (sprints).

“The biggest thing I want to see from the athletes is consistency,” Butler said. “Big meets like this allow us to put together relay teams. For instance, Faith (Mucci) will run in two relays rather than four individual events.”

The returning boys’ winners are Hempfield junior Dillon Ferretti (discus), Connellsville senior Cameron Sapola (javelin), Norwin junior Logan Huss (400), Indiana junior Kendall Brown (800), Greensburg Salem senior Cam Binda (1,600) and North Allegheny junior Daniel McGoey (3,200).

Other boys to watch include Latrobe senior Zakharee Williams (sprints), Greensburg Salem senior Mark Brown (distance), Hempfield senior Jared Bannon (hurdles), Uniontown junior Isaiah Melvin (hurdles), Norwin junior Matt Federovich (long jump), Greensburg Salem senior Tyler Williams (triple jump). Hempfield sophomore Daniel Norris (thrower) and Greensburg Salem senior Dylan Binda (middle distance).

“You’re going to see a lot of outstanding freshmen make a name this week,” Butler said. “They’re just figuring out things now. I look for a few of them to step up.”

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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