‘Last chance’ events replace qualifiers for WPIAL track and field championships

Tuesday, May 10, 2022 | 5:11 PM

A few years ago, the WPIAL eliminated regional qualifiers for its track and field championships.

Instead, qualifiers for the WPIAL Class 3A and 2A finals are based on performance from the season.

The top 24 in each in Class 3A event advance to Slippery Rock on May 18, and the top 16 advance in Class 2A. They will be trying to qualify for the PIAA championships May 27 and 28 at Shippensburg.

The qualifiers have been replaced by what are called “last chance” meets, where individuals get a final chance to make it onto the performance list.

The events were held Tuesday at Norwin, West Mifflin and Pine-Richland.

“We have a lot of teams entered,” Norwin coach Tim Van Horn said. “Athletes get one final chance to qualify for the WPIALs.”

Hempfield girls finish first

The Hempfield girls track and field team finished tied for first at the Altoona Mt. Lion Classic on May 6.

Junior Elizabeth Tapper won the shot put (34 feet. 9 ½ inches) and finished third in the discus (94-1). Junior Cydney Blahovec finished third in the 800 (2 minutes, 22.81 seconds), and senior Lily Murphy finished fourth (2:29.59).

Sophomore Alicia Weimer placed third in the 3,200 (11:49.44), and Noelle Dougherty finished sixth (12:12.14).

Junior Lindsey Simmons placed second in the 100 hurdles (16.42), and junior Giana Torri (17.04) placed fifth.

Simmons placed third in the 300 hurdles (48.35), and sophomore Alexa Gray was sixth (50.04).

Sophomore Grace Iwig finished sixth in the high jump (4-3). Gray placed fourth in the long jump (15-11).

Sophomore Laney Springer was third in the javelin (89-1). Junior Rebekah Ostrosky was sixth in the shot put (29-11 ¼).

The 3,200-meter relay team won with a time of 8:54.83, the 400-meter relay team placed third and the 1,600 relay team was fifth.

The Hempfield boys had three champions.

Sophomore Caleb Prola placed first in the 200 (22.95). He finished second in the 400 (51.09) to Indiana senior Owen Putt’s 50.25.

Sophomore Peyton Murray won the discus with a throw of 156-9. Senior Daniel Sierk placed third with a toss of 138-7. Sierk won the shot put with a throw of 49-1. Murray placed fifth with a heave of 45-9 ¼.

Junior Antonio Tuttoilmondo was fifth in the 800 (2:03.76).

Senior Noah Ser placed fifth in the high jump (5-8).

Derry Area freshman Blake Revoir was fourth in the 110 hurdles (19.11), and freshman Tim Miller was sixth in the 300 hurdles (50.09) at the Altoona Mt. Lion Classic for small schools. The 400-meter relay team was fifth.

Junior Troy Clark was fifth in the triple jump (37-5 ¼).

Freshman Julia Omlor was fourth in the 200 (28.66) and sixth in the 100 (13.70).

Freshman Jane Huss was third in the 800 (2:30.35). Sophomore Charity Peterman was fifth in the 300 hurdles (55.29).

The 1,600 relay team placed second, and the 3,200 relay was fifth.

Junior Sara Bungard was sixth in the shot put (30-11 ½).

Pine-Richland Invites’ best

There were seven athletes who had elite performances at the Pine-Richland Invitational.

Seneca Valley’s Lucas Simpson won the 1,600 in a time of 4:23.04.

The top girls’ performances were by New Castle triple jumper Maria Owens (37-1 ¼) and five 1,600-meter runners: Montour’s Harley Kletz (5:02.76), Pine-Richland’s Meredith Price (5:04.65) and Natalie McLean (5:09.09), Kiski Area’s Eliza Miller (5:12.76) and Greenville’s Karis McElhaney (5:14.27).

Simpson also won the 800 (1:59.02), and Owens won the high jump (5-1) and long jump (16-11 ¾).

Audrey Friedman won the javelin (99-9) and shot put (36-1 ½).

Greensburg Salem senior Dwight Sarver won the discus with a throw of 131-4.

Belle Vernon senior Tyler Mocello won the triple jump with a leap of 39-7 ½.

Higgins, Schelessinger, Cernuto win titles

Ligonier Valley senior Miles Higgins, Southmoreland junior Olivia Cernuto and Penn-Trafford senior Nate Schelessinger won titles at the 48th Annual Baldwin Invitational.

Higgins won the javelin with a throw of 153-10, and Schelessinger won the discus with a toss of 139-8.

Cernuto won the triple jump by leaping 34-2 ½.

South Fayette senior Melana Schumaker was the only double winner. She won the pole vault (11-10) and long jump(17-5).

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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