Major medal haul for Hempfield at WPIAL track and field championships

Thursday, May 16, 2019 | 9:31 PM

There were several reasons why the Hempfield boys track team won its seventh WPIAL Class AAA team championship on May 6.

Their names were Jared Bannon, Jacob Boord, Nathan Roby, Gavin Mayo, Daniel Norris, Ryan Crooks, Luke Sternick, Connor Prola, Trevor Verkleeren, Caden Spehar and Ryan Barnhart.

The Spartans standouts performed well at the WPIAL Class AAA Track and Field Championships on Thursday at Slippery Rock, as Bannon and Boord won gold, and the rest advanced to the PIAA championships next weekend at Shippensburg.

Bannon broke a school record in winning the 110-meter hurdles in a blazing time of 14.11 seconds. Boord, who screams on his throw attempts, won the javelin with a personal best of 172 feet, 7 inches.

“I knew at the beginning I had to get out fast,” Bannon said. “I started well and, by the middle of the race, I started pulling away. I know if I want to win at states, I have to get in the 13s.”

Bannon also qualified for the 200 by finishing fourth.

Boord yelled his way to the title. His winning throw came on his second attempt of the event.

“I feel it could have been a 190 throw, but I missed my block,” Boord said. “I just have to work hard at practice and maybe that big throw comes next week.

“Every throw I let out a yell. I have people pushing me every day, and I have work next week. This is an amazing feeling. I couldn’t be happier”

Barnhart (pole vault) and Mayo (long jump) finished with second-place medals. Norris (shot put) placed fourth, and Roby broke the school record in the 100 (11.0) with a seventh-place finish.

The top four finishers in each event in Class AAA automatically qualified for states. Anyone in the top eight qualified if the state-qualifying standard was met.

Barnhart cleared 14-3, and Mayo jumped 22-5 ½. Norris’ top throw was 49-11 ¼.

Hempfield coach Ron Colland said he was pleased with team’s performance, and he’s eager to see how they compete at states.

Orie wins two

Hempfield senior Mackenna Orie won the discus and shot put in Class AAA.

She hit 152-0 in the discus and was pleased she went over the 150-foot mark again.

Her winning throw in the shot put was 44- ½.

Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray said he’s confident Orie will perform well at states.

“She had a great week of practice,” Murray said.

Golden Lion roar

Senior Malia Anderson was the only individual from Greensburg Salem to win gold, and she anchored the 3,200-meter relay team to a title.

Anderson, who earned her fourth consecutive trip to the state meet, won the 800 in 2:13.69. Her closest competitor was Butler senior Liz Simms at 2:16.15.

Anderson also anchored the winning relay team, which included Keara Lint, Sydney Gatons and Maddy Murtland. There time was 9:27.08.

“I’m pleased with my performance,” Anderson said. “I was hoping to break the meet record (2:10.38), but I wasn’t pushed enough. Now, I’ll focus on winning a state title.”

Senior Cam Binda (3,200) and junior Brenden Lewis (110 hurdles) earned third-place medals, and Dylan Binda earned another trip to states with a fifth-place finish in the 1,600.

Other county champions

Derry junior Justin Huss, Franklin Regional junior Jo-Michelle Huczko, Burrell senior Kaylen Sharrow, Monessen senior Darnel Howell and the Latrobe boys 1,600 relay team of Joseph Piper, Mitchel Carl, Connor Pickup and Zakharee Williams were the other Westmoreland County athletes to win WPIAL titles.

Huss won the Class AA 400. Sharrow won the Class AA 100 hurdles, and Howell the Class AA high jump. Huczko won the girls pole vault after clearing 11 feet.

Check out highlights from the WPIAL track and field championships on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at or via Twitter .

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