Norwin notebook: Runners set pace at county cross country meet

Saturday, October 22, 2022 | 11:01 AM

Get used to seeing the Norwin girls cross country team out in front of the pack.

The Lady Knights, who boast a young but talented lineup, ran to a title at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Championship earlier this month at Westmoreland County Community College in Youngwood.

Norwin edged past Hempfield, 56-59, as it continued to tune up for the WPIAL postseason.

Freshman Annie Czajkowski was the Knights’ top finisher as she came in fourth with a time of 19 minutes, 5.8 seconds.

Audra Fedor was eighth (20:17.5) and Rosemary Gaydos 11th (20:30.3).

The Norwin boys finished as the runner-up to Hempfield in the boys race with 53 points.

Andrew Breuchy was the top Norwin individual. He took seventh in 17:20.1, while Thomas Gaydos was 11th (17:33.9), and Oliver Hinson took 12th (17:37.3).

New programs

Norwin is launching two new middle school athletic programs with hopes they will bolster talent at the high school level and begin molding athletes in those sports at a younger age.

The district added swimming and boys volleyball, with the wheels immediately set in motion for both.

“It is imperative for the overall success of a varsity program to have a strong feeder system,” Norwin athletic director Mike Burrell said. “While many of our successful programs have strong feeders, many of our other programs have strong youth/recreational programs throughout our community.”

Despite positive results at the varsity ranks in both sports, Norwin feels student-athletes need an earlier connection to them rather than a blitz of information greeting them when they get to high school.

“We have had great success in boys volleyball and swimming over the years,” Burrell said. “We have been very fortunate with the commitment we have had from our coaches and student-athletes. While we have had great success, some of our students’ first exposure to the sport hasn’t occurred until they enter the ninth grade. By creating these feeder programs, it gives our students an opportunity to be introduced to the sport, and it gives our head coaches an opportunity to implement their system with added exposure to our student-athletes.”

Norwin began to advertise for coaches in late June, soon after the programs were approved by vote.

Playoff bound

The Norwin girls volleyball team qualified for the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.

The league was set to announce seedings and first-round pairings on Oct. 21 with the action to begin Oct. 24.

Fast start

Outscoring their first two opponents 22-2, Norwin hockey opened with a pair of victories.

The defending PIHL Class A champion Knights took care of Westmont Hilltop, 11-2, and blanked Plum, 11-0.

In the first win, Joe Vecchio had a career-high five goals and assisted another, and Dom Cerilli registered a hat trick.

Against Plum, Cerilli had four goals and two assists, while Mario Cavallaro found the net three times and added a pair of helpers.

Owen Burmeister made 15 saves for the shutout.

Super title

Middle school wrestler Landon Sidun was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler at the Super 32 Challenge.

Sidun won a championship at 112 pounds, recording three major decisions, a technical fall and a pin at the competition held at Greensboro Coliseum (N.C.).

Release the Hounds

Megan Ketler, a Norwin Middle School student and rising soccer talent, attended the Great Lakes Alliance National Premier Leagues tryout in Canton, Ohio. Ketler plays for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds Academy.

The Player Development Program is meant to identify players good enough to play on the Midwest NPL Select Team that will play in Chicago in November.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at or via Twitter .


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