Norwin’s Spatolisano changes strategy to win McKinney Mile at Baldwin Invitational

Friday, May 3, 2019 | 9:26 PM

Sometimes athletes change their strategy on the fly.

That’s what Norwin’s Dominic Spatolisano did during the McKinney Mile Friday at the 46th annual Baldwin Invitational.

Halfway through the race, Spatolisano realized he had a shot at winning, so he changed his pace.

“It was an accomplishment to win it,” Spatolisano said. “When we came through the 800, I was surprised to see the time so slow. At the 600 mark, I was going for a time. I wasn’t looking to win it.

“But my coach told me to go because I could get this. I think I closed with a 60 or a 61, which is insane. I completely scraped my race at the 800 mark.”

Spatolisano finished in 4 minutes, 30.46 seconds to take first place ahead of Meadville’s Matt Beveridge (4:30.49) and General McLane’s Nate Price (4:40.98).

Hempfield seniors Jared Bannon and Gavin Mayo came up short of winning titles, but both were pleased with their marks in their events.

Bannon (14.48 seconds) was edged by Waynesburg’s Daniel Layton (14.46) in the 110-meter hurdle finals, but Bannon’s time broke a school record of 14.54 set by Seth Spino.

“Getting the school record means a lot,” Bannon said. “I worked hard, and my coaches believed in me. To do it in these conditions is awesome.”

Mayo finished third in the long jump (22 feet, 1034 inches), but he missed tying the long standing record of 22-11 set by Ed Buggs in 1974 by a quarter of an inch.

Mayo, an all-state swimmer, has been battling Achilles soreness. He said he is starting to feel better.

Just missing the school record will give him confidence that he can break it, he said.

“I hit a big jump in warmups and fouled,” Mayo said. “I pumped myself up for my last jump, and I knew it was good. I didn’t think it was 22 high. I thought it was 22 mid.

“I really want to break it. I still have two or three meets to do it.”

Hempfield senior Mackenna Orie finished first in the shot put and took second in the discus.

It wasn’t her best effort, and she was not pleased, especially in the discus.

“I’m not happy for sure,” Orie said. “I thought I was going to have a good day in the discus and didn’t. I have to get back to work and correct things. I did do better in the shot in the finals.”

Her winning throw in the shot was 46-4. She threw only 138-9 in the discus.

Orie’s teammate Isabella Gera picked up fourth-place medals in the shot and discus.

Hempfield’s Nathan Roby and Daniel Norris earned fourth-place medals, Roby in the 100 and Norris in the shot put.

Belle Vernon’s Grace Henderson also earned two fourth-place medals, one in the high jump and the other in the 1,600.

Yough sophomore Hunter Bakewell, whose dad was an all-state thrower from Brownsville, placed second in the javelin with a personal-best toss of 162-1.

Belle Vernon’s Ryan Marek and Hunter Martin picked up third-place medals. Marek placed third in the discus, and Martin earned bronze in the 110 hurdles.

Martin later won the 300 hurdles, edging West Mifflin’s Dontae Lewis. Martin ran a 39.90.

Norwin’s Jessica Kolesar stepped to the top of the podium with a first-place long jump of 18 feet.

The track finals began in a steady rain at the start of the hurdles.

By the time the girls were running the 1,600, it was a downpour that eventually delayed the meet for an hour.

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

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