Penn-Trafford notebook: Warriors boys track looks to build off Wildcat Invitational win

Sunday, April 21, 2024 | 11:01 AM

Penn-Trafford’s boys track and field team hopes winning the Wildcat Invitational on April 13 propels the Warriors to a second consecutive trip to the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs.

The Warriors edged Hempfield, 81-77, at the meet earlier this month at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium. The boys clinched their second-consecutive playoff trip by edging the Spartans, 76-74.

At the invitational, the Warriors got first-place medals from Matt Sarnowski (discus), Logan Kerstetter (javelin), Ekoulus Lett (110 hurdles) and the 1,600-meter relay team of Jake McGhee, Aidon Lett, Ekoulus Lett and Michael Cheplick.

Others scoring points and contributing to the win included Thomas Cheplick III and Dallas Oxendine.

The girls placed fourth with 43 points behind Hempfield (146), Morgantown, W.Va. (81) and Latrobe (77).

Sarnowski throws personal record

When Sarnowski won the discus at the Wildcat Invitational with a personal record of 179 feet, 3 inches, he defeated Hempfield senior Peyton Murray, the reigning PIAA and WPIAL Class 3A champion.

Sarnowski got to hold the best throw in the state for two days before Murray, a Notre Dame commit, launched a season-best 180-3.

He leaped back over Murray April 18 by throwing 185-7.

“Peyton and Matt are going to continue to battle the rest of the season,” said Dave Murray, Hempfield’s throwing coach and Peyton’s dad. “I look for both to have big seasons.”

Another local thrower with the best throw in the state is Derry junior Sophia Mazzoni. Her best is 156-10. She’s consistently hitting throws in the 150s.

“I’ve leveled out right now, but I’m expecting bigger throws to come,” Mazzoni said.

WPIAL scholar-athlete honoree

Twenty winners of the annual WPIAL James Collins Scholar-Athlete Award were revealed April 17. The WPIAL announced 10 male and 10 female athletes who will each receive $1,000 scholarships.

Among the winners was Sarnowski, a senior at Penn-Trafford. He has earned six letters between football and track and field. He is a two-time track and field captain and also a captain for football. He won WPIAL and PIAA championships in football as a sophomore. He claimed a WPIAL silver medal and PIAA bronze medal in the discus last spring. He also is a two-time all-conference selection in football and has been selected to play in the PSFCA East-West all-star game.

Off the field, he carries a 4.549 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, Science National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, ski club and environmental club. He also serves as the Student Union president and was class representative as a sophomore and junior. He plans to stucy chemical engineering and compete in track and field at Penn State.

The other boys winners were Pine-Richland’s Vasilios Balouris, Greensburg Central Catholic’s James Brewer, Avonworth’s Kai Carlson, Seneca Valley’s Isaiah Clerkley, Mt. Lebanon’s Ryan Frank, Butler’s Drew Griffith, North Allegheny’s Logan Kushner, Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak and Indiana’s Charles Weber.

Winning the girls awards were Riverview’s Lola Abraham, Montour’s Marlo Cyanovich, Mars’ Addison Girdwood, Knoch’s Lindsey Greb, Avonworth’s Amelia Hardiman, South Park’s Katelyn Jackovic, Armstrong’s Emma Paul, Seneca Valley’s Lihini Ranaweera, North Catholic’s Alayna Rocco and Freeport’s Sydney Selker.

The recipients were selected from 146 nominees submitted by WPIAL schools.

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


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