Penn-Trafford trio earns WPIAL track medals

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Sunday, May 30, 2021 | 11:01 AM


To qualify for the PIAA Class AAA Track and Field Championships, athletes must finish in the top four of their events or meet the state qualifying standards if they finish in the top eight.

Penn-Trafford senior Julia Hauck earned a trip to the May 29 state meet at Shippensburg University with her fourth-place finish in the shot put at the WPIAL championships on May 19 at Slippery Rock University.

Hauck threw 36 feet, 1¾ inches. Her best throw of the season, however, is 36-6½.

Hempfield senior Isabella Gera won the event with a throw of 44-10 and her teammate, sophomore Elizabeth Tapper, was second with a throw of 43-3¼. Norwin senior Brooke Alexander placed third with a throw of 36-7.

Hauck is seeded 15th in the state.

Sophomore Kate Schall earned her medal in the 400 by placing eighth with a personal best time of 59.26. The state mark she needed to advance to Shippensburg was 58.80.

Her best time entering the WPIAL championships was 60.88.

Joe Whipkey earned a seventh-place medal in the 800 with a personal best time of 1:59.29, breaking the 2:00 mark for the first time.

He did not reach the qualifying standard of 1:57. In fact, only two runners did. If Whipkey could have run a 1:57.93, he would have qualified by finishing fourth.

“I knew it was going to be tough,” Whipkey said. “I knew I had to get to 1:57 if I wanted to qualify for states.”

Whipkey said he was eager to compete against some of the top runners in the WPIAL.

Whipkey did achieve his lifelong dream of winning the Westmoreland County Coaches Association title.

“It’s my biggest track accomplishment ever in high school,” Whipkey said. “It was the biggest goal for me and the season and to get it was amazing. It’s my proudest moment of the season so far. It felt awesome.”

He will attend Grove City College and continue his track career.

Other Penn-Trafford athletes competing at the WPIAL championships were Chloe Bonson, Madison Setzenfand, Joe Whipkey, Jason Pernick, Nathan Schelessinger and Matthew Sarnowski.

Bonson ran the 3,200 in 12:01.74, and Setzenfand threw 85-7 in the discus.

Pernick finished tied for ninth in the high jump with a leap of 5-9, and Sarnowski had a throw of 127-7 in the discus. Schelessinger compete in two events, the discus and javelin. He threw 140-9 in the discus and 138-10 in the javelin.

The boys 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams also competed.

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

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