Penn-Trafford wins state rifle championship

Sunday, February 19, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Diana Cholock described Penn-Trafford’s rifle season as crazy after her team captured the school’s first state title on Feb. 14.

Penn-Trafford had five shooters in the Top 16, including the No. 1 shooter in junior Ivy Thomas.

The Warriors finished with 1,023.3 points, out-shooting WPIAL champion Butler, 1,018.9.

Thomas shot a 206.6. Teammate Carlee Valenta was fourth with a 205.2 and Seth Baughman was fifth with a 204.7.

The other two contributors were Emily Valenta with a 204.1 (12th) and Zachary Burns with a 202.7 (16th).

The Warriors and Golden Tornado were the top two teams in the 12-team field.

Emmaus was third with a 1,011.7, Everett was fourth with a 1,011.4 and Mt. Lebanon was fifth with a 1,006.9.

The other shooting members for Penn-Trafford were Nessa Wright (197.7), Michael Koreen (197.3), Brian Broadwater (196.5), Dominic Nicotero (195.4) and Mallory McRae (194.0).

There were 120 shooters in the event.

“That’s how the year has been this year,” Cholock said. “I hate to quote Forrest Gump, ‘they are like a box of chocolates,’ I never knew what I was going to get from to match-to-match.

“Just when I thought I have the right lineup, they fall apart. Before the WPIALs, collectively as a team we shot a 900 and we didn’t.”

The team finished second to Butler.

“Going to states, I didn’t go into the match expecting a title,” Cholock said. “My goal was to get them through it; two targets within 20 minutes.”

Schlock said because there were three sites across the state for the finals, she didn’t know how the team did until late Feb. 14.

“When I called up the website, I was dumbfounded when I saw we had won,” Cholock said. “I had to call someone to make sure it was right and then I started to text the team.

“I knew what the scores needed be. When we came out of WPIALs, it was a little disheartening.”

Cholock said she didn’t have any exceptions.

“I told them do your thing,” she said. “None had been to states for teams before. I know how difficult the target is. I told them to go and have fun. The thrill of winning states was 10 times better than winning WPIALs.”

Individual wrestling set to begin

They Class 3A individual wrestling section tournament is set to get underway Feb. 25, at Norwin for Sections 3 and 4.

Joining Penn-Trafford are Connellsville, Latrobe, Hempfield, McKeesport, Gateway, Franklin Regional, Norwin, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson and West Mifflin.

Action begins at 9:30 a.m. and will conclude in the early afternoon.

Looking to advance for the Warriors are Dylan Barrett (107 pounds), Jake Lang (114), Hayden Coy (127), Dominic Hartman (160), Tasso Whipple (172), Adam Hall (189), Owen Ott (215) and heavyweight Joe Enick.

The top six finishers in each weight class advance to the WPIAL/Southwest Regional championships March 3-4, at Canon-McMillan.

Basketball teams advance to WPIAL playoffs

The Penn-Trafford girls and boys basketball teams each earned berths to the WPIAL playoffs this season.

The girls earned the No. 8 seed in Class 5A. Penn-Trafford (15-7) was scheduled to play No. 9 Shaler (16-6) on Tuesday (Feb. 21).

The P-T boys (7-15) drew the No. 16 seed in the Class 5A tournament and were to play No. 1 Peters Township (19-3) on Feb. 17.

P-T gymnasts compete at WPIAL meet

A pair of Penn-Trafford gymnasts competed at the WPIAL championships Feb. 11, at Moon.

Linley Doonan finished 17th in the vault in the Intermediate I division with a mark of 8.3.

Christina Lettie Hermann, competing at Intermediate II, placed fourth in bars (8.2), 19th in vault (8.25) and 21st in floor (8.050).

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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