Penn-Trafford’s Matt Sarnowski caps season with 3rd-place finish at PIAA meet

Sunday, June 4, 2023 | 11:01 AM

It doesn’t happen often, but two of the top discus throwers in Pennsylvania reside in Westmoreland County and live less than 10 miles apart.

So when the 2024 track season begins, Hempfield junior Peyton Murray and Penn-Trafford junior Matt Sarnowski, who finished first and third, respectively, at the 2023 PIAA Class 3A track and field championship May 27 at Shippensburg University’s Seth Grove Stadium, will renew their friendly but competitive battle to be the best.

Murray won his first PIAA title with a personal record of 185 feet, 9 inches. York County School of Technology senior Mathew Arnold was second with a toss of 177-0 and Sarnowski threw a PR of 174-4 to earn a bronze medal.

“I’m happy, I threw my best,” Sarnowski said. “Peyton is a great thrower and he’s the one I have to go after. I can’t wait for next year.

“It was a good year. Ending with WPIALs last year and not even qualifying for states makes, my goal was to make it to states (this year). To be honest, I didn’t know if I’d place at states or not.”

Sarnowski had his three best throws of the season at the state meet.

He has been improving all season and making steady progress. He was overshadowed by Murray, who was the WPIAL champion and had the best throws statewide for much of the season.

But hard work and determination helped Sarnowski make a steady progression.

“I came out and had fire from last year not making it,” Sarnowski said. “I really wanted to get here. After being part of the PIAA 5A championship football team in 2021, I wanted to make it to the states in track.

“I did a lot more lifting in the offseason and definitely worked on my technique. I threw more in the summer with my coaches. “

Sarnowski, who is a lineman on the football team, said both sports help him improve, and he’s looking for a big senior season.

He said if he wants to beat Murray next year, he has to work on his technique and get in the weight room.

“Matt really came on,” said Hempfield throwing coach Dave Murray, who also is Peyton’s dad. “I was pulling for him. He’s a good kid and comes from a great family.

“I know he and Peyton are friends now, and they will push each other next year. It should be fun to watch.”

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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