Penn-Trafford’s Matt Sarnowski qualifies for PIAA championships

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | 11:01 AM

Penn-Trafford junior Matt Sarnowski picked a great time to soar up the state track and field rankings.

Sarnowski, who was part of the Warriors’ 2021 WPIAL and PIAA Class 5A championship football team, is headed back to a PIAA championship event — in track and field.

Sarnowski finished second in the Class 3A discus event at the WPIAL championships May 17 at Slippery Rock University.

His throw of 166 feet, 1 inch was just 3 feet behind Hempfield junior Peyton Murray, who is ranked No. 1 in the state. Murray’s best throw this season is 182-1.

Sarnowski is ranked fourth in the state after his runner-up finish. His best throw this season is 169-5 at the Last Chance Meet at West Mifflin on May 12.

“It was a very good day in the discus,” Sarnowski said. “It wasn’t my best, but after getting fifth last year and getting second this year (it was good).”

Sarnowski had to battle cool temperatures and windy conditions last week, which had an impact in the discus, knocking down good throws.

“Peyton is a great thrower and I’m chasing him,” Sarnowski said. “That gives me motivation when I compete against him. It pushes me every time we complete. I try to do better.”

Sarnowski also competed in the shot put and javelin during the regular season. He didn’t throw the shot put at WPIALs, but he did finish 13th in the javelin with a throw of 143-10.

“It wasn’t my best day in the javelin,” Sarnowski said. “I just have to work more on both of them. It’s coming. I hope to finish top eight at states.”

Sarnowski’s teammate, Logan Kerstetter, finished fifth in the javelin with a throw of 159-2. He, however, just missed qualifying for states as only the top four finishers and those meeting the state qualifying standard advance.

Joining Sarnowski in Shippensburg will be Penn-Trafford junior Amelia Barilla in the 800. She placed fourth in the race in a time of 2:18.77.

She, along with Kate Schall, Hannah Weishaar and Vienna Kearns, also qualified in the 1,600-meter relay. They placed fourth in a time of 4:02.42.

“I felt we ran well,” Barilla said. “We’re excited to go to Shippensburg.”

Placing in the top eight but not qualifying for the state meet were sophomore Aidon Lett and Schall, a senior.

Lett placed eighth in the 110 hurdles and Schall placed fifth in the 400 in a time of 58.8. She needed to run a 58.62 to qualify for states.

The PIAA championship meet will be held Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.

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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