Westmoreland athletes of the week: GCC’s Corinn Brewer, Penn-Trafford’s Andrew Kessler
Saturday, May 21, 2022 | 6:25 PM
School: Greensburg Central Catholic
Claim to fame: Brewer continues to prove she is one of the elite track and field athletes in the WPIAL. The Notre Dame commit won the pole vault at the WPIAL Class 2A championships at Slippery Rock, while also finishing second in the 300-meter hurdles, third in the 100 hurdles and fourth in the high jump, a new event for her.
Were you pleased with your performance in the WPIAL meet?
Yes. I got a PR in the 100 hurdles and a season best in the 300 hurdles. I just pole vaulted to win because I wanted to focus on the 300 hurdles, so no big height there. I want to do better in the high jump at states. I haven’t practiced high jump once this season, so I’ll focus on that this week and next.
How many WPIAL/PIAA medals do you have now, and where do you keep them?
From cross country and track, I have 14 WPIAL medals and 10 PIAA medals. Hopefully, I can make that 14 PIAA medals after states. All my medals are hanging up on my medal hanger in my room. Some that I am most proud of will be framed in a shadowbox for my graduation party.
What are your goals heading into the PIAA meet?
To get PRs and win as many events as I can. I know I’m in the running for gold for all events, so I’m excited to see how I perform on that day.
Why did you choose Notre Dame, and what other schools did you consider?
I have been in love with Notre Dame since I was a kid. It was my dream to go to there. I think the campus is beautiful, and I love the faith aspect of ND. The track program is also very good, so I know that’ll help me and push me. I also considered Cornell, Yale, Columbia and Virginia Tech.
Who is the most famous athlete to come out of Notre Dame?
I would say Jerome Bettis. At least the most famous around here because he played for the Steelers.
How exciting was it to see your brother do so well at the WPIAL finals?
I am so happy and proud of James. He had worked so hard and ran so well in the 300 hurdle race. He was ahead the whole time, and I was cheering super loud and hoping he would hang on to the win. I was jumping up and down when he won.
Do you and James compete in everything you do?
James and I are not really competitive with each other. He beats me in everything he does now, and that’s OK. I don’t get upset.
What do you like to do to unwind?
I never have much time to unwind. Gymnastics has been yearround for me since I was 2 years old. Along with that, I fit in track and cross country and volunteer coaching in all of these sports. But when I do get time to unwind, I like watching Seinfeld and movies with my family.
Any unique talents outside of track and field?
I am a Level 9 gymnast, so that’s a pretty cool and unique talent. That keeps me strong in every muscle in my body, and I love getting to spend time with the other girls at practice. I also play piano sometimes.
What sport are you secretly good at?
Wrestling. I wrestled when I was very young and placed at the area finals. I had to give it up because it conflicted with gymnastics. I also think I would be good at swimming.
If you played football, what position would you play?
I think I would play wide receiver or running back. I played flag football when I was younger, and I liked playing all the positions.
Do you have any autographs from anyone famous?
Ben Blankenship, an Olympic middle distance runner, and Heather Kampf, a four-time national champion in the 1-mile road race.
Who is your favorite band or artist?
For King and Country. It is a Christian Pop band. I only ever listen to Christian pop and Christian rock music. That’s just what I like.
Favorite breakfast cereal?
Blueberry Morning, Great Grains. I think I eat Honey Nut Cheerios most often though. I tend to eat cereal for more than just breakfast.
Claim to fame: Kessler came off the bench Thursday and helped rally his team to a stunning 3-2 victory against No. 3 Hempfield in the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals. Kessler led the Warriors with 19 kills, and his presence helped the other hitters on the team. The Warriors advanced to the semifinals against No. 2 North Allegheny at 6 p.m. Monday at Fox Chapel.
Did you realize you sparked the team when you stepped onto the court?
I did, but it just wasn’t me. Daniel (Tarabrella), Patrick (Schall) and Alex (Rugh) all started making plays.
Was it the best the team has played this season?
I think it was. We played with a lot of momentum, and hopefully, we can keep it going against North Allegheny.I’m excited to play against them.
What went through your mind after those first couple kill shots?
I was just trying to help my team make plays and not let the negative affect me.
Could you feel the momentum switch in Game 2?
I did. I was really focused, and it was a lot of fun. At one point, I quit looking at the scoreboard and focused on the game.
Hempfield had beaten you twice. What was the difference this time?
Our team chemistry is a lot better. Everyone is playing well together.
What’s it like to play for Coach (Jim) Schall?
He’s a great coach. Everyone likes playing for him because it puts us in good position to win. It’s good to have him in your corner.
What other sport to you play? Does it help you?
I play basketball. I like both sports, and they complement each other and prepare you for the different challenges you have on the court.
What’s it like playing alongside of Daniel Tarabrella? What does he bring to the court?
In addition to being a great leader, he’s super encouraging. He gets everyone excited the way he celebrates after a big point. He played a big role on the football team, and he brings that winning attitude to the court
Who are your biggest influences?
My parents (Zach and Julie) both played sports and offer me great advice. My dad played football in high school (Moon) and college (Allegheny). My mom swam and was on the track team. (Zach Kessler is the Franklin Regional athletic Director).
Do you have any pregame rituals?
I don’t do anything super crazy in my pregame routine. I make sure I’m stretched out and warm-up properly.
If you mom was to make you a special meal, what would it be?
I love her lasagna. It’s my favorite meal she makes.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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