Westmoreland high school notebook: Mt. Pleasant’s King in top form

Sunday, December 4, 2022 | 5:18 PM

Mt. Pleasant’s Lily King is one of the best returning swimmers in the WPIAL this season.

The sophomore looks to be in top form.

King qualified for the 2024 Olympic Trials after an impressive time in the 50-meter freestyle at the Toyota U.S. Open Championships at Greensboro Aquatic Center in Greensboro, N.C.

King placed fourth in the preliminary round with a time of 25.50 seconds.

In October, King trained and studied at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

King won PIAA Class 2A gold in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and with the 400 freestyle relay, last season.

She set a state record in the 50 free of 22.66 seconds.

Mt. Pleasant won the WPIAL 2A team championship.

Leps roll on

Belle Vernon took another step toward its first PIAA football championship with a 21-17 win over Central Martinsburg Friday night in Ebensburg. The Leopards not only can make program history with a win Saturday in Cumberland Valley, but they can cap a Westmoreland County first.

Three local schools have won state titles, but county teams never have won in back-to-back years.

Penn-Trafford won the 5A state title last year. Now, Belle Vernon gets its shot.

The other area state champions are: Franklin Regional in 2005 (3A) and Jeannette in 2007 (2A) and ’17 (A).


Nick Urey, a senior football player at Norwin, will continue his playing career at Westminster. Urey played quarterback and cornerback for the Knights.

Hempfield senior football player Eli Binakonsky picked up a Division II college offer from Mercyhurst of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

• Mercyhurst also offered Penn-Trafford senior wide receiver and linebacker Daniel Tarabrella, who is entertaining Division I and II offers. His other offers are from Robert Morris, Georgetown, Duquesne and St. Francis (Pa.).

An H-back/linebacker, he also has opportunities to play at Notre Dame College (Ohio) and Washington & Jefferson.

• Andrew Nesler, the former Franklin Regional lineman who transferred to The Hill School in Pottstown, is seeing an increase in college attention. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior received an offer from Stonehill in Easton, Mass. Stonehill reclassified to Division I status and is now an FCS program.

• Recruiting is picking up for Norwin lineman AJ Clemens (6-3, 240). The all-conference tackle has offers from Baldwin Wallace, Wittenberg, Washington & Jefferson and Notre Dame College.

• Washington & Jefferson offered football roster spots to Jeannette seniors Mitchell Steele and Andrew Ross. In addition to kicking duties, Steele played defensive end and tackle. Ross was a receiver and cornerback.

• W&J also extended an opportunity to Hempfield lineman Ethan Shaw (6-4, 250).

• Wittenberg, a D-III program in Ohio, offered Norwin senior tight end/defensive end Noah Vogel, Hempfield senior two-way lineman Jackson Barton and tight end/linebacker Anthony Vallano and Penn-Trafford senior running back/defensive back Jake Otto.

• Belle Vernon senior baseball player Jake Wessel committed to play at Penn State Behrend. Wessel is a catcher for the Leopards.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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