WPIAL track notebook: Baldwin Invitational returns to 1-day format

Tuesday, May 3, 2022 | 4:54 PM

When Baldwin track and field coach Ed Helbig approached the Baldwin-Whitehall School District administration about the 48th annual Baldwin Track and Field Invitational, they wanted the event to be held over two days because of covid concerns.

But with the covid threat diminishing, Helbig was told recently the meet could go back to one day.

The annual staple of early May returns Friday with more than 1,000 athletes and 60 schools competing in an event that pits some of the top athletes from Western Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Batavia, N.Y.

Action begins at 1 p.m. Friday, and Helbig said after some early preliminaries, the meet will run as normal.

Because the event originally was scheduled for two days, Baldwin did lose some teams that have opted to compete at the Pine-Richland Invitational and Altoona Mt. Lion Classic.

There are 47 schools entered at Altoona. The competition will be split between a Big School Division and a Small School Division.

There are 65 schools from Western Pennsylvania entered at Pine-Richland.

Speaking of Helbig

There is a new man heading the WPIAL’s track and field committee. Helbig replaced longtime chairman Tom Norris. Helbig has been on the committee for years and is the track coach at Baldwin.

Tops in the state

Moon senior Mia Cochran ran a time of 2 minutes, 9 seconds in the 800-meter run at the Morgantown (W.Va.) Invitational over the weekend, which is the fastest time in the state, according to MileSplit rankings.

Paschall doubles up

North Catholic senior Trevor Paschall was the only athlete to win more than one event at the Mars Invitational on April 29.

He won the 200 and 400.

There were 34 teams in the event.

LH dominates Fayette meet

Laurel Highlands had four multiple winners at the Fayette County Coaches Association meet Saturday.

Freshman Matt Schwertfefer won the 1,600 and 3,200; sophomore Hunter Kooser won the 110 hurdles, high jump, long jump and triple jump; senior Sterlene Scott won the 100, 200 and 400; and junior Mia Pierce won the javelin and discus.

Other multiple winners were Brownsville junior Jolena Quarzo, who won the 800, 1,600 and 3,200, and Belle Vernon junior Gianna Anderson, who won the long and triple jumps.

Four double winners at South Fayette

There were four double winners are the South Fayette Invitational.

Penn Hills senior Angelo Allen won the discus (155 feet, 3 inches) and shot put (53-5), Upper St. Clair junior Dani Prunzik the 100 and 200, Mt. Lebanon sophomore Megan Cain the 100 and 300 hurdles and South Fayette junior Erica King the javelin and discus.

Team semifinals postponed

The WPIAL postponed its team track semifinals to Wednesday because of an unfavorable weather forecast Tuesday that included afternoon rain and possible thunderstorms.

The semifinals instead will start at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the same host sites. Butler, Norwin, North Allegheny and South Fayette are hosts for the 3A semifinals with Greensburg Central Catholic, Riverside, Shenango and South Park hosting in 2A.

The top four boys and girls teams in each classification advance to the WPIAL team championship May 11. West Mifflin and Peters Township are the host sites for the finals.

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 pschofield@triblive.com.

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