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Swimming: North Allegheny boys' state title wait almost over

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The North Allegheny boys have waited seven years to win a PIAA team title. After an absolutely dominating performance at the PIAA Class 3A championships this past weekend that happened around bizarre circumstances, the Tigers are going to have to wait a few extra days. After having not won the state crown since 2010, the few extra days may not seem like much to wait for their fourth ever state championship.

North Allegheny left Bucknell University on Sunday with a dominating 271-183 advantage over second-place LaSalle College. But after a winter storm derailed the originally scheduled events of the state title, the diving portion will not be held until this coming weekend. The most possible points a team can accumulate in the diving competition is 37, well shy of North Allegheny's 88-point margin.

The actual state championship trophy will need to be delivered to North Allegheny. There was also no traditional championship victory plunge into the Kinney Natatorium pool at Bucknell. The victory plunge may have to be taken at their home pool. But it is still a state championship.

The 88-point margin of victory could have been larger had it not been a 400-freestyle relay disqualification. The North Allegheny 400 freestyle relay would have won the event and set a state record but officials ruled a disqualification.

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Alumni Update - Ryan Hamm (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - The Penn State Behrend baseball team fell to Drew, 8-7, Saturday afternoon to wrap up theirHamm PSUB spring training trip in the Sunshine State.

The Rangers (8-2) were held off the scoreboard until the fifth inning, but managed to score eight late runs to erase a 6-0 Lions (6-6) lead.

Ryan Hamm, a North Allegheny graduate, tallied three hits on the day after both going 3-for-5 from the plate.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)

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Girls Basketball: 'Whack-A-Mole' approach nets North Allegheny first WPIAL title since 1972

Written by Joe Koch on .

Bethel Park girls basketball coach Jonna Burke had hoped that if her Black Hawks could somehow contain North Allegheny sophomore guard Rachel Martindale, prospects for her team's intital Class 6A WPIAL title would improve.

She hadn't foreseen a Tigers' team that has an overall wealth of talent that would end with the Tigers earning a 50-39 victory anmd winning their first WPIAL girls basketball title since 1972.

"What went wrong for us was the same thing that was going wrong all night," Burke said. "If we cut [the lead], they had five guys that could come back and hurt you. We thought 'Martindale killed us in the first half,' so we tried to focus more on her in the second half. But if they needed a big bucket, here came Piper Morningstar, then came [Hailey] Zeise. It was like we were playing 'Whack-a-Mole.' You knock one down, and the next one pops up, and then the next popped up. That's what happened. We're used to getting big stops. What's gotten us through the past few games has been big stops. They just had too many weapons for us to continually get big stops."

When North Allegheny coach Spencer Stefko heard Burke's analysis, he smiled when asked for a comment.

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Swimming: North Feature Athlete - North Allegheny’s Mason Gonzalez

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

Name: Mason Gonzalez
School: North Allegheny
Grade: 11
Sport: Swimming

Background: At the rate that WPIAL swimmers are getting bigger, faster and stronger, very few WPIAL records are safe anymore. Still, a WPIAL record in a sprint race like the 50 freestyle on the boys Class AAA level that bears the name of a Dudzinski, would appear to be one of the safer ones. Or so we thought. North Allegheny junior Mason Gonzalez did what so many NA swimmers have done in the past and etched his name in WPIAL lore. The reigning 200-yard freestyle champion switched to the 50 freestyle this year when coach Patrick Wenzel asked him. Gonzalez swam the event in a blazing 20.03 to break the 2015 WPIAL record from Upper St. Clair's Ryan Dudzinski by 0.10 seconds.

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Swimming: North Allegheny boys championship streak reaches six years

Written by Nicholas Tolomeo on .

The last time the North Allegheny boys were seeking a sixth consecutive WPIAL Class AAA championship, they were felled by a mighty Upper St. Clair team. That year was 2011. It would also be the last year the Tigers would not bring home WPIAL gold. After winning five titles from 2006-2010, North Allegheny made it six straight this year with another dominating performance at Pitt's Trees Pool. Through day one, North Allegheny opened a 221-152 lead over second-place Hempfield and by the time the event was wrapped up on Friday, the Tigers were in a different zip code than anyone else, winning by a margin of 433-238 as Peters Township had climbed up to second place.

North Allegheny has now won 11 of the last 12 WPIAL Class AAA boys titles and it was done in typical fashion with record-breaking performances and strong relays. Junior Mason Gonzalez rewrote WPIAL records in the 100 freestyle and 50 freestyle. The North Allegheny boys also broke a three-year old Upper St. Clair record in the 400 freestyle relay.

Rick Mihm and Eben Krigger had a 2-3 finish in the 500 freestyle, Jack Wright took home a bronze (100 freestyle) and Brett Edwards took home a silver (100 breaststroke).