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Cross Country: East Feature Athlete - Norwin's Matt O'Neill

Written by Brittany Goncar on .

Name: Matt O'Neill
School: Norwin
Grade: 11
Sport: Cross Country

Background: O'Neill has been the No. 1 runner for Norwin all year. He led the Knights to a second-place finish at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet with a fifth place finish (16:41.10). O'Neill averages 16:30 at invitationals this year, and hopes to carry that momentum to the WPIAL championships. He finished eighth at the Red, White and Blue Invitational, which was the highest finish at that meet by a Norwin athlete in about 20 years.

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Field Hockey: East Feature Athlete - Norwin's Alexis Birkland

Written by Joe Koch on .

Name: Alexis Birkland
School: Norwin
Grade: 10
Sport: Field Hockey
Position: Defense

Background: Birkland has been playing field hockey for two years and is an integral part of the Knights' defense. She has displayed plenty of versatility and does a good job helping the team transition from defense to offense. Birkland is also is a member of the track and field team, where she competes in the discus, javelin and shot put. She's an Honor Student and is vice president of her class. She's a member of the school's Interact Club which works with building relationships among the school, its student and the communities served by Norwin High. Birkland also has volunteered in the emergency room at Magee Women's Hospital. She also assists each year at the Haunted Hills Hayride in North Versailles, a charity that benefits the Autism Society of Western Pennsylvania.

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Girls Tennis: East Feature Athlete - Norwin's Maria Santilli

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Maria Santilli
School: Norwin
Grade: 11
Sport: Girls Tennis

Background: Santilli is the No. 1 player on the Knights and is expected to win the Section 1 singles title when the tournament opens on Monday. She won the section as a freshman, but finished second to Franklin Regional's Natalia Perry last year. Santilli is the No. 2 ranked junior in the state and could be considered a top contender for the WPIAL singles title.

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Field Hockey: Norwin could be a big headache for traditional Section 1 powers

Written by Joe Koch on .

In recent years, Norwin High has been on the outside looking in when it came to the Class 3A playoffs in field hockey.

That might yet be true again this season. But if it is, it won't be for a lack of effort from the Knights.

Norwin took a big step in creating problems for teams following a 3-0 victory over visiting Penn-Trafford this past Tuesday. And, the Knights followed that up with a crucial 2-0 victory over host Hempfield this past Thursday night.

Those two victories came after matching 1-0 losses against Pine-Richland and North Allegheny, which currently are the top two teams in Section 1, and a 5-1 victory over Latrobe. The week's action left the Knights with a 3-2 section record heading into Wednesday's home game with Pine-Richland. One night later, Norwin visits North Allegheny. Much could be determined about possible playoff positioning based on these two games. For the Knights -- and their opponents -- they will have a lot of incentive.