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Track: Bethel Park speedster hopes to become fastest man in the WPIAL

Written by Brad Everett on .

One of the showcase events of the WPIAL championships is the 100-meter dash.

A junior from Bethel Park hopes to steal the show.

James Krandel hopes to put forth a golden performance at Thursday's Class 3A championships. Krandel is the No. 2 seed in the event having run a qualifying time of 10.85. On the same track two weeks ago, Krandel placed third behind reigning PIAA champion Journey Brown of Meadville and Ambridge's Isaac Elliott.

Elliott is the top seed and favorite. He ran a qualifying time of 10.54. Also in the field are defending champion Zane Dudek of Armstrong and Beaver's Darius Wise.

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Track: Upper St. Clair’s Shaw will be tested in 1,600 at WPIALs

Written by Brad Everett on .

Upper St. Clair's Savannah Shaw has clocked the fastest time in the 1,600-meter run in the WPIAL this season and enters the WPIAL Class 3A championships as the No. 1 seed.

Winning a title won't be easy.

Shaw has been exceptional this season, her latest conquest coming at the Baldwin Invitational when she took home the title in the mile. Her top 1,600 time this season is 4:55.97.

On Thursday, Shaw will return to that same track and try to claim her first WPIAL title after finishing in fourth place a year ago as a sophomore. Shaw's chief competition will be Oakland Catholic's Lauren Finikiotis, the defending champion and the No. 2 seed. Finikiotis has run a season-best time of 5:02.30. She was the runner-up to Shaw at the Baldwin Invitational.

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Track: Mt. Lebanon freshman hopes to leap to WPIAL title

Written by Brad Everett on .

You could be hearing the name Mason Ventrone a lot over the next few years.

Ventrone is an ultra-talented freshman from Mt. Lebanon who excels in three sports -- track, football and basketball.

A day from now, Ventrone could already become a WPIAL champion.

Ventrone enters Thursday's championships at Baldwin holding the top qualifying mark in the Class 3A high jump. Ventrone jumped 6-5 earlier this season. That put him atop the qualifying chart along with Emmanuel Mitchell of Penn Hills. Mitchell placed fourth at last year's championships.

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Lacrosse: Mt. Lebanon boys foil perfect section season for Upper St. Clair

Written by Joe Koch on .

If there's any doubt that Mt. Lebanon High's boys lacrosse team knows how to play under pressure, then take a look at the host Blue Devils' final section game against longtime rival Upper St. Clair.

With the Panthers staring at a perfect record against rivals in Class 3A Section 1, the Blue Devils spoiled any hit of an Upper St. Clair celebration on the Mt. Lebanon turf with a thrilling 10-9 victory over the Panthers.

The game was the final regular-season game for the Panthers, who likely will be moving on to the WPIAL tournament that begins this week.

Mt. Lebanon completes regular-season play against Olentangy High School, which is located in Columbus, Ohio.

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Lacrosse: Mt. Lebanon girls edge Upper St. Clair for section title

Written by Joe Koch on .

Mt. Lebanon's girls lacrosse team has had an interesting final week of the regular season.

After falling to a very solid Peters Township squad 10-9 in a Class 3A Section 1 game that snapped a 12-game winning streak, the Blue Devils held off a determined Upper St. Clair team with a 9-8 victory this past Wednesday over the host Panthers.

Mt. Lebanon finished with an overall 14-2 record and won the section title with an 11-1 record. Peters Township was second at 10-2, while Upper St. Clair, 8-4, and Bethel Park, 7-5, rounded out the top four places in the section.

As a section champion, Mt. Lebanon will begin the WPIAL Class 3A tournament at a venue that is close to -- if not actually on-campus --- home.

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Alumni Update - Mitch Nordstrom (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

WAYNESBURG, Pa. – The Waynesburg University baseball team knew exactly what it had to do going intoNordstrom Waynesburg Thursday's Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader against Grove City.

A sweep would clinch a spot in the upcoming PAC playoffs for either team. While neither opponent sealed up a spot in the postseason, both kept their championship hopes alive with a split in Waynesburg.

The Wolverines (16-17, 13-10) opened up a big lead in game one and held off a Yellow Jacket (18-20, 12-11) rally to pick up an 11-8 win. With its hopes for the postseason on the line, Waynesburg erased a 5-0 deficit and scored the next 14 runs en route to a 14-8 triumph.

Mitch Nordstrom, a Bethel Park graduate, chipped in four hits of his own, which included a double, three RBI and four runs scored.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Alex Lawrence (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Waynesburg University softball team saw three of its own honored on the All-Presidents'Lawrence Waynesburg Athletic Conference (PAC) Softball teams, which were released on Monday afternoon. Sophomore first baseman Alex Lawrence and freshman infielder Ashley Dubovich were given the nod as second-team honorees, while freshman Rachel Skon was lauded as an honorable mention pick.

Lawrence, a Chartiers Valley graduate, was a force at the plate for the Yellow Jackets. She finished tied for eighth place in the conference in batting average (.400), sixth in slugging percentage (.626), fifth in RBI (33), first in doubles (17) and eighth in homeruns (3). The second-year starter was honored earlier this year as a PAC Hitter of the Week.

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Kassidy O’Keefe (Waynesburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. – Congratulations go out to seniors Kassidy O'Keefe and Holly Bachman, who were recognizedOKeefe Waynesburg as members of the Ohio River Lacrosse Conference (ORLC) women's all-conference teams.

Despite never playing competitive lacrosse prior to this past spring, O'Keefe, a Chartiers Valley graduate, used her athleticism and tenacity to earn second-team laurels as a defender.

In her only year on the field, the two-sport starter (basketball) finished second on Waynesburg with 29 ground balls and 13 caused turnovers. 

 

(photo courtesy of Waynesburg University)

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Alumni Update - Abby Cunningham (Washington & Jefferson)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Senior shortstop Abby Cunningham was chosen as a Second Team All-Presidents' AthleticCunningham WJ Conference performer for the 2017 season.

The selection is the third of Cunningham's career, having previously earned First Team recognition at shortstop in 2016 and claiming Second Team laurels as a catcher in 2014.

This year, Cunningham, a Peters Township graduate, led the Presidents in a majority of offensive categories as she batted .322 (28-for-87) with seven walks, five doubles, 15 RBI and eight runs scored.

She finished her four-year career in Red & Black with 139 hits, the ninth-most in program history. 

 

(photo courtesy of Washington & Jefferson College)

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Baseball: Serra Catholic's offense dominating opponents

Written by Sarah Spencer on .

Sarah Spencer profiles the Serra Catholic baseball team.

2017 0512 SerraCatholic Baseball(Photo: Ben Visnesky has been a leading hitter for Serra Catholic, batting .600 to top a list of eight teammates batting at least .400. Michael Henninger)

"There's starting out strong, then there's scoring 62 runs the first three games of the season.

After the Eagles' opening tournament in Alabama, Serra Catholic baseball player couldn't deny their showing on offense.

"A ton of us started realizing that a lot of our team was hitting the cover off the ball," junior Ben Bowen said. "It just gave a lot of confidence to everyone else to keep working hard and gave a lot of confidence to our pitchers, too, to throw strikes and we'll be in the game, no matter what happens."

Through its 13-0 win against Brentwood Monday, which avenged its only loss of the season, Serra Catholic has scored 10 or more runs in all but three of its 18 games this season."

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Canon-McMillan hires wrestling & girls basketball coaches

Written by Ken Wunderley on .

Below is a press release from Canon-McMillan Athletic Director Frank Vulcano, Jr.

The Canon-McMillan School District is please to announce the hiring of a Girls Basketball & Wrestling coaches at it’s May 11, 2017 school board meeting.
 
Jeff Havelka has been named the Head Wrestling Coach effective immediately. Havelka has been as assistant coach at Waynesburg University for the past 3 years. Havelka was also the Head Wrestling Coach at Chartiers-Houston for one year.  "We are excited to have a quality person in Jeff to lead one of the top high school wrestling programs in the country.  He knows the expectations are high and that the tradition of Canon-McMillan wrestling is second to none."
 
Shawn Urbano has been named the Head Girls Basketball coach effective immediately. Urbano comes from Cornell High School where he has been the head girls coach for the past 10 seasons. "We hope that Shawn will bring the energy and knowledge to continue to build our program into a perennial power in girls basketball. His success at Cornell over the past 10 years speaks for itself."

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Alumni Update - Abbey Suhoski (Seton Hill)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

After closing out their season at the PSAC Tournament last week in Quakertown, the Griffin softball teamSuhoski SHU learned that four of its players were named to the All PSAC West team.  

Redshirt junior pitcher Amanda Huff, junior outfielder Paige Hertzog, junior third baseman Ashley Perillo and redshirt junior first baseman Abbey Suhoski were all named to the team.

The All PSAC teams were announced by the league on Monday afternoon. It is the first PSAC award for all four of the student athletes.

Suhoski, a Baldwin graduate, wrapped up her career with another solid season. She finished the year hitting .298. Abbey tied for the team lead with three homers and 22 RBI. She also added 14 runs scored and seven doubles. She was nearly perfect in the field with just two errors in 299 chances.

 

(photo courtesy of Seton Hill University)

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Alumni Update - Vanessa Falce (Thiel)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENVILLE, Pa. – Six Tomcats were named to All-Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Softball Teams MondayFalce Thiel afternoon.

Vanessa Falce, a freshman third baseman, was named to the First Team. She hit 14 doubles on the season, the third most in the league.

Falce, a McKeesport graduate, ranked eighth in the conference in runs scored (28), ninth in hits (48) and 10th in RBIs (27), batting average (.397) and slugging percentage (.545).

 

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Boys Tennis: Upper St. Clair tandem hunts PIAA berth

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Had the rules been the same as last year, Kevin Kwok and Liam Gibbons might have been headed for the PIAA Class 3A team championships next week as the third-place team from the WPIAL.

Because of the PIAA biennial realignment, however, the WPIAL was reduced to two teams from the three it had the previous two years to two teams, which meant that Upper St. Clair was eliminated from state title contention when it lost to Peters Township in the team semifinals.

It also means that, if the Panthers duo wants to take a trip to Hershey Racquet Club, they will have to do it themselves.

Kwok and Gibbons enter the WPIAL Class 3A doubles tournament as the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will open against Mason Harbaugh and Aidan Kelly of No. 15 Hempfield. Upper St. Clair has not had a doubles team make the finals since Jay Jones and Chris Foster won it all in 2007.

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Boys Tennis: South Feature Athlete - Peters Township's Miguel Ascencio

Written by Keith Barnes on .

Name: Miguel Ascencio
School: Peters Township
Grade: 12
Sport: Boys Tennis

Background: Was one of the top singles players in Class 3A for the last few years, but has been slowed by wrist injuries and dropped to the No. 3 slot in the Indians' run to a second-place finish in the WPIAL team finals. Will be paired with the team's No. 2 singles player, Ryan Farrell, and could make a run at the finals. Will have a tough second-round match against No. 3 Ben Vinarski and Sid Iyer of Pine-Richland.

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Alumni Update - Kyle Lewis (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

MARIETTA, Ohio – The Penn State Behrend baseball team traveled to Marietta Sunday afternoon, completing aLewis PSUB come-from-behind 6-5 victory.

The Pioneers (21-16) steadily built their lead, scoring runs in the first, second, fifth, and sixth innings. However, the Lions' (21-17) big ninth inning was enough to hold on for the win.

Kyle Lewis, a Peters Township graduate, went 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored to pace the offense.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)

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Alumni Update - Katelyn Hancock (Penn State-Behrend)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

LA PLUME, Pa. - The Penn State-Behrend women's track and field team won the Colonial States Athletic ConferenceHancock PSUB (CSAC) Title Sunday afternoon after combining for a team score of 306 points.

Katelyn Hancock, a Bethel Park graduate, was named Track Athlete of the Year.

Hancock took first in both the 800 and 1500 meter runs over the weekend. In the 800, she finished ahead of teammate Courtney Sargent (Erie, PA/Collegiate Academy) with a time of 2:18.81.

The two of them grabbed the top two times in the 1500 meter race as well. Hancock took the crown in 4:53.40.

 

(photo courtesy of Penn State-Behrend)

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Alumni Update - Tyler Holland (Pitt-Greensburg)

Written by Drew Karpen on .

GREENSBURG - The Pitt-Greensburg baseball team came to a close Monday afternoon as it dropped both games in the AlleghenyHolland PGU Mountain Collegiate Conference First Round series to Mt. Aloysius at Bobcat Park.

Pitt-Greensburg ends the 2017 campaign with an 18-13 overall record and earned the no. 3 seed in the AMCC Tournament with a 10-6 mark in conference play.

Tyler Holland, a Baldwin graduate, belted three more home runs in the doubleheader against the Mounties, which gives him 11 for the season. His 11 home runs are a new Pitt-Greensburg single-season record.

 

(photo courtesy of University of Pitt-Greensburg)