| Sports

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Southmoreland's Lessman among favorites at annual WCCA meet

Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Hempfield Area shot putter Max Adams winds up to throw during their April 23, 2013 meet versus Latrobe and Hempfield in Hempfield Township.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

WCCA track and field championships

When: Saturday. Field events, 9:30 a.m.; track trials, 10:15 a.m.; track finals, 12:30 p.m.

Teams: Belle Vernon, Derry, Franklin Regional, Greensburg Central Catholic, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Kiski Area, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland, Valley and Yough.

Athletes to watch: Hempfield: Maddie Holmberg, Jasmine Jones, Bridget Guy, Max Adams, De'Lorian Day; Latrobe: Hanna Green, Maddie Mueseler, Kiski Area: Brent Kennedy, Tatiana Cloud, Morgan Keibler; Franklin Regional: Kaitlyn Ruffing, Luke Schott.

Top high school sports

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, April 25, 2013, 11:44 p.m.

Emily Lessman's determination in 2013 cannot be measured, but her results certainly can be.

The Southmoreland senior has decided to make her final high school track and field season a memorable one.

Lessman is doing everything she can to better herself and reach her goals.

The three-time PIAA Class AA qualifier in the high jump won't be happy without a state medal this season, and she's doing everything she can to prepare for that.

Lessman will compete in the Mars Invitational on Friday and then try to better her 2012 second-place finish at Saturday's Westmoreland County Coaches' Association meet at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium.

This is the 91st annual county meet for the boys and 34th for the girls.

“I'm fighting myself mentally,” Lessman said. “I know I should be doing better.”

She cleared 5 feet, 2 inches as a freshman but hasn't beaten that mark in a meet since. She has cleared 5-5 in practice.

“I know bigger jumps are in me,” she said. “That's why I've entered so many invitationals. I'm hoping they prepare me for the big events in a month.”

Lessman said she's been frustrated because she's not jumping to her capability. She has reverted to a four- or five-step approach she used as a freshman.

“Emily has worked very hard this season,” Southmoreland girls coach Chuck Brittain said. “She has entered several district meets (Butler, Mars, and Baldwin) in preparation for the state meet. She's gone to states three times and has yet to come away with a medal, so she's very determined this season, more so than I've ever seen her.”

And it was Lessman who approached Brittain about getting into the different meets.

“I haven't had to encourage Emily to compete in these meets,” Brittain said. “She's done a lot of this on her own. She's a very determined, talented athlete.

“She's trying to add experience in big meets to help her win the mental battle at Shippensburg. She knows how difficult it is to get to the state meet, let alone reach the medal stand.”

Saturday's WCCA meet will allow elite runners and throwers begin to prepare for the upcoming WPIAL and PIAA meets.

Action at Latrobe's Memorial Stadium begins at 9:30 a.m. with the field events. The track preliminaries for the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the 110 and 100 hurdles start at 10:15 a.m.

The 3,200 relay finals will be before the 200 preliminaries, and finals for all other running events start at 12:30 p.m.

Latrobe coach Andy Wnek said the girls pole vault, girls long jump, sprints and relay races will be some of the top events.

Five of the top pole vaulters in the state are from the county; Hempfield's Bridget Guy and Lexi Masterson, Norwin's Kelsey Plecenik and Greensburg Salem's Cassidy Shepherd and Courtney McQuaide.

“You have some talented girls in the county, especially the pole vault,” Hempfield assistant coach Roger Sullenberger said. “You also have some outstanding coaches.”

Guy, Shepherd and Hempfield's Maddie Holmberg are the top long jumpers in the WPIAL. Guy and Holmberg are among four girls in the WPIAL to surpass 18 feet this season. Hempfield's Lauren George recently jumped 37-10 in the triple jump.

Hempfield's Max Adams will be favored in the discus and shot put, and the boys and girls javelin will have some of the area's top throwers, including Belle Vernon senior Jessica Slagus, who is one of the WPIAL's best.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Judge lets Ten Commandments monument stand
  2. Freeport to address sewage bill deadbeats
  3. Burrell considers renovating former weight room
  4. Harrison resident want answers to flooding concerns
  5. Connellsville Health Board discusses rundown properties
  6. Fayette County townships’ leaders worry about water plant
  7. Hundreds to participate in ninth annual Nicholson Memorial Bike Run to benefit cancer patients
  8. Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
  9. Foundation fundraiser stylish in ‘Simply Silver’
  10. Steelers RB Archer trying to catch up after tough rookie season
  11. VFW’s new national chief of staff has distinguished service pedigree