Locals help California (Pa.) soccer program
A pair of former Alle-Kiski standouts have contributed to the success of the surging California (Pa.) women's soccer team.
Senior forward Kelsey Russo (Fox Chapel) and freshman midfielder Danielle Kearns (Deer Lakes) have combined for 16 points for the No. 6-ranked Vulcans (13-2-1).
Russo has three goals and an assist, and Kearns has three goals and three assists for a team that's outscored its opponents, 47-6, and outshot them, 291-95.
A third local player on the roster is junior defender Kayla Harmon (Springdale). She has appeared in one game this season.
Women's soccer Westminster
Sophomore goalie Maddy Frech (Kiski Area) picked up a complete-game win and made four saves in a 3-1 victory over Grove City. Frech improved to 5-4-1 on the season.
Women's swimming Penn State Behrend
Freshman Mia Pietropola (Plum) won three events, including two individual, in a loss against Westminster. She took the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke in times of 1:11.24 and 2:33.61. She also helped the 400-yard freestyle relay to a win on 4:09.76.
Senior defensive end Jake McTighe (Knoch) has played in five games and has made 13 tackles for the Leopards (2-5).
St. Francis (Pa.)
Freshman Cole Bush (Burrell) is starting to get involved with the Red Flash offense, but he is doing so at a different position. Since moving from running back to tight end, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has two receptions for 54 yards, including a 35-yard gain against Central Connecticut.
Three local wrestlers are ranked in the top six of their weight classes in Super Region I. Redshirt sophomore Jeremy Landowski (Burrell) is No. 4 at 149 pounds. He was 15-12 as a freshman and won 26 of 32 unattached matches last season. Teammate Tyler Berger (Burrell), a redshirt senior, is No. 4 at 157. He finished 17-9 last season and took sixth at the Super Region I Championships. Berger wrestled at Washington & Jefferson for two years before transferring.
The third ranked wrestler is a former high school teammate of the other two. Freshman Dakota DesLauriers (Burrell), a former PIAA champion, begins the season No. 6 at 184. He was 36-0 as a senior and 45-1 as a junior at Burrell. Mercyhurst is ranked No. 3 in Super Region I.
Junior Travis McKillop (Burrell) enters the season No. 1 at 184 pounds in the NCAA Division II Super Region I Preseason Regional Rankings. McKillop has put together back-to-back All-American seasons. Last season, he won a Super Region I title and made the national semifinals. He was 33-2 with 11 falls.
Bill Beckner Jr. is local sports editor for the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.