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Hempfield sophomore George emerging as top track talent

| Saturday, April 13, 2013, 8:54 p.m.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Lauren George competes in the long jump during the Lady Spartan track meet Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Lauren George competes in the 100-meter dash during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Brooke Petro competes in the long jump during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Ravenne O'Lear clears 10 feet while competing in the girl's pole vault during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Julie Webb competes in the long jump during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Emily Olson competes in the long jump during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Jen Antill competes in the long jump during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Bria McMahon competes in the 1,600-meter run finals during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Franklin Regional's Kaitlyn Ruffing (left) and Latrobe's Hanna Green compete in the 200-meter dash finals during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Jasmine Jones races to the finish line during the 4x100 finals during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Maddie Holmberg (right) competes in the 100-meter hurdle finals during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Maddie Holmberg (right) competes in the 100-meter hurdle finals during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Kelsey Plecenik clears 9 feet, 6 inches while competing in the girls pole vault during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Kelsey Plecenik clears 10 feet while competing in the girls pole vault during the Lady Spartan track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Penn-Trafford's Dom Cima (right) races to the finish line in the 100-meter dash finals during the Wildcat track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Hempfield's Sherman West races to the finish line during the 4x100 finals during the Wildcat track invitational on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.

The Hempfield girls track team won its first WPIAL Class AAA team title in 2012. With the majority of the team returning, the Spartans are favored again.

While opposing coaches already know about junior sprinter Jasmine Jones, sophomore hurdler Maddie Holmberg, sophomore distance runner Morgan Ansell, senior thrower Rachel Fyalkowski, junior jumper Bridget Guy, senior jumper Natalie Shiffler and senior pole vaulter Lexi Masterson, Hempfield has many other rising stars.

One of them is sophomore jumper Lauren George.

She may be petite, but George is fast and has great spring in her legs. She competes in the long jump and triple jump, the 100-meter dash and the 400-meter relay. Her best event is the triple jump.

“We kind of protected her last year as a freshman,” Hempfield coach Ron Colland said. “She's beginning to emerge as another top performer. She showed us a lot in the sprints.”

There is no hiding her now. George is expected to score a lot of points for her team this season.

George was scheduled to compete in four events Saturday at the 21st annual Lady Spartan and 11th annual Greater Latrobe Wildcat Invitational at Hempfield's Spartan Stadium, but a sore quad forced her to pull out of the 400 relay.

Still, she placed second in the triple jump, made the finals in the 100 and placed 10th, and was ninth in the long jump.

“She did OK in the meet,” Hempfield jumps coach Dee Waters said. “The weather was great, but as Lauren gets older, she's going to have more responsibilities for the team.

“That's a great thing: She's going to be a good jumper, and all the other events are going to showcase her talent and make her better at the events she likes.”

George inherited her talent from an athletic family. Her brother, Ty, throws javelin and jumps for the boys team, and her mother, Cheryl (Pesarchick) George, and father, Rich, were outstanding athletes at Greensburg Salem. Her mother owns the records for the 100 and 200 meters at Greensburg Salem.

“The great thing about their family is they are very supportive of each other, but they are very competitive with each other,” Waters said. “It make the kids such good athletes.”

George has set numerous goals, including beating her mom's record times of 11.9 in the 100 and 25.9 in the 200.

“I might get her some day,” George said. “I'm still in the 12s. It's a goal to beat her times; she reminds us all the time she still has the records.”

George was the Westmoreland County Coaches Association triple jump champion and fifth in the long jump. She placed sixth in the triple jump at the WPIAL Class AAA championships.

Her goal is to qualify for the state meet in at least the triple jump.

“It's going to take a lot of hard work and focus,” George said. “I'm more determined this year.”

“Our team is very strong with a lot of young talent,” George said. “If we continue to work hard and practice hard, we can be WPIAL champs again.”

Ty, who competes in three jumps (long, triple and high) and javelin, placed in three events getting sixth in the high jump, fourth in the triple jump and third in the javelin.

Latrobe senior Hanna Green turned in quite a performance in earning track MVP. She set a meet record in the 400 (57.21), beating Norwin's Shannon Abraham's mark of 58.06. Green was second in the 200 and part of two winning relays teams (1,600 and 3,200).

Holmberg was a triple winner and earned field MVP by winning the long jump with a leap of 18-1, edging Guy's jump of 18- 12. Holmberg also won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles and was part of the winning 4x100 team that set a new meet and stadium record.

Jones, who also was part of the relay team along with Guy and Janelle Crosby, won the 100 and 200.

Hempfield junior Max Adams satisfied his coach Dave Murray by winning the shot put and discus.

The Hempfield boys and girls won the team titles, and MVPs were Hempfield senior Sherman West (track), Hempfield junior De'Lorian Day (track) and North Allegheny's Isaac Fritz (combined).

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

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