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Monroeville resident Kromka races to fifth place at Pittsburgh Triathlon

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Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, 6:18 p.m.

Monroeville resident Kate Kromka, a 2009 Gateway High School graduate, placed second in her division and fifth overall in the women's international distance triathlon Sunday morning at the Pittsburgh Triathlon and Adventure Race.

She finished the combined 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike ride and 10- kilometer run in a time of 2:37.02 and was second out of seven competitors in the women's 20-24 age group.

“Gauging distances was a work in progress,” Kromka said. “I felt good during the swim. The bike ride was an adjustment. It started to rain, and then it let up before raining again near the end of the run. We were wearing sunglasses for the bike ride, and the rain made it hard to see.

“But it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of energy and a lot of people cheering us on.”

The “international” part of the race means that the distances are identical to the ones used for the triathlon in the Olympics.

The swim in the Allegheny River started next to PNC Park and ended near the Mr. Rogers statue between Bettis' restaurant and the Carnegie Science Center.

The transition to the bike ride followed the HOV lanes on 279 North, and the run had the competitors head towards Millvale and back along the riverwalk.

Baltimore's Jennifer Sung was the overall winner with a time of 2:29.25, and she was the lone competitor ahead of Kromka in the 20-24 age division.

Kromka placed 62nd out of all racers — male and female. There were 208 total entries for the international distance triathlon.

No triathlons are scheduled for Kromka, but, she said, she always is keeping an eye on the schedule in the region.

“I definitely have the motivation to keep going,” she said. “I enjoy challenging myself. There are a couple in Pennsylvania in September, but I have to check my work schedule to see if something works out.”�

PIHL 2014-15 alignment

The Gateway varsity ice hockey team has had a few weeks to digest its latest alignment move in the PIHL, and head coach Gene Perhac said the move was expected and will work for his maturing squad.

The Gators, one of the youngest squads in the PIHL for the 2013-14 season, dropped down to the Open Class.

Gateway, a team consisting of only two seniors and a great deal of freshmen and sophomores, went 5-15 and just missed the Open playoffs.

For the 2014-15 campaign, the Gators will be in Class A and play in the Eastern Conference of Tier 1 with Hempfield, Freeport, Westmont Hilltop and Deer Lakes.

“We developed nicely last year, and Class A is the next proper step,” Perhac said.

“It will still be another good challenge as we continue to improve our game. We're going to be in the top bracket of A.”

Gateway will play a 22-game schedule, and the Gators will play each team in the Eastern Conference twice for eight games.

The Gators also will play two games against each of the five teams in the Western Conference of Tier 1 — McDowell, Mars, Quaker Valley, Thomas Jefferson and Montour.

“It's exciting to see what we can do against some of those top teams,” Perhac said.

“Quaker Valley and Mars have been battling for a state championship for several years.”

In addition to its play in Tier 1, Gateway also will play four games against the teams in the Eastern Conference of Tier 2 — Serra Catholic, Franklin Regional, Bishop McCort and Greensburg Salem.

All five teams from both conferences in Tier 1 will make the Class A playoffs.

Those 10 teams will be joined by the two conference winners from Tier 2 for a 12-team playoff field.

All ten teams in Class A last year are back in A for the upcoming season.

Hempfield, McDowell, Wheeling Park, Keystone Oaks and Greensburg Salem, like Gateway, were in the Open Class last year, while Class A newcomers Montour and Franklin Regional were in AA.

“I think they did a nice job with restructuring the classifications,” Perhac said.

“More competitive balance is what they were shooting for. Moving up was no problem for us.”

Perhac said the Gateway hockey organization is looking for additional players for its teams for the 2014-15 season. For more information, visit

�Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825, at or via Twitter @Mlove_Trib.

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