Knoch's Geist breaks 44-year-old WPIAL shot put record
The oldest WPIAL Class AAA track and field record is now history.
That's because Knoch junior Jordan Geist threw the shot put 72 feet, 7 inches to break the 44-year old meet record set by Baldwin's Ron Semkiw (70-13⁄4) in 1972.
Geist has been close to the mark in previous meets but finally beat the mark Thursday at the WPIAL Class AAA championships at Baldwin.
Geist also won the discus with a throw of 192-11, missing the meet record of 193-7 held by Upper St. Clair's Mark White, which was set in 1985. Geist has posted four of the best throws in the state in the shot.
With Semkiw cheering him on, Geist unleashed his record-breaking throw. Semkiw has been at numerous events watching Geist, including the Baldwin Invitational on May 6.
“It was awesome, especially having Ron here supporting me,” Geist said. “There is great competition here, and it was awesome to repeat what I did a year ago.
“It wasn't the technical throw I was looking for. I'd like to break the state meet record. The discus mark, I wasn't trying for that.”
Geist wasn't the only double winner.
Seneca Valley distance runner Mike Kolor won the 1,600- and 800-meter runs, West Mifflin's Micah Watts won the 200 and long jump, Butler sprinter Emily Horstman took first in the 100 and 200, and Greensburg Salem jumper Julia Howard won the long and triple jumps. Watts also placed second to Armstrong's Zane Dudek in the 100.
Howard said it turned out to be the best day of her career, winning the two jump events.
“This was an awesome day,” Howard said. “I was hoping to win both events. I was confident I could.
“I've taken second in the triple jump the past two seasons, and I'm looking forward to states. If I perform the same way next week at Shippensburg, I like my chances.”
Connellsville's Madison Wiltrout captured her third straight javelin title, but it wasn't her best day.
Wiltrout, who is coming off elbow surgery, threw 144-8.
“I really couldn't connect (Thursday),” Wiltrout said. “The arm and shoulder is a little sore, but I still have another week. This was just another step.”
This was the first time Wiltrout attempted more than two throws in an event; it was only her fourth time competing this season.
“That's a positive, being a three-time winner,” Wiltrout said. “It wasn't my best, but I still got the medal.”
Hempfield junior Gabby Holmberg qualified for states in four events — 300 hurdles, long jump, triple jump and 1,600 relay. She placed second in the hurdles and fourth in the triple jump.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.