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Norwin's Duncan excels at WCCA meet

Paul Schofield
| Sunday, April 29, 2007

Norwin's Megan Duncan turned in a splendid performance Saturday at the 85th annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association Track and Field Championships at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

The senior's four first-place finishes in individual running events might have been a first for the meet.

"I've been coaching more than 35 years, and I can't remember someone winning four individual running events," former Norwin coach Bill Bair said. "It was quite a performance."

Duncan, who will run at Penn State next year, won the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and the 200- and 400-meter dashes. Her performance helped Norwin capture the girls' title with 109 points. Duncan also won the track Most Valuable Player award.

"When the coaches first approached me about running four individual events, I said OK," Duncan said. "I really didn't think about it too much until Friday night, then I got nervous. I had to focus on each event, and I tried to prepare myself."

Duncan amazed herself by winning four events. Her coach, Trinity Morgan, said he thought she looked strong in the 200, her final race of the day.

"I took it easy in the 200 preliminary and didn't get in the fast heat of the finals," Duncan said. "I knew I had to post a good time, and I ran as fast as I could. I'm glad I did this. It was a lot of fun."

Latrobe's Natalie Bower also had a busy day. She set meet records in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, and also ran legs for the 3,200- and 1,600-meter relay teams that placed second.

Duncan's performance was even noticed by Bower.

"After watching her, it made me think how someone could do that," Bower said. "I was impressed. I look up to her for doing that."

Bower said she was pleased with her performance because it showed where she stands in the WPIAL.

"I was looking to run well," Bower said. "Getting both records is pretty nice."

Mt. Pleasant's Abbey Way was the combined MVP, and Derry's Erin Beattie was the field MVP. Way won the long jump, placed second in the pole vault and high jump and was sixth in the 200. Beattie won the triple jump, placed second in the long jump and was third in the pole vault.

Other girls' winners were Penn-Trafford's Diana Filtz (800), Latrobe's Michelle Moss (100), Kiski Area's Leah Ulizio (javelin), Hempfield's Kim Kanala (shot put), Greensburg Salem's Corinne Free (discus), Derry's Amanda Palenchar (pole vault) and Kiski Area's Sarah Cappo (high jump).

In the boys' meet, won by Kiski Area with 126.5 points, four boys were double winners. They were Greensburg Salem hurdler Scott Steel (110 and 300 hurdles), Penn-Trafford distance runner Josh Christopher (1,600 and 3,200), Greensburg Central Catholic sprinter Chris Hayden-Martin (100 and 200) and Hempfield thrower Wes Banks (shot put and discus).

Banks was awarded the field MVP, and Christopher won the track MVP. Brett Williams of Kiski Area, who won the long jump, was the combined MVP.

Banks won the shot put with a throw of 60-2 1/2 and the discus with a heave of 173-6.

Despite the damp conditions, Christopher was pleased with his times.

Steel pulled off a surprise when he won the 110 hurdles, defeating Jeannette's Nick Spino and returning state champion Toney Clemons of Valley. He was looking forward to the race against both hurdlers.

"It feels pretty good to win both races," Steel said. "I knew Toney had a little injury, but I still was pleased with my times in both races."

Steel ran 39 seconds in the 300 hurdles.

"I'm looking forward to the WPIALs and PIAAs," he said. "I'd like to improve over last year's performance."

Other individual winners were Kiski Area's Stefen Lundberg (400), Latrobe's Cole Klinchock (800), Latrobe's Josh Vick (javelin), Hempfield's Aron Kurzinski (triple jump), Norwin's Jason Jasko (high jump) and Mike Steffenino (pole vault).

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