Lady Spartan Invitational features top athletes
While many of the top male athletes in the WPIAL competed at the Butler Invitational on Friday night, some of the top female athletes will be putting their talents on display today at the Lady Spartan Invitational at Hempfield Area's Spartan Stadium.
The seventh annual meet is competing for talent this year. That's because Butler is playing host to its first girls' meet today.
The Hempfield meet begins at 9:30 a.m. with the running trials. Field events are slated to start at 9:45 a.m., and the running finals are set to begin around 12:30 p.m.
The 20 teams entered are Mt. Lebanon, Norwin, Mt. Pleasant Area, Allderdice, Schenley, Sacred Heart, Mt. Alvernia, Derry Area, Franklin Regional, Indiana Area, Kiski Area, Greater Latrobe, Penn-Trafford, Connellsville Area, Laurel Highlands, Plum, West Mifflin, Woodland Hills, and Hempfield from District 3 near Lancaster.
Some of the top athletes in the WPIAL expected to compete include Ashley Cochran of Kiski Area in the long jump, Alexis Antalis of Indiana Area in the triple jump, Bridget Alex of Mt. Lebanon in the 800-meter run, Lauren Wood of Mt. Lebanon in the 1,600-meter run, Ann Gagliardi of Franklin Regional in the 1,600, Amy Egan of Greater Latrobe in the 1,600, Rachel Stewart of Indiana Area in the 100, and Melissa Stewart of Indiana in the shot put and discus.
Some of Hempfield Area's top performers are Elena Resovich and Christina Flowers in the sprints, Lauren Bricker in the 800, Lindsay Thompson in the triple jump, Alysia Dovyak in the pole vault and Nikki Plassio in the high jump.
The Hempfield Area School District's athletic department will be busy today. There are three other events being held at the school other than the Lady Spartan Invitational.
The Spartans' baseball team will play host to Connellsville Area at 10 a.m. in a key Section 2-AAA contest. Connellsville is 5-0 in the section, and Hempfield is among the teams trying to stay in the running for a playoff berth. The game was moved up one hour so that the field can be used to hold the javelin throw for the track meet at 1 p.m.
There will be two boys volleyball tournaments beginning at 9 a.m. The 10-team varsity tournament will be held in the high school gymnasium. The schools competing are Greater Latrobe, Deer Lakes, Butler, Woodland Hills, Summit Academy, South Park, Peters Township, Thomas Jefferson, Penn-Trafford and Hempfield. The junior varsity tournament will be held at Harrold Middle School, which is across the street from the high school.
There also will be a 10-team, double-elimination, junior varsity girls' softball tournament at Fort Allen Elementary School. It starts at 9 a.m.
According to Hempfield athletic director Rick Druschel, there is a waiting list for teams to get into the softball tournament. Games will be played on three fields at the Fort Allen complex.
Rob Kezmarsky was recently hired as boys' basketball coach at Uniontown Area High School. He replaces Dave Shuck, who retired after the season. Kezmarsky was an assistant coach under Shuck this past season when Uniontown captured the WPIAL Class AAAA title and finished second in the state, losing to Harrisburg in the PIAA title game.
The Laurel Highlands graduate also was a head coach at Albert Gallatin High School.
Uniontown, the only Class AAA team in the WPIAL to compete in Class AAAA the past two seasons, will compete in Class AAA the next two seasons.
THIS AND THAT
Kamela Gissendanner, a junior who helped lead Clairton High School to its second consecutive WPIAL Class A title, made an oral commitment to play college basketball at North Carolina State. The 6-foot-1 forward chose North Carolina State over North Carolina, Pitt, Penn State, Georgia, West Virginia and numerous other colleges. Yough hired Edward J. Kroupa this week as its new girls' basketball coach to replace Janine Vertacnik. Kroupa, a Penn Township resident, served as an assistant boys coach this past season. Hempfield wrestling coach Rob Waller has resigned. He made the announcement at the wrestling banquet April 14. Matt Lenart of Greensburg Salem accepted an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Lenart intends to play baseball.