Running to glory

By Sam TallaricoEagle Staff Writer

BUTLER TWP — With the section title at stake, all Butler had to do against North Allegheny was run its race — plain and simple.
“We didn't have to do anything spectacular,” Tornado coach Annessa Steele said. “We just had to get it done.”
Butler won 13 events — including two individual events apiece by Katelyn Wetzel, Danica Snyder and Ava Bonetti — en route to an 89-61 girls track and field victory over the Tigers.
“I knew everything had to go perfectly for us and
Butler had to make mistakes and neither one happened,” said North Allegheny coach John Neff. “Very good for Butler. Hats off to them. they definitely deserved it.”
In the boys meet, the Tigers pulled out 11 events — including all three relays — in posting a 87.5-62.5 victory.
All four teams had entered the regular-season ending meet with identical 5-0 records.
Wetzel won the 100 (13.42) and 200 (27.240 and was a member of the winning 400 relay team (49.09) along with Paige Allen, Kennedy Evans and Lexis Frost.
“Katelyn had three firsts and those were huge points for us,” Steele noted.
Snyder placed first in the 1,600 (5:23.19) and 3,200 (11:32.75) as did Bonetti in the shot put (36-10) and discus (107-4).
“Danica Snyder, it's nice to know we have a great runner (in the distance),” Steele said. “With Danica running so well, that's a huge help.
“We have a couple of kids out (sprinter Jasmine Bailey and distance runner Alexis Swiergol). We wanted to let them get better and thought we'd be able to get through this meet without them,” Steele added.
Frost and Evans also won individual events — the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, respectively.
Last season, the Tigers pulled out the section crown, but the Tornado responded by winning the WPIAL Class AAA championship, which included
North Allegheny.
“The biggest thing this year over last year was our point scorers were young,” Steele said. “Last year, some of our athletes weren't able to do four events, but now they've developed and are able to run four.”
Butler also outpointed the Tigers 36-27 in the field events.
“Our field events have always carried the track,” Steele said. “Now that we have talent out on the track, it's made us a stronger team.
“The throws never let us down. Coach (Bill) McElroy does a great job and our jumps with coach (John) Williams has developed a lot of kids. You need to have some great assistant coaches.”
In the boys meet, Evan Gomez won the 1,600 (4:27.30) and 800 (1:57.88) and Nick Martin the shot put (48-0) and discus (122-3) to key
Butler's effort.
“I knew it would take a lot of things to win,” said Butler boys coach Rick Schontz. “North Allegheny has a good team.
“We won six events and we had a good effort ... We had two guys clear 20 feet in the long jump, but they had one go 21 feet. They performed a little bit better,” Schontz added.
Kyle Shivetts led the Tigers with wins in the 100 and 200 as he was the only double individual winner.
“We really have a solid team from top to bottom,” Neff said. “I really feel good about our chances (in the WPIAL team playoffs).
“We did win state in cross country. We're strong in distance and the middle distance is holding its own. We're really deep in middle distance,” Neff added.
Now, both teams will turn their attention to the WPIAL Class AAA team semifinals playoffs, which will begin on Wednesday.
The Tornado and Tigers are two of the more successful teams in the playoffs as well as the individual qualifiers and finals and will adjust their focus to that.
“We were second in the section. We were runners-up and made the playoffs,” said Schontz. “Our goal every year is to go undefeated and win the section.
“Now, the second season begins,” Schontz added.
North Allegheny 87.5, Butler 62.5
Track Events
3,200-meter relay:
North Allegheny 8:26.86; 110 hurdles: Louco (NA) 16.44; 100 dash: Shivetts (NA) 11.75; 1,600 run: Evan Gomez (B) 4:27.30; 400 dash: Tonzo (NA) 51.29; 400 relay: North Allegheny 44.02; 300-meter hurdles: Louco (NA) 39.29; 800-meter run: Evan Gomez (B) 1:57.88; 200-meter dash: Shivetts (NA) 23.24; 3,200-meter run: Chris Grooms (B) 9:57.90; 1,600-meter relay: North Allegheny 3:34.02;
Field Events
High jump:
Zagonski (NA) 5-8; Long jump: Baum (NA) 21-2; Triple jump: Spencer Murray (B) 43-5; Shot put: Nick martin (B) 48-0; Discus: Nick Martin (B) 122-3; Javelin: Sliker (NA) 168-3; Pole vault: Josh DiPippa (B) 10-6
Butler 89, North Allegheny 61
Track Events
3,200-meter relay:
North Allegheny 10:35.39; 100 hurdles: Lexis Frost (B) 16.68; 100 dash: Katelyn Wetzel (B) 13.42; 1,600 run: Danica Snyder (B) 5:23.19; 400 dash: Ashley Grooms (B) 1:02.23; 400 relay: Butler (Paige Allen, Kennedy Evans, Katelyn Wetzel, Lexis Frost) 50.79; 300 hurdles: Kennedy Evans (B) 49.09; 800 run: Trisha Brandt (B) 2:29.37; 200 dash: Katelyn Wetzel (B) 27.24; 3,200 run: Danica Snyder (B) 11;32.75; 1,600 relay: North Allegheny 4:17.88
Field Events
High jump:
Paige Rittelmann (B) 5-0; Long jump: Meghan Studds (B) 17-2.5; Triple jump: Calabreise (NA) 35-8.25; Shot put: Ava Bonetti (B) 36-10; Discus: Ava Bonetti (B) 107-4; Javelin: Mitchell (NA) 113-9.5; Pole vault: Yarshen (NA) 10-6