Off to WPIALs in Hopes to Qualify for States


Looking down at a stadium filled with the best of the best athletes is a surreal feeling for any high school track and field athlete. Throughout the season, athletes have experienced competition of all sizes, from section meets, to the Butler and Baldwin Invitationals, giving them many opportunities to PR. All of this has led up to the WPIAL meet which is the first step to the end goal, making it to Shippensburg.  

At Slippery Rock University on May 19, 2021, Greater Latrobe’s Track and Field runners, jumpers, and throwers will compete at the WPIAL Championships. 

To qualify for the WPIAL Championship meet,  athletes have to be seeded within the top 24 in their event. However, running in the top 12, the faster heat, allows for a better chance to qualify for states. Running out of the slow heat puts runners at a disadvantage. In triple A, the top four to place at WPIALs will go onto States.

The boys 4×400 relay is in the running of qualifying for the state meet, as they are seeded 6th.  Brennan Campbell, Augie Mucci, Nick Rauco, and Ryan Sickenberger make up the relay. After taking first place at the Lady Spartan Wildcat Invitational and at the WCCA meet, Brennan said, “The boys feel that they have a chance of qualifying this year.”

To prepare for WPIALS, the boys have been putting in the work at practice, perfecting their speed, handoffs, and block starts. Brennan explained, “We have been working hard at practice each day, especially this past week at our WPIAL practices. As for me, personally, I have been eating right throughout the season and am keeping my focus on the end goal, qualifying for States and getting the opportunity to run on the Shippensburg track.”

Track is very much a mental sport and when it comes down to the crucial meets the pressure can get to athletes. Often being on a relay carries more pressure for not wanting to let your team down. Having the right mindset is half the battle when it comes time to get on the start line. “I want to run fast and give it my all, which is all I can ask of myself and my teammates,” Brennan said.

This is their year to qualify, as three out of four  are seniors. “As a team our goal is to place in the top four, which would land us a place at the state meet.” 

“PRing in the relay would help our chances of qualifying and individually PRing in the 110 and 300 meter hurdles would put me that much closer. Regardless of the outcome, it always feels good to PR,” he said. 

Crossing that finish line being in the top four would be a dream come true for this group of boys.  Brennan explained, “It would be such an awesome feeling knowing that all of the hard work paid off. People say it is a dream to run at Shippensburg, so having that opportunity would be very cool. After missing last season, we definitely had to work twice as hard to get back to where we left off and go beyond that level.”

As for Individuals, Ryan is seeded 6th for the 100 meter dash and 9th in the long jump. Brennan is seeded 7th for the 110 meter hurdles and is 11th in the 300 meter hurdles. Both boys are in contention being in the fast heat. This puts them in with the best competition allowing them to push themselves. 

As for girls, Anna Rafferty is seeded 3rd for the Shot Put, which would give her a spot at the state meet, as long as she delivers. As a freshman, Ella Bulava is in the fast heat of the 800, seeded 9th. 

Overall, getting the chance to run at the WPIAL meet is an accomplishment within itself. Making it to Shippensburg validates your hard work and talent. The boys are only one race and about 4 and a half minutes away from knowing if their dream is about to become a reality.