PIAA District 7 "WPIAL" Championships
Who To Watch For: Daniel Layton (Waynesburg Central)
Why?: He is the top-ranked WPIAL Class AA boy in both the pole vault and the 110 meter hurdles, and the returning district champion in the hurdles. Unfortunately, because of an error entering for the meet, Layton will not be able to defend that title, barring a last minute reversal from the PIAA. Instead, Layton will just compete in the 300 meter hurdles and the pole vault, in addition to the 4x400 meter relay.
What to expect: The result of the unfortunate error may be an even more motivated Layton. The senior is the top-ranked AA pole vaulter with a season best of 14-7 from the Butler Invitational earlier this season. Indoors, though, he jumped 15-3.75 -- an impressive number that he may be targeting in the right conditions on Thursday. He's ranked 15th in the intermediate hurdles, so we'll see if he can improve on that and move into state qualifying territory. He's going to be on a mission regardless this weekend.
Others to watch for: Patrick Anderson (AAA - Distance); Jared Bannon (AAA - Hurdles); Scott Benco (AA - Javelin); Cameron Binda (AAA - Distance); Kendall Branan (AAA - 400/800); Jack Codispot (AAA - Pole Vault); Marlin Devonshire (AA - Sprints); Adam Hessler (AA - Distance); Darnel Howell (AA - High Jump); Zach Kinne (AAA - Distance); Joseph Kearney (AA - Jumps); Gavin Mayo (AAA - Jumps); Cam Mbalo (AAA - Jumps); David McDonald (AA - Jumps); Daniel McGoey (AAA - Distance); Bailey O'Malley (AAA - Throws); Brendan O'Malley (AAA - Sprints/Jumps); Sam Owori (AAA - Distance); Sami Taoufik (AAA - High Jump); Tyler Yurich (AAA - Sprints); Calvin Wetzel (AA - Sprints/Hurdles)
Who To Watch For: Jayla Ellis (Oakland Catholic)
Why?: She is one of the most versatile athletes in the country. Need evidence? The senior put down the nation's top point total in the girls pentathlon so far this season at last week's Loucks Games in New York, scoring 3,570 points. Ellis has been doing a lot of winning this spring, piling up wins at major invites all over. She is the top-ranked WPIAL athlete in the 100 meter hurdles, high jump, and the long jump.
What to expect: Ellis is entered in those three events where she is ranked WPIAL No. 1. This season, she has jumped 18.10.75 in the long jump, cleared 5-6 in the high jump (which she did during the pent at Loucks), and run 14.36 in the 100 meter hurdles. A triple win effort is certainly in the cards for Ellis, who will also be looking to add her first career state title a week later at Shippensburg.
Others to watch for: Malia Anderson (AAA - Mid-Distance); Flynn Begor (AAA - Hurdles); Casey Burton (AAA - Sprints/Jumps); Emily Carter (AAA - Distance); Jessica Fatigati (AAA - Sprints); Valerie Fischer (AAA - Sprints); Maura Huwalt (AA - Throws); Elaina Longjohn (AAA - Jumps); Jane Madson (AAA - Sprints); Molly Mangan (AAA - Hurdles/Sprints); C-Keiyah Marshall (AA - Sprints/Jumps); Mackenna Orie (AAA - Throws); Emma Pavalek (AA - High Jump); Gionna Quarzo (AA - Distance); Maddie Raymond (AA - Sprints); Melissa Riggins (AA - Distance); Hayden Robinson (AAA - Sprints); Hannah Schupansky (AAA - Distance); Hannah Seitzinger (AA - Sprints); Taylor Shriver (AA - Pole Vault); Liz Simms (AAA - Mid-Distance); Brianna Spirnak (AAA - Javelin); Annie Wicker (AA - Distance)