Tornado girls capture team championship
By Sam TallaricoEagle Staff Writer
BUTLER TWP — It was a great way to celebrate the 10th annual Butler Track and Field Invitational.
The Butler girls track and field team gave itself the best present of all — the team championship — as it won six events, including five of the seven field events, en route to defending its title.
Butler easily outdistanced the field with 125 points while North Hills was second (72) and Hampton (51) was third.
“We have been training so well, it was nice to taper back and see what this team can do,” said Tornado girls coach Annessa Steele.
“Today, the girls proved they were here to win the meet,” Steele added.
Sophomore Ava Bonetti lead the way with titles in the shot put (36 feet, 3 inches) and discus (112-4) and was named the Field MVP while Lexis Frost won the triple jump (36-10), was second in the 100 hurdles (15.27 seconds) and helped the 400-meter relay team to the win (50.79).
Bonetti had hoped to clear 120 feet in the discus and 37 in the shot, but settled for two golds instead.
“I was ranked first coming in, and I just hoped to get my best throws,” Bonetti said. “I already achieved most of my goals that I set.
“Thirty-five was my first goal for the shot put and 110 in the discus. I know I can go more now,” Bonetti added.
Frost filled in admirably in the 400 relay when anchor Jasmine Bailey suffered an injury. She was joined by Paige Allen, Kennedy Evans and Katelyn Wetzel.
In her winning triple jump, Frost was shooting for 36 feet. She nailed what would be her winning jump on her second attempt in the preliminaries.
“I was pumped up before,” said Frost. “I hoped it would stand, but if not, I would just go big again.”
Paige Rittelmann (5-4 in the high jump) and Meghan Studds (17-4Z\x in the long jump) were the other Tornado champions while Danica Snyder placed second in the 3,200 in a school-record time of 11 minutes, 23.79 seconds.
That broke the mark set by Charlotte Kelly in 1995 (11:35.5).
Snyder placed fourth in the 1,600 but was determined to break the school record in the 3,200.
“I knew, heading in, that all I wanted to do is break the school record,” said Snyder. “That's all I wanted to do.
“I ran fairly decent in the 1,600 but was five seconds from the record,” she added.
Margo Malone, who set two meet records in the 1,600 and 3,200, won the latter at 11:11.83, well ahead of Snyder, but that didn't concern her.
“I wanted to run my own race,” said Snyder. “I wanted to take account of where Margo is and not let that space get any bigger. I stayed behind her sister (Shannon, who Snyder outkicked for second place) the whole race.”
Snyder is eyeing the state-qualifying time of 11:13. She would like to even take that down a notch or two.
Snyder was coming off a strong cross country season which has translated into some better times this spring.
“I was running faster than last year,” said Snyder. “And this is my senior season. I want to go out big.”
Notes: Seneca Valley's Jamie Rutkowski was the only other Butler County champion, capturing the javelin with a toss of 119-10 ... Katelyn Wetzel also picked up two more medals while Freeport's Lynsey Gugino, Seneca Valley's Marena Royal and Rachel McAndrew and Butler's Laura Metrick each won two individual medals.