Mt. Lebanon track

Mt. Lebanon captured runner-up honors at the WPIAL Class AAA track and field championships. The Blue Devils finished second to North Allegheny but defeated Seneca Valley and Butler to secure the second-place trophy.

Mt. Lebanon captured runner-up honors during the WPIAL Class AAA boys’ track and field team championships held May 9 at West Mifflin.

Thanks to five, first-place finishes and seven second-place showings in the 18 events, North Allegheny won the title, its 14th overall in the sport for a WPIAL best. The Tigers defeated Lebo, 84.5-65.5.

The Blue Devils staked claim to the runner-up trophy by picking up dual meet wins over Seneca Valley (78-72) and Butler (87-63).

Lebo boasted six event winners: 4x400-meter relay (3:28.42); Connor Rychcik, 100 (11.15) and 400 (49.78); Tim Calvetti, 200 dash (22.39); Andrew Freedy, discus (143-05.00); and Kush Criswell, javelin (162-10.00).

“I was very impressed,” said Lebo head coach Drew Habergerger of his team’s efforts. “Our guys came together and our seniors really rose to the occasion. They did not shy away from battling these powerhouses from the north, and they ended up getting numerous PRs (personal records) in the process.”

The Blue Devils hope to continue their winning ways and progress when they participate in the WPIAL individual championships set for May 17 at Slippery Rock University.

Lebo looks to overturn a poor performance in 2022.

“We had a rough time at this meet last year,” Haberberger said. “It seemed like we ended up missing the medals by one place in almost every event we entered, so it was a long, quiet bus ride home.”

Because of the showing in the team championships, the Blue Devils expect much different results in 2023

“Our guys are firing on all cylinders and they are excited to show what they’ve got,” Haberberger said. “We have talent in pretty much every event. So I’m confident we’ll be taking quite a few guys to Shippensburg.”

That is the site of the PIAA championships. The state finals will be held May 26-27.

The Lebo ladies also are looking to send a strong contingent to states.

Logan St. John Klutter headlines the girls’ entrants. She won the 800-meter dash at the Baldwin Invitational. Caroline Adams is also one of the team’s top distance runners.

Junior Megan Cain is seeded high in both hurdles. She is also part of the team’s 4x100 relay with Selma Bagjoric.

The Lebo girls, like their male counterparts, were section champions. They also won the South Fayette Invitational and fared well against a great Canon-McMillan squad in the WPIAL team championships but did not advance to the finals.

“The WPIAL championship brings out the best in the athletes,” said Lebo skipper Oscar Schutt. “We are looking forward to building off those performances, particularly the hurdlers that have had a spectacular spring under Krista Matsko.”

In other track news, Jenna Lang leads a strong Bethel Park squad into the WPIAL individual championships. She won the 1,600 race and was runner-up to St. John Klutter at the Baldwin Invitational.

Sophomore Sadie Orie finished fifth in the 300 hurdles at Baldwin. She and Lang help BP combine for one of the fastest relays in the WPIAL with Lauren Heh and Artemis Conaboy.

On the men’s side at Baldwin, Jeremiah Hamilton secured silver in triple jump while Connor Karabinos placed seventh in the long jump.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

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