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Butler track and field sweeps SV, preps for playoffs

Taking care of business
Butler's Maura Penrod competes in the triple jump against Seneca Valley on Tuesday. The Golden Tornado clinched a WPIAL playoff berth with an 81-69 victory. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Both track and field teams at Butler had some unfinished business on their agenda when they arrived at Seneca Valley Tuesday afternoon.

Thanks to a number of standout performances, the Golden Tornado left with a feeling of satisfaction — two times over.

After missing out last year, Butler’s girls clinched a WPIAL Class 3A playoff berth with an 81-69 victory while the boys, already assured of a postseason berth, wrapped up an undefeated regular season with a 96-54 triumph over the Raiders.

Both SV teams would have qualified for the postseason with a win.

“Seneca Valley isn’t going to the playoffs, but they are still one of the top teams in the WPIAL,” said Butler girls coach John Williams. “It takes a total team effort to make it and we had some Herculean performances today.”

Aubrey Rock headed that list. The junior won three individual events — 100-meter dash, long jump and pole vault — and contributed to Butler’s win in the 4x100 relay. Her 12 feet in the vault was her best height to date and her win in the long jump clinched the team victory.

“It’s been so fun to see how the team has come together to fill the holes after (graduations) last year,” Aubrey said. “It seemed like everyone had a personal-best effort today of some sort.

“This is my first year in the pole vault. It was a lot easier to pick up than what I was expecting and my gymnastics background really helped.”

Madi McGarrah won the 1,600 and 800 runs while running a leg on the top 4x400 relay squad.

The outcome was still in doubt when Makayla McLister began the 3,200 and her ability to hold off a late charge from SV’s Delaney Mansfield was crucial for the Tornado.

“It was a struggle, more mental than physical,” said Makayla. “But I knew the team needed me, so I kept pushing myself.”

Even freshmen like Halle Swidzinski know the expectations that come with competing for Butler’s girls (5-1).

“It’s great to get into the playoffs because we have a really strong team this year,” she said. “This is what we’ve been building for.”

Claire Riehl’s wins in the 400 and 200 helped keep the Raiders alive until very late in the meet.

Butler’s boys (6-0) featured three double-individual winners — Drew Griffith (1,600 and 800), Landon Lacey (100, 200) and Ayden Davis (long jump, triple jump).

“We lost to Seneca last year, let a chance to go undefeated slip from our grasp,” said Butler boys coach Mike Seybert. “I think we were more driven to close the deal this time.”

SV’s boys dropped a heartbreaker last week against North Allegheny. The Raiders and Tigers ended their meeting tied at 75, but NA won on a tiebreaker.

Both Raider teams finish at 4-2.

“We were hoping that the boys could catch NA (in the standings) and our girls could catch Butler,” said SV coach Ray Peaco. “We had some great efforts today, a number of personal-bests. When you do that and still lose, what can you say? We just went up against a better team.”

The WPIAL team playoffs begin next week.

Boys

Butler 96, Seneca Valley 54

3,200 relay: Butler (Zach Slear, Logan Rogers, Drew Knight, Drew Griffith) 8:08.08; 110 hurdles: Brandon Kendrew (SV) 16.11; 100 dash: Landon Lacey (B) 11.32; 1,600 run: Drew Griffith (B) 4:27.58; 400 run: Aaron Stebick (B) 50.87; 400 relay: Butler (Logan Ekas, Landon Lacey, Kevin Shriver, David Graef) 42.90; 300 hurdles: Kyler Matson (SV) 40.10; 800 run: Drew Griffith (B) 1:58.98; 200 dash: Landon Lacey (B) 22.63; 3,200 run: Owen Dressler (B) 9:55.30; 1,600 relay: Butler (Aaron Stebick, Jacob Fallecker, David Graef, Landon Lacey) 3:27.17

Shot put: Terrell Holderman (B) 46-11; Discus: Stephen Vaughan (SV) 130-2; Javelin: Nico Baggetta (B) 161-6; High jump: Darkari Payne (SV) 6-3; Long jump: Ayden Davis (B) 20-11.5; Triple jump: Ayden Davis (B) 42-11; Pole vault: Jason Wick (B) 12-0

Girls

Butler 81, Seneca Valley 69

3,200 relay: Seneca Valley (Claire Riehl, Delaney Mansfield, Hannah Jones, Sydney Heltzell) 10:00.18; 100 hurdles: Kathryn Morrison (SV) 15.73; 100 dash: Aubrey Rock (B) 13.02; 1,600 run: Madi McGarrah (B) 5:21.67; 400 run: Claire Riehl (SV) 1:00.07; 400 relay: Butler (Aubrey Rock, Lauren Bowden, Ari Morrow, Jocie Slesinski) 49.91; 300 hurdles: Lauren Bowden (B) 45.40; 800 run: Madi McGarrah (B) 2:21.16; 200 dash: Claire Riehl (SV) 27.05; 3,200 run: Makayla McLister (B) 11:50.15; 1,600 relay: Butler (Audrey Lehman, Madi McGarrah, Jocie Slesinski, Lauren Bowden)

Shot put: Megan Wharton (SV) 30-7; Discus: Julianna Lockwood (B) 96-10; Javelin: Addie Weaver (SV) 112-4; High jump: Jocie Slesinski (B) 5-1; Long jump: Aubrey Rock (B) 17-2.5; Triple jump: Audrey Sansom (B) 33-6.5; Pole vault: Aubrey Rock (B) 12-0

Butler’s Madi McGarrah, left, and Seneca Valley's Paige Damico compete in the 1,600-meter run on Tuesday. McGarrah won the event, helping Butler’s girls clinch a WPIAL playoff berth with an 81-69 win. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle
Addie Weaver for Seneca Valley in a heat race against Butler at Seneca Valley High School. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle
Seneca Valley’s Brandon Kendrew, left, finishes first in the 110-meter hurdles while teammate Kyler Matson placed second against Butler on Tuesday. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle
Stainton Forbes for Butler in the triple jump against Seneca Valley on Tuesday. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle
Seneca Valley's Darkari Payne in the triple jump against Butler on Tuesday. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle
Ayden Davis for Butler in the triple jump against Seneca Valley on Tuesday. Steven Dalton/Special to the Eagle

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