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WPIAL record in 3,200 run crushed by Butler’s Griffith
Butler’s Drew Griffith crosses the finish line to win the 1,600-meter run Wednesday at the WPIAL Track and Field Championships at Slippery Rock University. On Thursday, he won the 3,200 run with a district-record time of 8:41.6. Justin Guido/Special to the Eagle

SLIPPERY ROCK — Another day, another incredible performance turned in by Butler’s Drew Griffith.

In his final WPIAL championship event, the senior finished the Class 3A boys 3,200-meter run in a blistering time of eight minutes, 41.6 seconds at Slippery Rock University on Thursday.

The effort shattered the previous district record of 8:56.43, achieved by North Allegheny’s Matt McGoey in 2015.

Griffith was running against Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak, an elite runner in his own right whose runner-up time of 8:56.37 also topped McGoey’s effort. But Griffith was not going to be denied.

“I didn’t come into the race thinking about breaking the record, but when you get me and Ryan squaring off against each other, it’s bound to go down.”

Remarkably, Griffith’s time over the final four laps was 20 seconds faster than that of his first four.

“I trust that the other gear is going to be there,” he said. “I felt really good after the first four laps and wanted to go for the record.”

The 3,200 was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but inclement weather pushed it back a day.

“My last WPIAL meet lasted as long as possible,” said Griffith. “The break benefited me.”

North Catholic's girls 4x100 relay team could have qualified for states by placing in the top four Wednesday, but the Trojanettes were motivated to achieve more.

The quartet of Sunni Love, Daphne Flerl, Anna Lazzara and Seava Cresta earned district bragging rights by winning the Class 3A event with time of 48.09 seconds.

"It's the third time this season that we broke the school record," said Flerl, who ran the second leg and was part of the previous standard of 48.98. "We were tied with Mt. Lebanon for the best time in the WPIAL coming in, so we wanted to beat them and we did."

Upper St. Clair was runner-up at 48.64 and Mt. Lebanon third at 48.80.

"We won by a lot, so we were happy with it," Flerl said. "Last year, we missed out on states by one spot by placing fifth. We're excited about making it as district champion. It feels good to make the climb."

In wheelchair events, Knoch's Kristofer Robinson defeated North Catholic's Alex Brown in the 200 dash (36.25 to 36.60) and shot put (22-4.25 to 14-7). Brown edged Robinson in the 100 dash (19.91 to 20.72). Both athletes will compete at states in all three events.

Following are the Butler County athletes who earned a medal by placing in the top eight at the WPIAL Track and Field Championships, held Wednesday at Slippery Rock University. (*) Reached state meet by achieving state-qualifying standard.

Class 3A

Boys

Butler, Seneca Valley

North Catholic

(Top 4 automatically qualify for states)

3,200 relay: 1-Butler (D.Knight, Z.Slear, O.Dressler, D.Griffith) 7:53.54

100 dash: 7-Kobe Dave (NC) 11.59

1,600 run: 1-Drew Griffith (B) 4:03.22

400 run: 2-Aaron Stebick (B) 50.30

400 relay: 2-Butler (D.Graef, L.Ekas, K.Shriver, A.Stebick) 42.52; 7-Seneca Valley (K.Leroy, G.Skarbek, E.Strong, N.Rieger) 43.47

300 hurdles: 6-Kyler Matson (SV) 39.68*

3,200 run: 1-Drew Griffith (B) 8:41.6; 8-Owen Dressler (B) 9:24.23*

1,600 relay: 4-Butler (J.Gratzmiller, A.Stebick, J.Fallecker, G.Bauer) 3:24.04

Javelin: 8-Nico Baggetta (B) 161-7

High jump: 1-Orein McBride-Cager (B) 6-5; 6(tie)-Dakari Payne (SV) 6-1

Long jump: 6-Orein McBride-Cager (B) 21-6.25

Triple jump: 1-Ayden Davis (B) 44-8

Girls

Butler, Seneca Valley

North Catholic

(Top 4 automatically qualify for states)

3,200 relay: 5-North Catholic (G.Plastino, S.Dunn, G.Lazzara, M.Meeuf) 9:32.99*; 6-Seneca Valley (S.Heltzell, P.Damico, C.Riehl, D.Mansfield) 9:34.33*

100 hurdles: 3-Kathryn Morrison (SV) 15.07

100 dash: 5-Seava Cresta (NC) 12.39*; 6-Anna Lazzara (NC) 12.58; 8-Aubrey Popp (SV) 12.86

1,600 run: 7-Gracie Plastino (NC) 5:11.17

400 relay: 1-North Catholic (S.Love, D.Flerl, Anna Lazzara, Seava Cresta) 48.09; 5-Butler (A.Rock, L.Bowden, A.Morrow, J.Slesinski) 48.99*

300 hurdles: 1-Lauren Bowden (B) 44.99

200 dash: 5-Seava Cresta (NC) 25.55*

3,200 run: 4-Gracie Plastino (NC) 10:51.64

1,600 relay: 3-Butler (A.Lehman, M.McGarrah, J.Slesinski, L.Bowden) 4:00.19

Discus: 7-Julianna Lockwood (B) 109-8

Javelin: 6-Audrey Wolfe (SV) 116-1; 7-Addie Weaver (SV) 114-6

High jump: 4(tie)-Gracyn Vardy (B)/Jordan Monteleone (SV) 5-1

Long jump: 7-Aubrey Rock (B) 17-1.75; 8-Daphne Flerl (NC) 17-0.75

Pole vault: 1-Aubrey Rock (B) 12-0

Class 2A

Boys

Freeport, Knoch

(Top 5 automatically qualify for states)

1,600 run: 3-Michael Braun (F) 4:29.37

300 hurdles: 6-Austin Friedline (K) 40.82

3,200 run: 2-Michael Braun (F) 9:27.58

Girls

Knoch, Freeport

(Top 6 automatically qualify for states)

100 hurdles: 4-Erin Schaeffer (F) 16.02

1,600 run: 2-Ava Santora (K) 5:16.16

400 relay: 7-Knoch (A.Savannah, K.Burtner, K.Buterbaugh, K.Loos) 51.11

300 hurdles: 4-Erin Schaeffer (F) 47.02

3,200 run: 3-Ava Santora (K) 11:32.25

1,600 relay: 6-Freeport (M.Magness, G.Christine, K.Kirsch, P.Bhat) 4:09.68

Shot put: 7-Madison Hunt (K) 35-10.25

Javelin: 2-Karlee Buterbaugh (K) 125-10; 4-Neah Ewing (K) 111-01

High jump: 8-Kamryn Burtner (K) 5-0

Triple jump: 2-Kara Fennell (K) 38-0; 8-Mackenzie Magness (F) 34-5.75

Pole vault: 1-Mackenzie Magness (F) 11-6; 5-Kara Fennell (K) 10-9

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