Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shaler Girls Take a Run at Wpial Team Title

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Shaler Girls Take a Run at Wpial Team Title

Article excerpt

Dave Incerhal has heard all of the talk about how Hempfield Area's girls track and field team should dominate the WPIAL Class AAA Girls Championships today at West Mifflin Area High School's Titan Stadium.

"I was talking about that with my team," said the Shaler Area girls track and field coach. "A lot of people think Hempfield might be Goliath, and we know what happened there."

Shaler qualified for the team championship with a dominating performance in the May 3 qualifier at West Mifflin. The Titans defeated the host school, 121-29. The other two schools at the four- team meet -- Mars and Connellsville -- fared worse. Shaler defeated the Planets, 126-24. Connellsville was nearly shut out as Shaler rolled, 137-12.

The Titans will compete for team honors against Hempfield, Norwin and Bethel Park. Like Shaler, Hempfield dominated its four-team meet by impressive margins over Laurel Highlands, Oakland Catholic and Elizabeth Forward. Norwin and Bethel Park had closer meets. Bethel Park survived a close encounter with North Allegheny, defeating the Tigers by just more than 15 points, 82.67 to 67.3.

"We have a lot of work to do, but I feel very confident," said Incerhal, who has coached the Shaler girls team for 10 years and led the squad to its first section title in school history this season.

Depth has proved crucial for the Titans.

"We sent three individuals to the qualifying meets in each event," the coach said. "In some cases, we had six or seven kids who had met the qualifying standards, but we could only take three.

"The kids have set the tone in practice, and they compete against each other in every squat they do, every 200 they run and in every jump they take."

It didn't take Incerhal and his fellow Titans coaches long to see this team might be special.

"We're in the same section with Seneca Valley, North Allegheny, North Hills and [defending team champion] Butler," he said. "We went to Butler for the second [dual meet] of the season [on April 16], and we were competing without three of our best girls. And we beat them, 77-73. I said to one of my assistants, 'Holy smokes! We might have something here. …

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