BY CORY ISENBERG
The final 1600 relay races had run, trophies had been awarded and the stands were nearly empty except for a few remaining reporters Friday night at Altoona’s Mansion Park.
The 63rd annual West-Central Coaches Track and Field Invitational was complete for the most part except for one last event.
The Class AA discus, which is contended on the field behind the visiting bleachers at Mansion Park, was still going on well after most of the buses for the 50-plus schools at the meet had departed.
“It was probably the first time I’ve experienced anything like that,” said United coach Bob Penrose, who had two throwers in the finals. “Normally we get done a lot earlier, but by the time we were done and came back into the stadium, there was no one left in the place.”
The program ran behind schedule because of a delay in the Class AAA discus due to waiting for one of the athletes who was running an event coupled with a short rain shower.
When the finals were completed around 11 p.m., United senior Stefan Moreau was in front of the pack. Moreau won with a toss of 148 feet, 2 inches which he had gotten in the preliminaries. Teammate Jon Long, a junior, was fifth.
Moreau had earlier in the day won the shot put (52-4) and was second in the javelin behind Michael Shuey of Johnsonburg from District 9.
“Stefan should be the top seed in all three throws at districts, and has put himself in position to qualify for all three events at states,” Penrose said.
“He is a great kid to work with and puts in the time and effort both in practice and in the weight room.”
Penrose says Moreau was “cool calm and collected” waiting for his turn Friday night.
“Having been to states twice, the biggest thing Stefan has learned is to relax and take it as it goes and let the technique work for you,” Penrose said.
Moreau, who will attend the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., to play football, will, along with his United teammates, turn his attention to Tuesday’s Heritage Conference Track and Field championships.
The regular-season title came down to the final dual meet of the season with Ligonier Valley winning just ahead of United and Saltsburg.
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Conference meets week: The WestPAC will hold its track and field championships today at Berlin Brothersvalley.
On Tuesday, in addition to the Heritage Meet at United, the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference track championships will be held at Somerset High School.
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Tennis anyone? District 6 has already crowned its Class AA singles champion (Parag Dharbhamulla of Westmont Hilltop) and its doubles winners (Issac Eck and Logan Aurand of Juniata).
Today District 5 will hold its singles championships starting at 9 a.m. at Bedford Middle School. The rain date is Tuesday. The District 5 doubles tournament is set for May 14 also at 9 a.m. at Bedford.
Team tennis also gets under way for both districts this week.
District 6-AA has No. 3 Forest Hills at second-seeded Westmont Hilltop at 4 and top-seeded Juniata hosting No. 4 Bishop Guilfoyle. The championship is Wednesday at the highest remaining seed’s courts.
District 5-AA team battles get under way on Wednesday with No. 4 Windber at top-seeded Somerset and No. 2 Bedford hosting third-seeded Hope for Hyndman. Both matches are 3:30 p.m. The championship is Thursday on the highest remaining seed’s courts.