CANONSBURG – This was the first meet of the season that the McGuffey rifle team did not win.
Not that Casadi Stainbrook viewed the Highlanders third-place finish at yesterday’s WPIAL Team Championships as a loss.
“I wouldn’t call it a loss,” said Stainbrook, whose team won the Section 1 title with a 12-0 record.
“It’s against all the sections. We’re still tops in our section. We can still win at states, so we have another chance to redeem ourselves.”
McGuffey finished with an eight-shooter score of 798-64x, as the bottom two marks are excluded.
Hempfield won the event with an 800-66x – the Spartans’ second title in the past four years – and Woodland Hills placed second at 800.57x.
Considering that last year’s champion, Woodland Hills, as well as Hempfield arrived at the Dormont/Mt. Lebanon Sportsmen’s Club as champions of the other two sections, the competition figured to be very strong.
“Not surprised,” McGuffey coach Howard Ashbrook said. “I figured Hempfield and Woodland Hills were going to shoot 800s.”
But Hempfield, which was the runner-up last year, came out on top, thanks to Abbie Bache’s 100-10x, the only perfect score of the afternoon.
“We were on a mission,” Hempfield coach Tom Miller said. “We knew what we had to get done. We finished second here last year, and they didn’t like that. They needed to get it done.”
Stainbrook and Kevin McCosby led McGuffey with scores of 100-9x. Amanda May and Courtney Stiles shot 100-8x. Jacob Ramey wasn’t far behind at 100-7x, and Jacqueline Foran had a 100-6x.
“I was kind of hoping for second place, but third place is good, too,” McCosby said. “It’s better than fifth place or anything like that. I was happy. A little disappointed, though.”
Avella finished fourth with a score of 797-62x, getting a 100-9x from Jessica Young and scores of 100-8x from Cassandra Hamilton, Brent Morgan and Sylvia Dreistadt. Dena Simonelli shot 100-6x.
“We’re pretty happy with that,” Avella coach Jim Mounts said. “A couple of kids were down a point or two here or there, otherwise we could have done better. We had an 8-4 record this year in the section. We were within a couple points here and there of winning the match. Usually we end up having more Xs, but we dropped too many points.
Trinity was fifth with a score of 797-59x. Tyler James Miller and Lexie McFarland shot 100-9x. Kayla Huffman was at 100-8x. Mikayla DeMarino and Rachel Sweany were at 100-7x and 100-6x, respectively.
The individual championships are Thursday, with eight relays starting at noon.