Butler Invitational draws top teams, athletes from Western Pa.
When the Butler and Shaler track teams battled Tuesday, they ran the gamut of weather conditions.
“It went from ice balls to sun to 2 inches of snow in a matter of an hour,” Butler girls track coach John Williams said. “Wednesday temperatures were in the high 50s and the athletes were acting like it was in the 70s. It’s been a lousy spring.”
The 54th annual Butler Invitational is scheduled to run Friday, and Williams, one of the meet directors, is hoping the weather stays dry like the forecast calls for.
Butler officials moved the scheduled Junior High Invitational from Thursday to May 5 because of cold temperatures and snow.
“It’s supposed to be in the 50s and dry,” Williams said. “I’m sure the athletes are excited about competing.”
There are 72 teams and 1,678 athletes entered in this year’s meet, according to Williams.
Some of the top programs entered include North Allegheny, Norwin, Shaler, Latrobe, Penn Hills, Mt. Lebanon, McDowell, Morgantown, W.Va., Greensburg Salem and the host, Butler.
North Allegheny senior Ayden Owens, who had an outstanding meet at the Lady Spartan/Wildcat Invitational on April 13, will be competing in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and the long jump.
The Robinsons — Hayden and Hunter — from Avonworth/Northgate will be going head-to-head in the sprints. Oakland Catholic’s Jayla Ellis in seeded No. 1 in the 100 hurdles and the long jump, and Butler’s Josh Beveridge is the top 1,600 runner.
“The Butler Invitational continues to draw the top talent from Western Pa.,” Williams said. “Having the top teams from the WPIAL, Districts 9 and 10, West Virginia and Ohio make the meet a premier midseason event in the Tri-State area.”
Williams said nine records were set in 2017 and 2016.
“The athletes competing on Friday are going to get a great idea of where they stand with the WPIAL and PIAA state qualifying meets about a month away,” Williams said.
Action gets underway at 12:15 p.m. with the field events and running trials. Williams said he hopes the running finals will get started around 4:30 p.m.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.