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Westmoreland County School Notebook: Franklin Regional Bunker Commits to Villanova

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Sunday October 2nd, 2022 | 9:44 p.m


First, Aiden Bunker exchanged emails with Villanova to gauge the school’s interest in his swimming talents.

Then he visited campus, saw the pool and knew it was the setting for his future.

Bunker, a Franklin Regional senior, will continue his career with the Wildcats, swimming individual medleys and relays in the Big East Conference.

“I mass emailed the coaches after my junior year,” Bunker said. “Then, after the States, I heard from (Villanova). I was visiting a few weeks ago and said I want to go here. They called me back and said they had a place for me.”

And so Bunker was well on his way to a Division I college career.

“Swimming D-1 is crazy,” he said. “I’m thrilled to do it.”

Bunker placed third in the WPIAL 3A 200 IM last year and also swam three relays, winning the 200m individual medley relay and finishing third in the 400 freestyle relay.

He went to the PIAA meeting at three events.

Bunker, who wants to study mechanical engineering, also spoke to Bucknell and Case Western.

His family owns RJ Lee Group, a scientific consulting firm in Monroeville.

Hempfield is upset

The Hempfield girls’ volleyball team made a splash Tuesday night when the Spartans defeated No. 4 Shaler 3-2 in a Section 3-4A back-and-forth match.

Hempfield won the first set 26-24, dropped the second (25-20), won the third (25-22), lost the fourth (25-17) and passed the Titans in the fifth (15-6). exciting victory.

Liz Tapper and Ella Bringe each had 14 kills, while Gianna Giachetti had 25 assists and Zoey Hopkins added 24.

Ashley Hosni had 13 digs and 10 kills and Sarah Podkul contributed 13 digs.

company for a king

Penn-Trafford senior Nick Turowski will be aiming for a WPIAL repeat at the Class 3A golf championship at Allegheny Country Club on Thursday. Turowski is in second place (2-over-73) and goes into the final round after blasting a 73 at Champion Lakes.

The WPIAL uses a 36-hole cumulative format this season, with two rounds played on two courses.

Turowski could join elite society if he wins.

The last Westmoreland County golfer to repeat himself as a boys’ champion was someone you may have heard of: the late, great Arnold Palmer of Latrobe, winning in 1946 and 1947.

Other county WPIAL champions include Bo Lustig of Belle Vernon (2010), Ben Gjebre of Latrobe (’09), Tim Moynihan of Franklin Regional (’02), Nate Speer of Burrell (1998), Brian Tutich of Greensburg Central Catholic (’93), Kevin Reisenweaver of Latrobe (’86), Seth Pevarnik of Greensburg Central Catholic (’85), Paul Balest of Greensburg Salem (’83), Bob Bradley of Hempfield (’79), Ray Nelson of Ligonier (‘ 77), Scott Yard of Greensburg (’63), and Tom Denny of Greensburg Salem (’45).

Gaiardo resigns

Al Gaiardo will step down after 16 years coaching boys’ golf in the Ligonier Valley.

Gaiardo, a former head football coach at Derry and former assistant football coach at Saint Vincent, is retiring from teaching and will work as a financial adviser.

The Ligonier Valley finished this season 8-4 and senior Josh Harbert advanced to the final round of the WPIAL Class 2A Championship Tuesday at Oakmont Country Club.

D2 offer for Kobus

Norwin junior basketball player Ava Kobus received a scholarship offer to play in Division II Mansfield of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

Kobus, a short forward at 5ft 11, had considerable playing time as a sophomore last season.

She is also a key volleyball player for the Knights.

offered McCoy

Brooke McCoy, a top scorer for the Hempfield girls’ basketball team for the past two years, received a Division III scholarship offer from Grove City.

McCoy is a guard forward and a versatile scorer who can score from dribbling and 3-point shooting.

On the run

Two local cross-country records were set last week.

Lexi Ohler from Southmoreland achieved her own school mark with a time of 20 minutes and 57 seconds.

Meanwhile, Penn-Trafford’s Amelia Barilla broke the course record at Latrobe with a time of 19:41.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a contributor to the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill via email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

tags: Franklin RegionalHempfield, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Southmoreland

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