Sarah Haslett, Moon
Last week: Competing in the WPIAL gymnastics championships for the first time, Haslett won the all-around competition in the Advanced Division at Moon High School last Saturday. Haslett scored a 37.800 and edged out three-time defending champion Kelly Burak of Hopewell.
Check this out: Haslett, a senior, is in her first year competing in WPIAL gymnastics. She had previously competed only at the club level. In addition to winning the individual championship, Haslett helped Moon win its second consecutive WPIAL team championship. She will next participate in the state championships (PA Classic), tonight and tomorrow at Moon Middle School.
• Was it a surprise you did so well? Yeah, kind of. I know Kelly from club and know how good she is. I thought I might place high, but I knew I was a longshot to win it.
• Did competing in your home gym help you out? No, because we normally compete at our middle school gym. This felt like an away meet for us.
• Why didn't you compete in high school gymnastics prior to this season? In ninth grade I went to a gym called X-Cel. I've done club gymnastics my whole life. I was doing it 20 to 25 hours a week and didn't have time (to be on the high school team). I also broke my foot and took a year and a half off.
• What made you come out for the team this year? I wanted to get recognition in the sport for my school, and I have a lot of friends who are on the team.
• Musician you would most like to meet? John Mayer.
• Do people make too much of a big deal about Valentine's Day? I wouldn't say so. Not really. (Laughs).
• Do you have any pets? I have two dogs. Deuce and Jade.
• Most people might be surprised to know that ... I'm going to Penn State and am going to do club gymnastics.
Matt McCutcheon, Kiski Area
Last week: McCutcheon helped lead his Kiski team to the WPIAL Class AAA semifinals Jan. 30, getting a pin in the quarterfinals as the Cavaliers defeated Connellsville.
Check this out: Virtually from the time he started wrestling in the WPIAL, McCutcheon has been a star. after going a combined 80-11 his first two years, at 182 pounds, he won section, WPIAL and PIAA titles last season while going 41-1. This year as a senior at 195 pounds, he's undefeated with more than 30 wins. He has signed to wrestle next season at Penn State, the two-time defending Division I national champions.
• What are some of your goals for the rest of the season? Definitely to win all three tournaments at the end, especially WPIALs and states.
• Being a senior, what's been your favorite memory from your high school career? I'd probably say my freshman year. We had a pretty good team that year and I was wrestling with my brother [Mike] and we were able to go to states as a team.
• Given his accomplished history, how big of a factor was coach Cael Sanderson in your decision to go to Penn State? It was a pretty big factor knowing I would have a coach as good as him. Another big factor was going up there and seeing the atmosphere of the team.
• Did you play any other sports growing up besides wrestling? Yes, football and baseball.
• Was there an athlete you looked up to when you were younger? I'd probably say Albert Pujols was my favorite baseball player growing up.
• What did you think when you heard about the IOC dropping wrestling for the 2020 Olympics? I didn't like hearing that too much. It hurts the sport in general and it was one of my goals to wrestle in the Olympics. They're taking that away and I won't have that opportunity.