The YWCA of Westmoreland County honored female athletes and contributors to women's sports and fitness during a banquet last week at the Greensburg Ramada Hotel and Conference Center.
The Y -- now in its 19rth year of the awards program -- was one of the first in the country to collaborate with the Women's Sports Foundation in a national endeavor to recognize female athletes.
Two of this year's honorees are repeat winners. High school seniors Hanna Green of Latrobe and Madysen Grimm of Ligonier were previously honored as Sports Girls of the Year.
This year, Hanna was named High School Sports Teen of the Year. She is a senior at Greater Latrobe High School and excels at indoor and outdoor track and field. During the 2012 indoor track season, Hanna broke school and tri-state records in the 400 meter. She placed 10th at the state competition and qualified for the New Balance Indoor National, where she finished 35th overall. In the outdoor season, she dominated the 400-meter races and was crowned county champion in many events, including the 400 meter and 800 meter, was WPIAL champion in two relay events and placed fifth in two events at the state meet where she set another school record. In February, she was ranked second in the state and seventh in the nation in the 400 meter.
Madysen also was named a High School Sports Teen of the Year. She is a senior at Ligonier Valley High School, where she was outstanding in soccer, basketball, softball and football. In the fall 2012 soccer season, she scored the most goals in a season (46) in school history. At the same time, she was the place kicker for the varsity football team and became the career points leader for place kickers. For the second year in a row, Maddy was an all-state selection in football. She has been awarded a scholarship from Kent State University, where she will play softball for the Golden Flashes.
One of this year's Sports Girl of the Year awards went to figure skater Emily Petrella, an eighth-grader at Harrold Middle School in the Hempfield Area School District. Emily trains at Center Ice Arena in Delmont, where she practices six days a week and competes in four separate skating events. Last year, she competed in 17 events and placed first in 13.
Another Sports Girl of the Year award went to Samantha Orie, also an eighth-grader at Harrold. She plays volleyball, track, soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse for the school and also plays recreational softball, travel basketball and lacrosse, and is an avid skier.
Sportswoman of the Year in a Team sport was awarded to Devin McGrath, a senior at Saint Vincent College, where she is a four-year starter on the women's basketball team and a three-time All-Presidents' Athletic Conference selection, including being named to First Team each of the last two seasons. She was PAC Player of the week seven times. This season, she ranked first in the PAC in rebounding and finished fourth in the league in scoring at 16.1 points per game.
The Individual Excellence award went to Mallory Sanner, a junior at Seton Hill University, where she is a javelin thrower and last season won the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship, helping her team to a championship as well. At the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Champions last May, Ms. Sanner set a new school and personal record with a throw of 158 feet. Her throw was the fifth best at the championship, earning her NCAA All American Honors and recognition as the top freshman at the event. She became the first female at Seton Hill University to earn NCAA All American Honors. During that time, she also was a member of the women's basketball team.
The High School Sports Team award went to the Greater Latrobe High School Varsity Girls Swim Team. In 2012, the team won the WPIAL AAA Section 1 Title with a10-2 record in dual meets. They were ranked eighth nationally for a Class 2 female team. Three team members received All-American consideration. The relay placed eighth in the PIAA state championships. During the season, four individual and two relay school records were broken, and the team captured the 2013 Westmoreland County Coaches Association swimming and diving title and at the PIAA state championships in March placed fourth in the team standings. The team is coached by Grey Arrigonie.
The Sportswomen Team Award went to the Seton Hill University Track and Field Team. In 2012, the team earned its second straight WVIAC Track and Field title. Coach Tim Creamer earned the WVIAC Women's Track and Field Coach of the Year Award for the sixth time. Seven women earned all conference honors. Three athletes qualified for the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Pueblo, Colo. Additionally, the team was named an All Academic Team with six individuals named All Academic Honorees.
Committee Choice Award went to the Saint Vincent College women's tennis team. This award is a discretionary one to honor a team that impresses the committee with persistence in overcoming adversity or forging new ground in women's sports. The team achieved its best record ever (14-0) and won the President's Athletic Conference title. It also received the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The team is remarkable given that there has always been a "no cut" policy, a rarity in college athletics. The team is coached by Christopher McMahon, Jim Bendel and Kim Kissell.
Women's Coach of the Year is Ferne Labati, in her seventh season as Seton Hill University women's basketball coach. In 2009-10, she recorded her 500th career victory and led the Griffins to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance. In 2010-11, Ms. Labati was named the WVIAC Coach of the Year and this season, the team advanced to the final round of the WVIAC Championship. The team has the highest academic rank in women's basketball in the East Region and for five consecutive seasons was named to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II Academic Top 25 Honor Roll.
The Women's Health and Fitness Award went to Mental Health America of Westmoreland County, a Greensburg nonprofit that promotes advocacy, education and mental health services.
Details: 724-834-9390 or visit www.YWCAwestmoreland.org.