Covered the annual Baldwin Track & Field Invitational Friday and came away wondering what happened to all the local participants?
Peters Township was there. A few competitors from Waynesburg and Ringgold were there. Didn't bump into anyone from Chartiers-Houston after I arrived but was told they brought a few athletes as well.
Where's everyone else?
The answer is either at home or at the Pine-Richland Invitational.
Several teams, including Canon-McMillan, Washington and Trinity, headed to the growing P-R Invitational, which hosted 38 teams this year. That's not the size of Baldwin, one of the largest high school invitationals in the eastern United State, but enough to compete against a strong field.
Still, it can't be as strong as the field at Baldwin or provide as broad a scope in what to expect at the PIAA Championships.
And, size probably has a lot to do with the decreasing number of local participants at Baldwin.
The Baldwin Invitational is too large for some, and the massive field usually means the meet ends no earlier than 10:40 p.m. Sometimes, it can carry past 11 p.m. That's a long day.
Those are the negatives. The advantages outweight them. And the main advantage I see is competing against quality competition. That's the best way to improve.