A-K Valley senior spotlight: Riverview’s Parker Steele
Monday, November 1, 2021 | 10:09 AM
Riverview cross country
Parker Steele will run his final high school cross country race Nov. 6 in Hershey as he and his Riverview teammates, the newly crowned WPIAL Class A team champions, go after the best in the state at the PIAA championships.
While he acknowledged the soon-to-be conclusion of what has been a cross country career full of accomplishments, all of his focus, he said, is on preparation for states and enjoying the current moments of championship success.
“Honestly, this is all sweet right now,” said Steele, who led an experienced Raiders group to victory with a fifth-place individual finish last Thursday at Roadman Park at Cal (Pa.).
“It is amazing to see all the hard work come together. We all have our individual performances, but it is all for the team. We completed the dream.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to get back up to states and run there again. The experience there two years ago was the best ever just because of how much work the seniors that year put in and to see it all come together. I am not sure how it will go for us next week, but to just think about it, it’s just very exciting.”
Steele recorded a time of 17 minutes, 55.3 seconds in the WPIAL’s championship return to Cal (Pa.) after running the meet last year at White Oak Park. He was 13th overall last year as Riverview took second to Winchester Thurston but missed out on a trip to states under the PIAA’s covid restrictions for state qualifying.
“This course (at Cal) is so mentally challenging,” Steele said. “You start off pretty fast and then you have that insane hill. I felt best in the last ‘W’ as I finally got to my last spot. Throughout the race, I am catching people and raising higher and higher. In the end, it felt amazing.”
Steele’s finish at WPIALs was close to 10 seconds faster than the 18:05.99 he ran in taking third in the Class A boys race at the Tri-State Coaches Invitational on the same course Oct. 21.
He also took fifth against some of the WPIAL’s best at the Red, White and Blue Invitational on Sept. 11 at White Oak Park.
Steele first got the opportunity to run at WPIALs as a sophomore in 2019 and placed 25th overall, helping the Raiders to their fourth straight runner-up team finish to Winchester Thurston and a trip to states.
He followed up his WPIAL performance with a 35th at the PIAA meet in Hershey as Riverview and Winchester Thurston again owned the top two spots in the team standings.
Steele said he is looking forward to studying engineering in college. Once he has his college of choice set in stone, he hopes to also continue running at the club or varsity level.
“I am extremely grateful that I have had a strong season and have been able to compete well, and I am also grateful for everything and everyone around me,” Steele said. “Especially today, getting fifth feels great.”
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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