Anderson, Carter smash records at Tri-State cross country meet
Thursday, October 17, 2019 | 8:06 PM
When the WPIAL holds its cross country championships on Oct. 23 at Cal (Pa.), the favorites to win the Class AAA boys and girls races are Mt. Lebanon senior Patrick Anderson and Bethel Park junior Emily Carter.
And to no one’s surprise, Anderson and Carter shined at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association meet Thursday.
On a breezy, cool day at Cal (Pa.), Anderson and Carter let WPIAL runners know they are ready to dominate, and they broke records in the process.
Anderson’s winning time of 15 minutes, 45.47 seconds was a meet record and 17 seconds better than the second-place finisher (Zachary Leachman of Mars, 16:05.72). North Allegheny senior Daniel McGoey (16:10.47) placed third. Butler sophomores Sage Vavro and C.J. Singleton were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Fox Chapel senior Christian Fitch finished sixth.
Several top teams and runners skipped the event because the Tri-State event and WPIAL championships are a week apart at the same course. Those teams ran earlier this season at the Cal (Pa.) Invitational.
It was the second consecutive season Anderson, the returning PIAA Class AAA champion, has won the Tri-State meet. He finished second to McGoey in the WPIAL finals last year.
“I really wasn’t trying to set a new record,” Anderson said. “With the WPIALs next week, all I was trying to do was go out and get comfortable on the course and get a good feel. I’m feeling good heading into next week for sure. “
Anderson said the key at Cal is a good first mile and grinding it out through the big hill.
“The tough conditions benefit me,” Anderson said. “It was muddy, and the hills are tough. I thrive on the hills, and it helps me out. There are a lot of good guys in the WPIAL, and a lot are tops in the state, too. Running against them all the time is beneficial.”
Carter ran at Cal (Pa.) earlier this season and easily broke the meet record with a winning time of 17:57.40.
No one pushed Carter as the second-place finisher — North Allegheny’s Hannah Lindgren — was more than a minute behind. Lindgren finished in 19:17.86.
Fox Chapel senior Grace Sisson was third with a time of 19:22.11, Oakland Catholic junior Tesslyn Helms was fourth (19:41.21), and North Allegheny freshman Alexa Sundgren was fifth (19:52.25).
“My goal today was to win and work on strategies for next week,” Carter said. “My goal was to have a good first mile and keep going from there and hope to get the win.”
Carter had no problem getting the win.
She finished fourth last year at the event, was third at WPIALs and 11th at states. She was the PIAA Class AAA 3,200-meter champion in the spring.
The Class AA girls winners was Avonworth senior Anna Igims, who edged Knoch senior Sammy Jo Barnes by 10 seconds. Igims finished in 20:23.79 and Barnes 20:33.86
Third went to Thomas Jefferson senior Lydia Shaw (20:57.36). Following her were Avonworth sophomore Lindsey Hartle (21:21.78) and Belle Vernon freshman Viva Kreis (21:24.78).
The top honors in the Class AA race went to Blackhawk senior Jack Aulbach, who edged Ringgold junior Lucas Pajak. Aulbach ran a 16:52.74 and Pajak 16:58.49.
New Castle senior Anthony Litrenta was third (17:24.57), Uniontown senior Logan Maust was fourth (17:26.29) and Ringgold senior Ethan Gamble was fifth (17:26.59).
Portage sophomore Lauren Shaffer won the Class A girls race in 19:53.31. Following her was North Catholic freshman Julia Zalenski (19:58.60), Shenango junior Carmen Medvit (20:08.86), Northgate freshman Grace Baldauff (20:28.86) and Vincentian junior Tara Lucot (20:41.66).
St. Joseph (District 6) senior Carter Kauffman (17:30.56) won the Class A title in the closest race of the day, edging Avonworth junior Jackson Habala (17:30.76) by two-tenths of a second. Riverside junior Colby Belczyk was third (17:33.20), Avonworth junior Quentin Braillon was fourth and Shady Side Academy junior Adam Lauer was fifth (18:22.53).
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .