Breaking down changes to the 2022-23 WPIAL cross country alignment

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Tuesday, July 5, 2022 | 11:15 AM


The WPIAL released new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL cross country season:

2021 WPIAL championships

Boys

Class 3A team champion: North Allegheny

Class 3A individual champion: CJ Singleton, Butler, 16: 26.3

Class 2A team champion: Hampton

Class 2A individual champion: Ryan Pajak, Ringgold, 16:58.9

Class A team champion: Riverview

Class A individual champion: Sean Aiken, Eden Christian Academy, 17:09.3

Girls

Class 3A team champion: North Allegheny

Class 3A individual champion: Mia Cochran, Moon, 18:18.6

Class 2A team champion: Montour

Class 2A individual champion: Jolena Quarzo, Brownsville, 19:04.1

Class A team champion: OLSH

Class A individual champion: Corinn Brewer, Greensburg C.C., 21:17.8

Notable changes

WPIAL teams again are slotted into two divisions, mostly broken up by geography. Division I features six sections, and Division II has five.

Section championships will awarded at the end of the regular season, and teams then will compete at the WPIAL championships based on enrollment in three classifications (3A, 2A, A).

Several teams will be in different classes for the next two-year cycle.

On the boys’ side, Latrobe, Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, Chartiers Valley, Kiski Area, Woodland Hills and West Allegheny moved down from Class 3A to 2A. Ligonier Valley, McGuffey and Burrell dropped from 2A to A. Mars moved up from 2A to 3A, and Beaver Falls moved up to 2A from A.

On the girls’ side, West Allegheny and Woodland Hills moved from 3A to 2A, and Ligonier Valley, Ellwood City and South Allegheny dropped from 2A to A. Thomas Jefferson moved up from 2A to 3A, and Beaver Falls moved from A to 2A.

Among the major section changes, Indiana and Franklin Regional swapped sections, with FR moving to Section 4 and Indiana going to Section 1 with a large group of Westmoreland County teams in Division I.

Also in Division I, Moon and Chartiers Valley swapped places in Section 5 and 6.

Hampton moved into Division II and will compete in Section 4, where it will join three teams moving from Section 2: Aquinas Academy, Avonworth and North Catholic, as well as holdovers Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Highlands, Knoch, Riverview and Shady Side Academy.

The WPIAL championships again will be held at the Roadman Course at Cal (Pa.) on Oct. 27.

The top four teams in Class A and top three in Class 3A and 2A advance to the state championships. For individuals, the top 20 finishers outside of the team qualifiers in Class A and the top 15 in Class 3A and 2A qualify for the PIAA meet.

New teams

Rochester, Hillel Academy and Calvary Chapel will field WPIAL cross country teams in Class A this fall.

Key dates

Aug. 15: First practice date

Aug. 20: First scrimmage date

Aug. 26: First play date

Sept. 13: First section date

Oct. 27: WPIAL championships

Nov. 5: PIAA championships

2022-23 alignment

Division I (52 teams)

• Section 1: Derry, Indiana*, Greensburg Salem, Hempfield, Latrobe, Ligonier Valley, Norwin, Penn-Trafford, Yough

• Section 2: Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, McKeesport, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Uniontown, West Mifflin

• Section 3: Butler, Central Catholic/Oakland Catholic, Mars, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler

• Section 4: Armstrong, Fox Chapel, Franklin Regional, Gateway, Kiski Area, Penn Hills, Plum, Woodland Hills

• Section 5: Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk*, Central Valley, Chartiers Valley, Hopewell, Montour, New Castle, West Allegheny

• Section 6: Baldwin, Bethel Park, Canon-McMillan, Moon, Mt. Lebanon, Peters Township, South Fayette, Trinity, Upper St. Clair

Division II (54 teams)

• Section 1: Beaver Falls, Ellwood City, Freedom, Laurel, Mohawk, Neshannock, New Brighton, Riverside, Rochester, Shenango, Union

• Section 2: Bishop Canevin, Brentwood, Carlynton, Eden Christian Academy, Hillel Academy, Northgate, OLSH, Quaker Valley, Redeemer Lutheran/Ellis School, Sewickley Academy, Winchester Thurston

• Section 3: Avella, Burgettstown, Chartiers-Houston, Fort Cherry, Keystone Oaks, McGuffey, Seton LaSalle, South Side, Washington, Waynesburg Central, West Greene

• Section 4: Aquinas Academy, Avonworth, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Hampton, Highlands, Knoch, North Catholic, Riverview, Shady Side Academy

• Section 5: Belle Vernon, Brownsville, California, Calvary Chapel, Greensburg C.C., Serra Catholic, South Allegheny, South Park, Southmoreland, Steel Valley

*Cooperative sponsorship

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at bhartlep@triblive.com or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

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