GCC’s Corinn Brewer, Norwin’s Jacob Tarosky capture WCCA cross country titles

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 | 8:21 PM

Corinn Brewer’s gameplan for the Westmoreland County Coaches Association cross country meet at Westmoreland County Community College on Wednesday was to run fast.

The Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore did that by scorching the course and the field.

Brewer, who won as a freshman with a time of 19 minutes, 31.5 seconds, cruised to victory in a personal best time of 18:54.1.

Latrobe senior Rachel Harter, a four-time placewinner, was second with a time of 20:00.3, followed by Hempfield junior Lily Schmadel (20:12) and Greensburg Salem senior Jamie Tanto (20:14.7).

“I wanted under 19,” Brewer said. “The course was in great condition. It wasn’t muddy like last year.

“My best was 19:35 this year, and I wanted to push myself and see that training pay off.”

Brewer said she didn’t surprise herself because of the way she trained this fall. She didn’t compete in as many invitationals and paced herself.

Brewer took the lead early and tried to keep pace with the recreation vehicle leading the runners around the course.

“I knew running under 19 was possible,” Brewer said. “I’m happy I won this again and, hopefully, the times will continue to fall.”

Harter said she was pleased with her performance. She said working with one of her teammates helped around the course.

“This is a big honor to place in this event,” Harter said. “Everyone works so hard, so I don’t think I’m the exception. Everyone is amazing and I’m just honored to be able to run in this.”

Schmadel was Hempfield’s lead runner. She helped the Spartans hold off Greensburg Salem for the team title. Hempfield finished with 54, Greensburg Salem 76 and Kiski Area 85.

“I was shooting for the top five because I finished sixth last year,” Schmadel said. “I just wanted to improve. My time is a (personal record) too. This boosts my spirits for the championship races coming up.”

Running with Schmadel were Kendra Winkleblech (seventh), Gia DeRiso (13th), Lily Murphy (14th), Cydney Blahovec (17th), Julia Snider (19th) and Sara Flynn (20th).

The top 15 individuals earned medals.

Tanto led the Golden Lions. She was followed by Natalie DiCriscio (sixth), Marie Scarpa (11th), Joula Anderson (18th), Brenna Slezak (37th) and Hannah Messer (41st).

The Norwin boys, minus top runner junior Alex Jubert, ran away with the team title with 43 points.

Leading the way was senior Jacob Tarosky, who finished with a PR of 16:18.5. It was Tarosky’s first win at a big meet.

Tarosky has been battling different illnesses during his career at Norwin.

“He’s a prime example of hard work paying off,” Norwin coach Brian Fleckenstein said.

Teammate Dominic Spatolisano placed third followed by John Dodaro (11th), Luke Weyandt (12th), Nicolas Shavel (16th), Dominic DeMaro (18th) and Harrison Barnett (35th).

“I felt good to get it done for the team,” Tarosky said. “We knew one of the top varsity runners was out, so everyone had to step up, and I think everyone was able to put forth their best effort.”

Tarosky said he’s been dealing with different issues the past few years and found out he had an iron deficiency.

“We got that straightened out over the summer and I feel better and better,” Tarosky said. “It feels good to be running my best and helping the team the best I can.”

Greensburg Salem’s Noah Calisti had a solid race and finished second with a PR of 16:45.1. Latrobe’s Justin Carlson and Joseph Hill were fourth and fifth respectively, while Kiski Area’s Jake Folaron was sixth and Matt Dongiavanni was seventh.

“I felt good the whole race,” Calisti said. “One of the things we’re trying to prove this season is we were more than Mark Brown and Cam and Dylan Binda. It helped motivate me.”

Greensburg Salem is the returning WPIAL and PIAA Class AA champions.

Kiski Area placed second with 71 points.

The Cavaliers’ overall performance pleased coach Tom Berzonsky.

“I felt both teams did a nice job,” Berzonsky said. “I wanted to see how the boys stacked up against Norwin and we did well. Now we’re looking forward to running against them again.”

Paul Schofield is a TribLive reporter covering high school and college sports and local golf. He joined the Trib in 1995 after spending 15 years at the Daily Courier in Connellsville, where he served as sports editor for 14 years. He can be reached at pschofield@triblive.com.

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