GCC’s Corinn Brewer, Riverview’s Mason Ochs take second at WPIAL Class A cross country meet

Wednesday, October 28, 2020 | 9:26 PM

Corinn Brewer knew early. Wednesday wasn’t going to be her day.

The Greensburg Central Catholic junior started strong at the WPIAL Class A cross country championships at White Oak Park, but then her body starting to send her warning signs.

“I don’t know what’s up. My forearms got really tight and numb, and I know when that happens, it’s not going to be good,” Brewer said. “I couldn’t really pump my arms like I usually can to pick up the pace. So once that happens, and it happened early on, I knew I had to mentally fight through it and give all I could.”

Shenango senior Carmen Medvit, who broke away from Brewer coming up the hill at the 1-mile mark, breezed to her second WPIAL title in 19 minutes, 10 seconds. Brewer finished second at 19:54.

Medvit won her first title in 2018, but a medical condition during the 2019 championship at Cal (Pa.) forced her to pull out. Many runners suffered during the 2019 race because of warm temperatures including Brewer, who finished 11th.

Serra Catholic senior Maya Poziviak was third in 19:57 followed by Shady Side Academy freshman Chelsea Hartman at 20:07 and Winchester Thurston sophomore Cyd Kennard at 20:17. The other individual state qualifiers were Northgate junior Lydia Valeriano (20:13) and Aquinas Academy freshman Alexis Abbett (20:25).

Seven individuals in Class A and one team qualified for the PIAA championships Nov. 7 in Hershey.

Mohawk won the team title with 56 points and was led by freshman Natalie Lape, who placed seventh in 20:23. Our Lady of the Sacred Heart was second with 110.

“This was a dream of mine, since I started in junior high, to win this race,” Medvit said. “This is definitely feels better than my first title because it’s my senior season. The course was a little muddier, but the weather was beautiful (cool and damp).”

Medvit said she was concerned because Brewer started quickly. But once she got comfortable with the pace, she took over.

“I didn’t want to let her get out of my sights,” Medvit said. “I figured to stay with her and keep pushing until I got to the first line.”

Brewer said she went out faster at the Bald Eagle Classic a month ago. It was a pace she enjoyed. But the quick start didn’t help her pull out a win.

“I’m disappointed with my time,” Brewer said. “I ran a minute faster at Bald Eagle. Hopefully, I bounce back at states.”

That’s where Brewer placed third as a sophomore.

A tight boys race was won by Winchester Thurston senior Patrick Malone in 16:28.

He edged Riverview senior Mason Ochs by a second.

Winchester Thurston, which won the team title with 67 points, also had the third- and fourth-place finishers: Lance Nicholls and Gus Robinson.

“It felt nice to have people with me,” Malone said. “Last week, I ran more conservative and it was a different kind of race.

“Today there were a few guys with me that pushed me along. It was amazing that we had two guys finish third and fourth. I like being pushed. It’s hard to run a race by yourself.”

The other six PIAA qualifiers were Riverside senior Colby Belczyk, who was fifth in 16:41; Greensburg Central Catholic freshman Nick Szekely (16:43); OLSH senior Finn Sweeney (16:44);, Shenango senior Christian Maxwell (16:45); Eden Christian sophomore Sean Aiken (16:58); and Shady Side Academy senior Adam Lauer (17:00).

“The funny things about winning is that I’m joining two families,” Malone said. “One being the Winchester Thurston champions and we have a few of those, the other being my own family, which has won a few WPIAL individual championships of our own (sisters Mary, Margo and Shannon). Now I feel I’m part of the family.”

Ochs said he was surprised he placed second.

“I wasn’t expecting to get second because the Winchester Thurston second guy is really good,” Ochs said. “It was fun. The last half mile was all guts. I’m disappointed that my teammates won’t be joining me in Hershey. Winchester Thurston ran out of their mind.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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