Greensburg Salem’s Brown captures WPIAL boys cross country title

Thursday, October 25, 2018 | 7:03 PM

Very few runners left Thursday’s WPIAL cross country championship meet in better spirits then Greensburg Salem’s Mark Brown.

And for good reason.

The senior led the pack in the WPIAL Class AA boys championship race and finished ahead of all other competitors to claim first place in 16 minutes, 52 seconds, and also helping to push his Golden Lions to a WPIAL team title at Cal (Pa.)’s Roadman Park.

“It feels great. State meet and WPIALs — that’s always the goal. To accomplish that, it’s great. It just feels awesome,” Brown said.

“For me and my teammates, and for my coach right now, it’s a dream come true. I think we’re going to be walking out of here on the clouds.”

Greensburg Salem scored 40 points in the team standings, outracing second-place Indiana (83) and third-place New Castle (90).

Brown wasn’t the only top-10 finisher for the Lions, as teammates Cameron Binda (17:02) and Dylan Binda (17:16) claimed second and third, respectively. Junior Mason Jobe (17:36) came in 12th. Ethan Kelly (17:47) and Dominic Zucco (19:01) also contributed to the team’s high finish.

Greensburg Salem’s bus to the state championship meet in Hershey will be a little crowded. The girls team grabbed second place in the Class AA meet to secure a berth to the PIAA race Nov. 3 at the Parkview cross country course.

Finishing behind South Fayette (55) and in front of third-place Avonworth (193), Greensburg Salem notched 119 points behind strong performances from Keara Lint (21:21), Jamie Tanto (21:35), Maddy Murtland (21:43), Natalie DiCriscio (21:46) and Sydney Gatons (21:53).

Golden Lions coach Nathan Snider was pleased his girls team earned the opportunity to race once again this season, but said they left the trail with a bit of a chip on their shoulder.

“I think we have some individuals that feel like they could have personally done better and medaled. But I think whenever they look back at it, in an hour or two, they’ll be OK with it. The goal to start the season was to make it to states, and we made it to states,” Snider said.

“They’ll be ready to put it out there next week.”

In Class AA, Derry’s Mary Trinclisti ran a time of 21:06 to claim 13th place and a spot at the PIAA meet.

In the Class A girls race, Greensburg Central Catholic freshman Corinn Brewer represented the Centurions well at her first WPIAL final, placing third in 20:22.

Brewer, who finished first at the Westmoreland County Coaches Association meet and the Tri-State meet, said the WPIAL championship course was challenging, but her desire to make it to states helped push her through.

“The hills up there were hard. I had to really push through those. That did it for me. My motivation to do it was states. I wanted to get a good place and qualify for states,” Brewer said.

“I wanted to try my best and give it all I had. I didn’t want to have anything left by the end of the race.”

North Allegheny (Class AAA) and Vincentian Academy (Class A) also won girls championships. North Allegheny (Class AAA) and Winchester Thurston (A) also won boys titles.

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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