Moon’s Cochran, Butler’s Singleton win state cross country titles

Saturday, November 6, 2021 | 5:07 PM

It was quite an exciting day for cross country teams from the WPIAL on Saturday at the PIAA championships in Hershey.

Moon senior Mia Cochran won her third consecutive Class 3A title, Butler senior C.J. Singleton became the school’s first runner to win a state title in 60 years, the Montour girls won their first state team title and North Allegheny boys and girls repeated as team champions.

“This is something,” North Allegheny coach John Neff said about his girls team. “I heard that no one has won four consecutive titles in Class 3A. We’re young and motivated, and this could go on for a few more years.

“As for the boys, we’re losing a couple key seniors, but we have some young runners ready to step in. It could be an exciting few years.”

A total of 38 WPIAL individuals brought home medals, including silver medals by Riverside senior Ty Fluharty (Class A), Butler sophomore Drew Griffiths (Class 3A), Brownsville junior Jolena Quarzo (Class 2A) and Mt. Lebanon sophomore Logan St. John Kletter (Class 3A).

Cochran joins a small list of three-time champions, the last being Marlee Starliper of Northern High School, which she achieved in Class 2A (2017-19).

Cochran’s time was 18 minutes, 8.5 seconds. St. John Kletter followed her in 18:21.3.

North Allegheny sophomore Eva Kynaston (18:38.2) and freshman Wren Kucler (18:40.9) were fifth and sixth, and Kiski Area sophomore Eliza Miller (18:57.8) was 11th.

North Allegheny finished with 62 team points, and Dallastown was second with 149. It was the Tigers’ fourth consecutive team title and seventh in school history. The others on the team were freshman Robin Kucler, who placed 23rd, senior Maura Mlecko, sophomore Erin McGoey, freshman Sydney Kuder and freshman Camille Swirsding.

Butler drought ends

Singleton became the first Butler runner since Howard Hammonds to win a state title.

The senior started quickly and finally took over at the mile marker before he pulled away for the win. His winning time was 15:52.9.

Sophomore teammate Drew Griffiths finished second in 15:58.1. Peters Township junior Brett Kroboth was fifth, and North Allegheny senior Scott Nalepa was eighth.

“I’m ecstatic,” Singleton said. “It doesn’t feel real. It hit me that I was going to win with about 20 meters left in the race.”

His teammate, Griffiths, said it was awesome he and Singleton went 1-2.

“It’s exciting,” Griffiths said. “They went out fast, and I just started picking people off as the race went on. Hopefully I’ll win it next year.”

The lone City League medalists was Allderdice senior Jack Barnhisel, who finished 25th.

The North Allegheny boys had to rally to win the school 15th title and third in the past four years.

The other Tigers runners were freshman Scott Bertram (13th), senior Ryan Podnar (19th), senior Graham Wolfe, sophomore Michael Gauntner, senior Caleb Schall and junior Greg Kossuth.

Montour’s first

Montour coach Rob Naylor knew his girls team had a chance at winning the PIAA Class 2A as long as it performed to its capability, and it did.

The Spartans finished with 70 points, 13 points better than favorite Central Cambria.

“This is unchartered territory for us,” Naylor said. “But we hadn’t lost all season, and we’ve been able to overcome illness and injuries. Everyone did their job.”

Leading the way for the Spartans was junior Harley Kletz, who finished third overall. She was followed by sophomore Lakyn Schaltenbrand (10th) and senior Sophia Trevenen (20th). The other runners were senior Alex Fleck, junior Mikhala Kletz, freshman Meghan Rainer and sophomore Amelia Trevenen.

Quarzo ran an 18:50.7 and finished behind Blue Mountain senior Olivia Hass (18:20.3).

The other top finisher from the WPIAL was Uniontown junior Hope Trimmer, who took fourth.

Class A girls

Penn Valley senior Anna Stitler breezed to her title in 19:32.

The top WPIAL runner was Aquinas Academy’s Alexis Abbett, who placed sixth. WPIAL champion Corinn Brewer of Greensburg Central Catholic finished 12th.

The Mohawks girls finished second with 160 points behind Notre Dame Green Pond, which finished with 117.

Class A boys

Palisades junior Thomas Smigo was the boys winner in a time of 16:31.4.

He edged out Riverside senior Ty Fluharty, who ran a 16:39.5.

Other WPIAL runners to finish in the top 10 were Eden Christian junior Sean Aiken (fifth), Winchester Thurston senior Lance Nicholls (sixth) and Eden Christian sophomore Ethan Haring (eighth). Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Nick Szekely finished 15th.

Hughesville was the team champion with 95 points. Winchester Thurston was third with 173, and Riverview was fourth with 175.

Class 2A boys

Archbishop Wood senior Gary Martin was the boys winner in a time of 15:46.7.

WPIAL champion Ryan Pajak, a sophomore from Ringgold, finished eighth in 16:40.2 Hopewell’s Dominic Flitcraft was the only other WPIAL runner to earn a medal. He finished 25th.

Lewisburg was the team champion with 88 points, and Hampton placed seventh.

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

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