North Allegheny runner competes at national meet

Thursday, December 13, 2018 | 11:24 PM

Under the weather, North Allegheny boys cross country senior Zachary Kinne had a disappointing showing in the Nike Cross Nationals Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.

Kinne, a Duke recruit, came in 122nd of 203 (16 minutes, 24.1 seconds).

“I had a similar feeling during my Tri-State (Track Coaches Association) and WPIAL (championship) races,” Kinne said. “We’re still looking to find out what could be wrong.”

Kinne (16:06.8) qualified by placing second in the Nike Cross Regional Northeast meet Nov. 24 in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

“I had more time to recover before NXR, and had a great race,” said Kinne, the PIAA Class AAA runner-up who moved to the district from a Chicago suburb before the season and helped the Tigers to WPIAL and PIAA titles.

Competing as the Wexford Flats, the Tigers placed ninth of 33.

Junior Daniel McGoey (16:29.2) came in 19th and was the club’s second-best performer.

“(It) is a whole new experience,” said McGoey, the WPIAL champion. “To see all the talent in one place is very exciting.”

Senior Ethan James, junior Stephen Nalepa, senior Luke Turkovich and sophomores Andrew Kollitz and Connor Foody ran.

In the girls meet, North Allegheny, the WPIAL and PIAA champions, came in third of 21.

Junior Hannah Lindgren (19:11.7) and sophomore Keeley Misutka (19:22.6) led with 11th and 13th-place finishes.

Freshman Rachel Hockenberry (20.20.7) and junior Caroline Daggett (20.25.2) placed in the top 50.

Senior Ally Christy, freshman Maura Mlecko and junior Jenna Mlecko competed.

“(It) was an amazing experience,” said Christy, a Duquesne recruit. “Racing against the top athletes from the Northeast region was a great way to end the season.”

Earlier, Tiger coach John Neff was named the Pennsylvania Track and Field Coaches Association Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year and Kinne, McGoey and Lindgren were named first-team all-state.

Neff said he was honored, but more excited for his runners.

Christy said Neff emphasized all season that every workout counts, which motivated them to work hard.

“His support and guidance are what (led) to our success,” she said.

McGoey said his honor proves that the hard work is paying off.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.


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