North Allegheny takes team titles at Tri-State cross country meet

Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 7:07 PM

With the WPIAL Cross Country Championships less than a week away, the Tri-State Track Coaches Association annual meet serves a test run for some of the top athletes in each classification.

Thursday, it was the Class AAA teams’ turn to showcase their talents, and the North Allegheny boys and girls teams proved they’ll be tough to beat when they return to White Oak Park in a week.

Class AA and Class A schools ran on Wednesday and will do again on Oct. 28 with the Class AA boys fast heat starting the competition at 9 a.m. The meet was originally scheduled for California University, but the school couldn’t host the event, leaving the WPIAL to change venues.

North Allegheny senior Keeley Misutka pulled away from Bethel Park freshman Jenna Lang and Baldwin senior Gina Bolla about the two-mile mark to grab the girls title. Her time was 18:13.33.

Lang, a phenomenal freshman, ran an 18:20.31 and Bolla an 18:34.11.

There were six freshmen that finished in the top 11.

Pine-Richland junior Meredith Price finished fourth, Butler junior Jennifer Cichra was fifth, and Oakland Catholic senior Tesslyn Helms was sixth. The next five spots were freshmen: Kiski Area’s Eliza Miller, Pine-Richland’s Angelina Hunkele, North Allegheny’s Eva Kynaston and Fox Chapel’s Clara Kelley and Laura Carter.

“It was a great race for me, especially against some great competitors,” Misutka said. “I felt good the whole race and the girls were amazing competition. They really pushed me.”

Now Misutka can focus on the WPIAL championships, where she’ll have to beat these girls again.

“This definitely will help us prepare for next week,” Misutka said. “This race got familiar with the WPIAL course and it makes us really confident.”

NA girls edged out rival Pine-Richland, 63-86, for the title, while the boys defeated rival Butler, 36-65.

Butler juniors C.J. Singleton and Sage Vavro took the top two spots in the boys race. Singleton’s winning time was 15:41.43.

Norwin senior Alex Jubert finished third followed by North Allegheny junior Scott Nalepa and sophomore Gregory Kossuth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Butler senior Skyler Vavro, Peters Township sophomore Brett Kroboth, Pine-Richland senior Victor Williams, North Allegheny junior Jackson Hickel and Latrobe sophomore Drew Kozuch.

Even though Singleton ran a good time, he said he felt bad.

“I felt good until halfway through, then I started dying,” Singleton said. “The heat got to me. I beat my time from earlier in the year, and I was feeling bad. This is a big confidence booster.”

Singleton and Vavro set the pace early and maintained the lead throughout.

“We did two workouts this week, so I was not fresh,” Singleton said. “We won’t do any workouts until WPIALs, so hopefully the legs feel pretty good.”

Jubert, who won the Westmoreland County championship, finished a strong third.

“It was a good run, but my times were a little slower,” Jubert said. “The last time I ran here, I ran a 16:03. It could have been better. Next week, I’m looking for a faster time.”

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

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