Norwin runner Jubert looking to make up for injury-plagued season at states

Thursday, October 31, 2019 | 6:12 PM

Norwin junior Alex Jubert missed much of the 2019 cross country season recovering from injuries.

But he wouldn’t mind finishing strong.

Jubert ran well enough at the WPIAL Class AAA championships Oct. 24 at Cal (Pa.) to qualify for the PIAA championships. Now he hopes to continue to improve his times.

He wasn’t the only Westmoreland County runner to advance to Saturday’s championship at Hershey.

Two Greensburg Salem boys and the Greensburg Salem girls team advanced in Class AA. Latrobe qualified sophomore Lexie Planinsek, senior Rachel Harter and junior Joseph Hill. Greensburg Central Catholic sophomore Corinn Brewer and Belle Vernon junior Grace Henderson and freshman Viva Kreis also will be in Hershey.

Jubert ran finished the WPIAL race in 17 minutes, 16 seconds to finish 17th. Earlier in the season, he ran 16:59 at the PIAA Foundation meet at Hershey.

“I’m happy for Alex,” coach Brian Fleckenstein said. “He’s had a tough season recovering from injuries. He’s really getting back into it.”

Fleckenstein said breaking the 17-minute is the goal this weekend for Jubert.

Greensburg Salem coach Nathan Snider is hoping for another good finish for the Golden Lions. The girls finished second at the WPIAL Class AA meet.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to defeat South Fayette, but I feel we have a shot at placing if we run well,” Snider said.

Greensburg Salem had three runners — senior Jamie Tanto, sophomore Natalie DiCriscio and senior Maria Scarpa — finish in the top 17.

“That was probably as good as we could do up front,” Snider said. “Really all the way down, one through five, but the top three puts us in a good position.”

Tanto was ninth (20:56), DiCriscio was 14th (21:10) and Scarpa was 17th (21:17). The other two who helped the team qualify were senior Joula Anderson, who was 32rd (22:40), and junior Brenna Slezak, who was 51st (23:49). Sophomores Hannah Messer and Lilly Kosoglow helped displace runners.

The Greensburg Salem boys are the returning Class AA champions. The Golden Lions didn’t qualify as a team, but Snider expects junior Quintin Gatons and senior Noah Calisti to compete well. They were part of the wining state championship team in 2018.

Gatons placed 11th with a time of 17:28, and Calisti was 17th with a time of 17:47.

“Making the state tournament is something I’ve been working hard to achieve since I started to run,” Calisti said.

Brewer is hoping to run a lot better than she did a Cal. She was bothered by warm temperatures and got off to a bad start. She ran her worst high school race, placing 11th with a time of 21:31. She ran in 20:22 in last year’s race.

“The course was muddy, and it was warmer than expected,” Brewer said. “I’m trying to take the positives from this race. I know I’ll bounce back.”

Brewer said she knew it wasn’t going to be her day by the first mile, and it was a struggle just to finish.

“My chest started to hurt, and my shoulders started to tighten and when that happens. it’s not going to be good,” Brewer said.

But the sophomore said she expects to run better. She said she trained a little differently this week.

Mount Lebanon senior Patrick Anderson, the returning PIAA Class AAA champion, has been running great. He broke the course record in winning both the Tri-State Track Coaches Association meet and WPIAL Championship at Cal (Pa.).

Anderson is the only WPIAL runners that is returning champion.

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

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