PIAA champion North Allegheny cross country teams to compete at regional meet
Thursday, November 8, 2018 | 3:39 PM
After earning the PIAA Class AAA title, the North Allegheny girls cross country team hated to see the season end.
The Tigers will get a chance to extend it Nov. 24 at the Nike Cross Regionals Northeast meet in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. One of eight regional championships, top finishers will advance to the Nike Cross Nationals Dec. 1 in Portland, Ore.
The PIAA champion North Allegheny boys team also will compete.
“I’m so excited,” said junior Hannah Lindgren, who placed fourth and was the top performer for the girls at the PIAA championships Nov. 3 in Hershey. “(I am) excited to see how we do.”
Nike Cross Regionals Northeast meet director Paul Limmer said there will be more than 200 teams. The top two or three, plus the first five individuals not on a qualifying team, will be invited to nationals, with all expenses paid.
He said North Allegheny is considered among the teams that have a chance.
“NA has always been considered one of the premier programs in the NE,” he said.
North Allegheny coach John Neff said the Tigers, who also swept WPIAL crowns, might not be in peak form.
“(It is) difficult to bring them back after state for another meet,” he said.
Senior Zachary Kinne, a Duke recruit and the PIAA boys runner-up who transferred to North Allegheny before the season, was part of the Naperville, Ill. team that placed fifth of 22 at 2016 nationals.
“I qualified with my team my sophomore year (and) would love to do the same my final year in high school,” he said.
Junior Daniel McGoey, the WPIAL boys champion, has high hopes.
“We believe we have the chance of taking one of the qualifying spots,” he said.
Among other boys competitors are senior Ethan James, junior Stephen Nalepa, sophomore Andrew Kollitz, senior Luke Turkovich and sophomore Connor Foody.
Competing for the girls have been sophomore Keeley Misutka, freshman Rachel Hockenberry, junior Caroline Daggett, freshman Maura Mlecko, senior Ally Christy, junior Jenna Mlecko and sophomore Emily Thompson.
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.
Tags: North Allegheny