Plum’s Justin Mascilli misses spot at state cross country meet by narrowest of margins

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Friday, November 1, 2019 | 6:37 PM


Plum senior Justin Mascilli placed 27th in the boys Class AAA race at the WPIAL cross country championships Oct. 24 at Cal (Pa.).

He completed the Roadman Park course in 17 minutes, 30 seconds, an improvement of 24 spots and 41 seconds from his finish there last year.

While Mascilli’s jump in the standings and drop in time were two achieved goals, he fell agonizingly short of a trip to states.

One second short, to be exact.

The top three teams in the Class AAA standings and the top 15 individuals not on one of those qualifying teams earned berths to the PIAA championships in Hershey.

Mt. Lebanon junior Matt Quinn grabbed the final individual spot with a 25th-place finish in a time of 17:29.

“Somebody has to be the first one out in every race, and unfortunately for Justin, one of them was him,” Plum coach Adam Molinaro said.

But Molinaro was pleased with the way Justin showed leadership on the course for a Plum boys team that returns five of its top seven runners from WPIALs.

Freshman Connor Pivirotto made his WPIAL debut and finished second for the Mustangs and 83rd overall in a time of 18:45.

The Plum girls, the Division I, Section 4 runners-up, finished 12th overall. It was the best team finish since the 2003 squad, led by the late Rachel Twigg, as well as Val Vandzura and Jess Youra, also placed 12th.

Senior Angela Valotta, who sought a return to states after running there as a freshman, led the Mustangs in 36th with a time of 21:18. She finished nine spots and 29 seconds behind the final PIAA qualifier.

Sophomore Ashley Persia and junior Livia Paoletti followed Valotta in 43rd and 44th, respectively.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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