Red, White and Blue Classic cross country meet has new home
Thursday, September 17, 2020 | 3:26 PM
The Red, White and Blue Classic, an annual cross country meet that is typically run in early September at the Schenley Park Oval, has a new home for 2020.
The annual event will be contested at White Oak Park in White Oak for at least this year.
Classic director Rich Wright said the City of Pittsburgh informed him early enough that Schenley Park would not be able to host because of the coronavirus limitations so he could find a new site.
The 18th annual race will be held Friday and Saturday.
The Class A boys and girls will run at 5 and 6 p.m. Friday, respectively. The Class AA boys and girls will run at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, followed by the Class AAA boys and girls at 3 and 4 p.m.
Wright said the Class AAA girls race, featuring Shady Side Academy senior Melissa Riggins, returning PIAA Class AAA champion Mia Cochran of Moon, returning WPIAL Class AAA champion Emily Carter of Bethel Park and the Wilmington team, which is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class AA, will be a premier race.
Unfortunately, spectators will not be able to attend the meet. Wright said he was told that Allegheny County Police have been ordered to shut the event down if there are fans lining the course.
“We’re following all the guidelines, and the county and Serra Catholic officials have been great,” Wright said. “This is different, but at least we’re holding the event.”
In Class A, there are 17 teams and 212 entrants. Class AA will have 21 teams and 386 runners, and there are 23 teams in Class AAA with more than 600 entries.
“The Class AAA girls’ race will be great,” Wright said. “We’re talking some serious big-time runners. I’m sure they’ll be some good freshmen we don’t know about in the race.
“I’m more than happy with who is coming. I’m sorry I had to turn a few teams away.”
Wright said he’s eager to see how well the event goes because he’s involved in another big race on Oct. 2 and 3. The Bald Eagle Classic (Baldwin/Serra Eagles) also will feature numerous teams.
He doesn’t know where the Tri-State Track Coaches’ Association’s annual meet, which is usually held in October, will take place.
He said a lot depends on where the WPIAL decides to hold its championship.
Cal (Pa.), which hosted last year’s district meet, informed the WPIAL it’s unable to host the championship because no one is on campus.
WPIAL executive director Amy Scheuneman sent a release to all the athletic directors in the district saying that the WPIAL is searching for a new site.
Vince Sortino, assistant to the WPIAL executive director, said the cross country committee is meeting to find a suitable site for the event. He said that announcement will come at the end of the month.
Wright said once the WPIAL finds a location that the Tri-State Track Coaches’ Association will try to use the same site a week before so teams can run the course.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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