Trio of runners aim to defend titles at WPIAL cross country championships

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022 | 2:01 PM


The WPIAL cross country championships will be held Thursday at Cal (Pa.)’s Roadman Park.

The course is known for its treacherous hill between mile markers 1 and 2. Those who can navigate the climb will have the best chance to advance to Hershey for the PIAA championship meet Nov. 5. Despite rain Wednesday, the course is expected to be mostly dry and fast.

Here’s some information about the six races:

Class 3A

1 p.m., Girls race

2021 individual champion: Mia Cochran, Moon (18:18.6). Team champion: North Allegheny.

What’s at stake: Three teams and top 15 individuals not part of the three teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Mt. Lebanon juniors Logan St. John Kletter and Caroline Adams finished one-two in the Tri-County Track Coaches Association race last week at Cal (Pa.). Kletter’s winning time was 18:36.19. North Allegheny is again loaded with talent with the Kucler twins, Wren and Robin, and Eva Kynaston leading the way. Bethel Park junior Jenna Lang and Kiski Area junior Eliza Miller also could challenge for the title, along with Pine-Richland senior Natalie McLean.

1:45 p.m., Boys race

2021 individual champion: C.J. Singleton, Butler (16:26.3). Team champion: North Allegheny.

What’s at stake: Two teams and top 10 individuals not part of the two teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Butler junior Drew Griffith recently won his second consecutive TSTCA Class 3A meet by setting a course record. Also look out for North Allegheny sophomore Jack Bertram, Peters Township senior Brett Kroboth and Moon senior Jacob Puhalla.

Class 2A

11 a.m., Girls race

2021 individual champion: Jolena Quarzo, Brownsville (19:04.1). Team champion: Montour.

What’s at stake: Three teams and top 15 individuals not part of the three teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Quarzo is looking for her third WPIAL title. Woodland Hills freshman Annabel Johnson recently won the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Class 2A race. Montour senior Harley Kletz placed second last year, and Uniontown senior Hope Trimmer finished third. Belle Vernon senior Viva Kreis placed 10th.

11:45 a.m., Boys race

2021 individual champion: Ryan Pajak, Ringgold (16:58.9). Team champion: Hampton.

What’s at stake: Four teams and top 20 individuals not part of the four teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Pajak, a junior, is favored to win his second consecutive title. Uniontown senior Mason Stewart recently won the TSTCA meet. Hopewell senior Dom Flitcraft placed second a year ago, Quaker Valley junior Matt Otto was third, Blackhawk senior Ethan Papa was fifth and Greensburg Salem senior Aaron Tressler placed eighth. Kiski Area freshman Sammie Plazio recently won the Westmoreland County Coaches’ Association meet.

Class A

3 p.m., Girls race

2021 individual champion: Corinn Brewer, Greensburg Central Catholic (21:17.8). Team champion: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

What’s at stake: Four teams and top 20 individuals not part of the four teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Riverside junior Lexi Fluharty won the TSTCA Class A meet. Aquinas Academy junior Alexis Abbett, Shady Side Academy junior Chelsea Hartman and Riverside junior Brooke Wissinger also will contend for the title.

3:45 p.m., boys race

2021 individual champion: Sean Aiken, Eden Christian Academy (17:09.3). Team champion: Riverview.

What’s at stake: Four teams and top 20 individuals not part of the four teams advance to the PIAA championships.

Runners to watch: Aiken is back to defend his title. Greensburg Central Catholic junior Nick Szekely finished fourth in 2021. Mohawk sophomore Jackson Schoedel recently won the TSTCA meet. Freedom junior James Couch placed second.

Notes: Parking is $10 per vehicle at Roadman Park. … Awards ceremonies will be held at 12:30 p.m. (2A), 2:30 p.m. (3A) and 4:30 p.m. (A).

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

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