WPIAL Crowns Cross Country Champions at Cal U

California, Pa. – Oct. 29, 2021 – The Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League (WPIAL) crowned champions in boys’ and girls’ cross country Thursday, as it hosted its annual WPIAL Cross Country Championships at Roadman Park on the campus of California University of Pennsylvania. There were six races held, two each in the 1A, 2A, and 3A classifications.

The top three teams and top 15 individuals not on one of the qualifying teams qualified for PIAA state competition in 2A and 3A. In 1A, the top four teams and top 20 individuals not on one of the qualifying teams advanced to PIAAs.

The PIAA Championships are scheduled to take place on Saturday, Nov. 6 in Hershey.

LINK: 2021 WPIAL Cross Country Championship Results

2A BOYS’ RECAP

Hampton brought home the team win in the 2A boys race, scoring 73 points to runner-up North Catholic’s 120. The Talbots had five of the top 24 finishers, starting with sophomore Jacob Bonnar’s seventh-place effort at 17:50.0. Classmates Nathan Garrett (18:07.0) and Dale Hall (18:07.1) placed 12th and 13th respectively, with Chistopher Belch (17th, 18:11.1) and Nathan Garner (24th, 18:25.3) rounding out the scoring.

Ringgold sophomore Ryan Pajak moved up one spot to earn the individual win, finishing the course in 16:58.9. That was nearly 35 seconds ahead of runner-up Dominic Flitcraft of Hopewell, as the junior posted a time of 17:33.2. Quaker Valley sophomore Matthew Otto claimed bronze with a 17:36.3.

North Catholic’s top finisher was sophomore Sam West, who placed 15th with a time of 18:10.5. Joe Harmanos (20th, 18:17.4), Owen Schessler (27th, 18:33.3), Giacomo Lepore (28th, 18:37.0), and Ben Capozzi (30th, 18:39.7) also scored points for the Trojans.

Blackhawk topped Ringgold by seven points (146-153) to claim the final PIAA spot. Junior Ethan Papa was the Cougars’ top finisher in fifth, as he completed the race in 17:40.8.

In addition to the individual top three and student-athletes from Hampton, Ringgold, and Blackhawk, qualifying for the PIAA Championships are: Beaver’s Ryan Groff, Deer Lakes’ Carson McCoy, Greensburg Salem’s Charles Johnson, Jacob Smith, and Aaron Tressler, Mars’ Gregory Chernosky, Montour’s Peter Chacon and Julian Kletz, New Castle’s Lucas Bradley, Ringgold’s Nick Whaley, and Uniontown’s Leyton Maust and Mason Stewart.

A total of 196 runners competed in the race.

2A GIRLS’ RECAP

Montour improved from its 2020 runner-up position, capturing the 2A team crown with 54 points – 50 more than second-place Chartiers Valley. The Spartans featured four of the top eight finishers, beginning with runner-up Harley Kletz, as the junior posted a 19:39.7. Alex Fleck finished fifth with a 20:25.4, with Lakyn Schaltenbrand right behind here at 20:28.3. Sophia Trevenen (8th, 20:50.1) and Meghan Ranier (38th, 23:03.1) completed the Montour scoring.

Brownsville junior Jolena Quarzo repeated as the 2A individual champ, finishing 35.6 seconds ahead of Kletz with a 19:04.1. Uniontown junior Hope Trimmer collected the bronze medal after posting a 20:06.6.

Chartiers Valley was paced by freshman Lilah Turnbull, who’s 20:29.0 was good for seventh place individually. Eva Kulbago netted a 13th-place effort with a 21:17.6, with Dani Thornton (23rd, 22:05.6), Juliana Betts (30th, 22:27.0), and Rachel White (36th, 22:58.6) also scoring for the Colts.

Beaver claimed the final PIAA slot by 45 points over North Catholic. The Bobcats’ top finisher was freshman Danica Purtell, who placed 11th with a time of 21:12.7.

In addition to Quarzo, Trimmer, and the student-athletes from Montour, Chartiers Valley, and Beaver, qualifying for the PIAA Championships are: Belle Vernon’s Viva Kreis, Blackhawk’s Talia Peccon, Burrell’s Grace Nesko, Derry’s Jane Huss, Elizabeth Forward’s Laci Schwirian, Knoch’s Emma Haugh, North Catholic’s Alaina Hicks and Grace Lazzara, Quaker Valley’s Cecilia Montagnese, Ringgold’s Charlee Leach, Southmoreland’s Lexi Ohler, and Uniontown’s Emily Angelo.

A total of 186 runners competed in the race.

#WPIAL

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