Plum runners gearing up for big section meet
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It's one race for all the marbles in Section 4-AAA.
Plum and eight other boys and girls cross country teams are putting the finishing touches on preparations for this Tuesday's section championship meet at Pittsburgh's Schenley Park Oval.
Instead of a series of dual meets or tri-meets over a month's time, everyone will gather to test there mettle in one shot.
The coaches in Section 4 got together a couple of weeks ago and devised the one-championship-meet format. A better training schedule for the runners (less meets) and saving the districts money on transportation, Gateway head coach Tom LaBuff said, were the main reasons for the move.
There will be two varsity and two junior varsity races on Tuesday, and the races begin at 4 p.m.
“This will be the first time we've come up with something like this in my 35 years of coaching,” Plum head coach Joe Ionta said.
Joining Plum will be Allderdice, Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Oakland Catholic, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Highlands, Kiski Area, Penn Hills and Woodland Hills.
Each team will be permitted 10 runners for the boys varsity race and the same number in the girls varsity race, and Ionta said each of the races will have between 70 and 90 runners.
“I don't think it will change our perspective that much,” Ionta said.
“We're kind of pack runners, and we're not going to be focused on how many runners from each squad are in front of us. We're just going to run the best races we can. The kids will have to adjust to running with 90 people instead of 30 to 40 people in a normal tri-meet. But it will be another good race to prepare them for the bigger WPIAL races.”
The Plum runners competed in a community race in Plum over the weekend, and the Mustangs were scheduled to run against Penn Hills and Central Catholic/Oakland Catholic in a non-scoring meet on Tuesday.
Ionta said the meet would give the teams a good idea of where they are at right now and a better idea of who will be the 10 boys and 10 girls runners entered in this Tuesday's championship races.
Seniors Luke Jennings and Adam Molinaro, freshman Jake Susalla, junior Andy Marzullo, sophomore Tyler Mower and juniors Eddie Amori and Alan Yocca were the top boys runners at the season-opening Gateway Invitational on Sept. 1, and Ionta said he expects them to be at the heart of the boys squad on Tuesday.
Seniors Gina Valotta, Jordan Rupp, Mia Pietropola and Courtney Liberatore; juniors Chrissy Joyce and Carly Izydore; and sophomore Abby Sebunia paced the girls team at the Gateway Invitational.
Ionta said Rupp has been battling through injury and is working to be prepared for the section championship meet, while freshman Ana Benitez is back after missing about a month with an injury.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates trade for Mariners’ Happ
- Armstrong escapee caught; murder charges pending
- Heyl: Longtime disc jockey Jimmy Roach to turn dismissal into brighter times
- Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
- Pirates’ Burnett endures another poor start in blowout loss to Reds
- Steelers’ reserve quarterbacks vie to secure spot behind Roethlisberger, Gradkowski
- Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa
- Pirates bolster bullpen by trading for former closer Soria
- Judge rules McCullough guilty of taking money from elderly woman’s estate
- Steelers stress improved conditioning in attempt to play past injuries
- Pitt, McConnell-Serio agree to new contract through 2020-21 season