Southmoreland freshmen cousins achieve athletic success
Needless to say, it has been a very eventful sports year for the Beistel family.
After all, cousins Jake and Riley Beistel each qualified for the PIAA tournament in their respective sports — Riley in cross country and Jake in wrestling.
By the way, adding to the magnitude of those achievements is the fact they are each just freshman.
Jake won 35 matches this season, qualifying for the PIAA finals. His time in that tournament in Hershey did not last long with losses in his first two matches, but that didn't diminish what he was able to accomplish as a ninth-grade student. His first loss came by a 9-2 score to eventual state champion Sam Breese of Lakeview
“It's a lot tougher (at states). All the kids up there are really good,” Jake Beistel said. “I took a good shot, but I just couldn't finish. I can't wait to go back next year, hopefully. I'm excited to do a lot better next year. It was a really fun experience to be in the Giant Center, how big it is...I was real nervous my first match looking up and (seeing) the people looking down at me.”
Ryan Shaw, Southmoreland wrestling coach, said Breese came away impressed with Beistel.
“He said, ‘That kid's going to be tough,'” Shaw said. “He's doing a lot of little things right now that are going to make him a great heavyweight. I think he has a great future.”
For the most part, Beistel was happy with his freshman campaign on the mat.
“I think it went pretty well,” he said. “I definitely think I could have wrestled a lot better, but overall it went pretty well.”
Beistel's freshman year of athletic success was not limited to just the wrestling mat as he was named to the Class AA Keystone Conference All-Conference football team.
Riley Beistel ran to her success this year.
She finished eighth in the WPIAL Class AA championship to qualify for the PIAA meet during a season in which she placed in the top 10 of the Slippery Rock, Freedom and Uniontown invitationals. She also set the school's course record — one that stood for 15 years — with a time of 21:55.
“I was really excited about it,” she said of the course record. “I missed it by seven seconds one time and I was so disappointed since I was so close. I decided not to worry about it and that worked out better. I was more relaxed and that's the day it happened.”
She admitted the PIAA meet caught her a little by surprise, but can serve as motivation for next year.
“I didn't know what to expect when I went there,” she said about a meet in which she finished 124th out of 239 runners. “It's really crazy. I should have gone out faster and I didn't. I think next year I can do a lot better if I make it again.”
Each is quite proud of what the other was able to accomplish. The two admit to being close and very supportive of each other, sending encouraging messages regularly.
“We both worked really hard at it,” Jake Beistel said “I know she works really hard at it. My uncle owns a farm and she goes out and runs around the farm all the time. I'm really proud of her. It was great as a freshman she could make it to states.”
“I think it's really cool and unexpected,” Riley Beistel added. “I'm really happy for him. It's a great feeling. ”
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or 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.