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Freeport duo improve times at cross country state final

| Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, 5:18 p.m.

HERSHEY — Freeport senior Kayla Zboran, a four-time state qualifier in cross country, believes it's not all about where she places in a race. Her times matter in a big way, too.

Zboran finished 42nd with a time of 20 minutes, 23 seconds in Saturday's PIAA Class AA girls cross country final at the 3.1-mile Parkview Course.

It wasn't Zboran's best place finish at states, but it was her best time there.

“I'm chill about it,” Zboran said. “I felt like I ran a good race overall. It was my best time at states, and that's all that counts.”

As a freshman, Zboran finished 34th at states (20:44). She was 68th (21:13) as a sophomore and 52nd (20:53) as a junior.

The PIAA expanded from two classifications to three this season. Freeport stayed in Class AA, but many Class AAA schools dropped to Class AA, making for a tougher overall field of runners.

For Zboran to compare her place finish at states with past seasons is difficult. However, she improved her time, regardless of the competition.

Zboran, also a standout in track, is considering continuing her career at Washington & Jefferson.

Freeport junior Rebecca Dudek also improved her time at states this year but fell in place. Dudek finished 77th (20:55) this season. She claimed 60th (21:00) a year ago.

Dudek said the Freeport entourage enjoyed the weekend.

“We had a blast,” she said. “It was fun to be here. You realize why you love this sport. I ran a better race, and it was a good finish.”

In the six state championship races, no runner or team from the WPIAL took home a title.

Saturday's weather was chilly, with temperatures in the 40s, but Zboran and Dudek preferred running in cooler conditions than the hot weather in which the WPIAL championships were conducted. Also, despite heavy rain throughout the week, both said the course held up well, with only a few muddy patches.

Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pkogut@tribweb.com or 724-224-2696.

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