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Mackey, Clouse return to lead Sewickley Academy runners

| Monday, Sept. 19, 2016, 4:06 p.m.
Sewickley Academy's Griffin Mackey competes in the boys AA 3200 meter run during the WPIAL Track & Field Championships at Baldwin High School on Thursday, May 19, 2016.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Sewickley Academy's Griffin Mackey competes in the boys AA 3200 meter run during the WPIAL Track & Field Championships at Baldwin High School on Thursday, May 19, 2016.

The Sewickley Academy boys cross country team (2-1) will put its lofty ambitions to a test at the PIAA Foundation invitational meet Saturday at Hershey.

Teams from across the state will compete in a preview of the PIAA championships in November.

Sewickley Academy, the two-time defending WPIAL Class A champion, expects to be a serious contender for the PIAA crown after placing second the past two seasons.

Seniors Griffin Mackey and Ben Clouse did not compete at the Red, White and Blue Classic on Sept. 10, at the Schenley Park Oval in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, and it showed.

The Panthers finished 17th of 25 teams in the boys varsity A and AA division.

Mackey was PIAA individual champion last fall. He and Clouse placed second and third at the WPIAL championship.

Senior Tim Hanlon and juniors Austin Duffield, Jared Washington and Sam Casale were among scorers at Red, White and Blue.

“The final spots are very open right now, and there is healthy competition at practice,” Panthers' coach Derek Chimner said.

The Panthers beat both Vincentian and New Brighton on Sept. 13 in Section 2-A/AA play.

They lost to Shady Side Academy in a nonsection meet earlier.

They honored seniors Tuesday in section contests at home against Quaker Valley and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

“Our goal this year is to win states,” Mackey said.

The Sewickley Academy girls team (0-3) came in last of 18 squads at the Red, White and Blue Classic.

Sophomore Nella Tsudis and freshman Rebecca Vassilenko paced the Panthers.

Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.

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