Greensburg Salem boys place pair in top 20 at PIAA cross country championships
HERSHEY — You don't always have to win to be satisfied with your race result.
Greensburg Salem juniors Mark Brown and Cameron Binda didn't win a PIAA Class AA cross country title Saturday at Parkview Course.
Both earned all-state honors by finishing eighth and 19th, respectively, but their finishes and improvement from their sophomore years have them excited about their senior season. In fact, Greensburg Salem coach Nathan Snider was pleased with all his runners, boys and girls.
“Everyone ran well,” Snider said.
That excites Brown and Binda, because the boys return six of their top seven runners. The boys finished seventh, the highest among the three other WPIAL teams.
Dylan Binda, Cameron's twin brother, finished 34th, sophomore Noah Calisti 148th, freshman Quinton Gatons 152nd, senior Nick Leo was 192nd and sophomore Tyler Vandenberg was 204th. Brown was the highest WPIAL finisher. WPIAL champion Sam Snodgrass, a senior from South Fayette, finished 21st.
“I'm happy I finished better than last year,” Brown said. “I ran a smarter race. I started fast, eased up on the hills and sprinted home. You can kill yourself if don't run smart.”
Brown's season isn't done. He's competing in the Foot Locker Regional in a couple weeks.
“I want to use this momentum, continue to work hard and come back here next year and finish higher,” Brown said. “There is always room for improvement.”
Cameron Binda was battling a cold the past two weeks. He was pleased how he ran and how he improved.
“Coach Snider was pleased with all of us,” Binda said. “I remember how I didn't finish well last year, missing a medal by one place, and I thought about it all summer during training. I wasn't going to let that happen again.
“I just want to continue to climb up the ladder. I'm going to continue to work hard.”
Only one WPIAL runner, Winchester Thurston senior Tristan Forsythe is Class A, came home with a PIAA title.
“This feels great,” Forsythe said. “I blew a big lead last year, so it makes this win that much sweeter. I've been thinking about this for the past 365 days.
“I was a heavy favorite coming in, so this is more of a relief than anything. I finally got that state gold in cross country.”
WPIAL Class AAA champion, Butler senior Noah Beveridge, placed second, just ahead of North Allegheny sophomore Daniel McGoey.
Beveridge and PIAA champion Neshaminy senior Rusty Kujdvch were neck-and-neck through two miles before Kujdvch pulled away.
“My legs didn't hold up,” Beveridge said. “I tried to come back twice, but I couldn't stay with him.”
The Fox Chapel girls captured the Class AAA team title, edging Manheim Township, 78-79.
North Allegheny senior Clara Savchik finished second, and Upper St. Clair senior Savannah Shaw placed third.
Fox Chapel's team was led by junior Sarena Seeger, who placed 11th. The other runners for Fox Chapel were junior Annika Urban, senior Caelan Miller, sophomore Grace Sisson, sophomore Brooke Krally, junior Anna Folkerts and sophomore Isabelle Doerr.
The top Class AA finisher from the WPIAL was Quaker Valley sophomore Annie Wicker (eighth). Brownsville sophomore Gionna Quarzo was 10th, and senior teammate Sara Vance was 21st.
New Brighton senior Alyssa Campbell was the WPIAL's top Class A finisher (third).
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.