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Latrobe runner seeks to regain WCCA title

| Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, 11:59 p.m.
Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy wins the boys varsity race at the Red, White & Blue cross country invitational at Schenley Park on Saturday, September 8, 2012. (Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review)
Hempfield's Morgan Ansell. Submitted
Latrobe's Hanna Green Submitted

Latrobe senior Hanna Green won the Westmoreland County Coaches Association cross country meet as a sophomore.

But she'd like to forget about her junior season. She finished 13th in the race a year ago.

“I wasn't in to it,” Green said. “I like running track and the shorter distances, the sprints. So I wasn't really focused last year.”

She had a strong track season, winning the WPIAL Class AAA 400-meter title.

But Green has a different outlook this season. She plans to be more of a sprinter in college — she's mulling offers from Virginia Tech and Ohio University — but she'd like to win another WCCA title.

She gets her chance Thursday at Seton Hill University.

Green, along with Franklin Regional senior Kaitlyn Figurelli, Hempfield sophomore Morgan Ansell and Kiski Area junior Morgan Keibler are among the runners expected to battle for this year's girls' title on Seton Hill's hilly course. Figurelli placed second last year, Ansell fourth and Kiebler seventh.

Kiski Area junior Brent Kennedy is the defending boys' champion. Also back are Hempfield senior John Faye (fourth), Franklin Regional senior Luke Schott (fifth), Kiski Area senior Tyler Snider (sixth), Kiski Area junior, Patrick Miller (seventh) and Ligonier Valley senior Josh Patrick (eighth).

The boys' race begins at noon, and the girls' begins at 12:40 p.m.

“When I won as a sophomore, it was really unexpected,” Green said. “I have a good shot this season. I haven't lost a match in the section.

“I'm looking forward to running the hills. That should play to my advantage. And the competition should push me.”

In a triangular meet Tuesday between Latrobe, Hempfield and Derry, Green outdistanced Ansell on the flat Derry course.

“I didn't run a great race,” Ansell said. “I like the hills. That's why I expect to do well on Thursday. I have to push myself up the hills and try to use my speed on the downhill.

“My plan is to stay with the leaders. It should be a very competitive race.”

Seton Hill coach Tim Creamer said a couple of changes have been made to the course because of construction.

“The finish line is different, and we've added a loop near the 2-mile mark,” Creamer said. “This course is set up for a strong runner. The person who likes to run the hills will have the edge.”

Hempfield coach Ron Colland said he hopes his girls win the team title. He said Kiski Area's boys should be favored, too.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pschofield@tribweb.com or 724-826-5095.

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