Adding Class A race shakes up WPIAL championship meet
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The addition of a third classification shook up Thursday's WPIAL cross country championships.
The district crowned individual and team champions in the newly created Class A, and former Class AAA standouts made a big impact in Class AA on an unseasonably hot afternoon at Cooper's Lake Campground near Slippery Rock.
Vincentian senior Ryan Archer (16:34) and Laurel senior Emily Maxwell (20:14) made history by claiming the first-ever WPIAL Class A titles. They finished third and sixth, respectively, in Class AA last year.
And in AA, South Park senior Tyler Rigby (16:59) and Uniontown senior Julie Friend (19:23) captured their first WPIAL championships. They leaped forward from 40th and 14th-place finishes in AAA last season.
Continuing the theme of firsts, Kiski Area junior Brent Kennedy (15:59) and Shaler sophomore Brianna Schwartz (18:32) won the AAA crowns.
Impressively, Archer's time was good enough to win the AA race. He said the addition of Class A reduces large differences in the enrollment of schools in the same division but admitted he wouldn't mind competing individually in AA.
“This makes it fairer for teams,” Archer said. “But, as far as individuals, I'd rather see a more competitive state race. Still, it's pretty cool to win (the first WPIAL Class A title).”
Maxwell, who got off to a strong start, said she knew from the beginning of the race she'd have a better chance to win this year.
“This is just incredible,” Maxwell said. “Ever since last year, it was my goal to win a WPIAL title. With the new class, it's cool to say I was the first winner of that class.”
Rigby's improvement was the largest among the winners, but he still was challenged by the heat and competition. He held off Beaver senior Marshall Bruce (17:04) but collapsed at the finish line.
“I was trying to drink as much water as I can,” Rigby said. “I poured a bunch of water on me to stay cool. As for the race, I tried to do what I always do. I definitely exhausted myself. My buddies picked me up and got me to treatment. I was definitely blurry. I lay on ice for awhile, and I was fine.”
Last year, Friend suffered from dehydration and stumbled down the home stretch before being treated.
“It went better than I thought it would (this year),” Friend said. “I was afraid the heat would get to me, and I'd pass out. I hydrated a lot over the past week.”
In the girls' team standings, Laurel won Class A for its first WPIAL title, Quaker Valley won in AA, and Mt. Lebanon took top honors in AAA.
In the boys' competition, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart placed first in Class A to capture its first WPIAL crown, Quaker Valley won AA, and North Allegheny cruised to its eighth consecutive AAA title.
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-224-2696.
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.
- Cancer didn’t stop mother from living for her son
- Steelers cornerback Taylor ready to swap earpiece for helmet
- Hospital leaders brighten holidays for kids
- DUI checkpoints take on dangerous drivers
- Yesteryear journey follows familiar path to many newsmakers
- Ehrhoff finding his way with Penguins
- Steelers’ lookahead: New Orleans Saints
- No. 15 San Diego State hammers Pitt, 74-57
- Penguins notebook: Bennett status remains fluid
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation
- Ferguson protesters march on Pittsburgh streets