Steep hill scuttles title shot for Kiski Area's Kennedy
By Paul Kogut
Published: Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 6:18 p.m.
Kiski Area junior Brent Kennedy made a strong run at the PIAA Class AAA boys cross country title, but after emerging from the “Aloha Hills” section of the course, he had to say goodbye to that goal for this year.
West Chester Henderson junior Tony Russell (15:45) took a comfortable lead after hiking over a series of steep rises in the middle of the race and won the championship.
Kennedy (15:52) ended up outdueling Corry senior Austin Pondel (15:56) for runner-up honors.
Fox Chapel junior Ethan Martin (16:00) placed fifth.
Although Kennedy fell short of a state championship, he earned the distinction of being the highest-finishing runner from the WPIAL in any of the six state finals Saturday at the 3.1-mile Parkview Course in Hershey.
“It's bittersweet,” Kennedy said. “I had high hopes of winning the title. I put myself in a position that I liked. I just didn't have it. Russell made a good move coming out of the Aloha Hills.”
Kiski Area coach Tom Berzonsky praised Kennedy.
“To compete against some of the best runners in the country and be in it with about a mile or half-mile to go is a great accomplishment,” Berzonsky said. “He did great, but he knows there's room for improvement.”
Last week Kennedy captured his first WPIAL title, and Martin followed him across the finish line.
Martin said he was pleased with his performance Saturday.
“I was shooting for a top-five finish ...” Martin said. “I almost got passed at the finish line, but I was able to hold off that runner (Harriton senior Max Norris).”
The top 25 finishers in each race earned a medal.
Ethan's twin, Colin (16:22) claimed 16th place.
Only two local teams qualified for state competition. The Knoch girls took 11th place in Class AA, and the Fox Chapel boys were 12th in Class AAA.
The top finisher for the Knoch girls was freshman Abby Jones, who placed 55th (20:35).
The PIAA expanded boys and girls cross country from two to three classes this season, but the WPIAL was shut out in individual and team titles for the first time in the last three years.
Runners and coaches generally agreed the course was in good shape with only a few minor muddy spots, despite heavy rains this week.
And the chilly temperatures bothered bundled-up fans more than some competitors, who were challenged by unseasonably hot conditions during last week's WPIAL championships.
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.
- Pitt’s Donald sweeps Outland, Bednarik awards, named All-American
- Penguins notebook: Popularity with female fans brings test event to Consol
- NFL notebook: Bears QB Cutler to return Sunday vs. Cleveland
- Westmoreland County school children could use some more ‘Lunch Buddies’
- District college notes: Hempfield grad earns NAIA Award
- Treat cyber schools fairly
- Plenty of gifts in store at holiday jazz concert
- The ObamaCare fight: It’s far from over
- Concert promoter’s book shares 40 years of music memories, trade secrets, celeb antics
- Industrial past inspires Fairmont’s ‘Garden of Titans’ holiday tree
- Time to reform Pa. Legislature