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Talent runs deep on Fox Chapel cross country squad

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
Ethan Martin (center) and his brother, Colin (center right) of Fox Chapel battle with Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy in the 3,200-meter race during the WPIAL boys Class AAA individual track and field championship Thursday, May 16, 2013, at Baldwin High School.

Coach Tom Moul has high hopes for the Fox Chapel Area High School cross country team this year based on a wealth of talented runners returning.

Last year, the boys were 8-0 in the section, finished second in the WPIAL and came in 12th at the PIAA team championships.

The girls were 6-2 in section.

“We lost some talent, to be sure, in John Shymanski, Jimmy Humphrey, Travis Eckman, Karthik Narayanan and Katie Meisner, but we have a lot of good experienced runners coming back,” Moul said.

Leading the way for the boys will be seniors Ethan and Colin Martin.

Ethan finished second in the WPIAL and fifth at states while Colin was fifth at the WPIAL and 16th at states.

Juniors Aaron Bliss and Elias Graca also return. They will be joined by juniors Jacob Halasowski, Chris Good, sophomore Brendan Urso and freshman Alec Eckman.

“They have all had very good summers in terms of training,” Moul said. “We are hoping that these guys step up to fill the holes left by our graduated seniors. If we stay healthy, we have a good chance of improving on last season's success.”

The girls team was very young last year at the varsity level.

“We only lost one senior and, again, the key to our success will be staying healthy,” Moul said. “We're healthier now than we were at the end of last season. The girls team is an experienced group and that is a strength.”

Returning runners include juniors Greta Altmeyer and Sonia Appasamy along with sophomore Erin Curry, Angelin Lucas, Maura Whelan and Mary Humphrey.

Senior Isabella Verardi has joined the team this year.

“She has been a member of the tennis team for the past three years, but she was a solid performer in distance events on the track team,” Moul said. “Another plus is that junior Sanders Bennett is healthy this season, so she should be a nice addition to the team. Also, her freshman sister, Harper Bennett, holds the 1600 record at the middle school, so we're looking for her to contribute as well.”

On the boys side, Moul expects the top competition to come from Kiski Area.

“Both Colin and Ethan have had great competitions with Brent Kennedy, one of the top runners in the state,” Moul said. “Also, Central Catholic is always a team to be reckoned with. The girls toughest competition will come from Kiski Area and Oakland Catholic.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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