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Hempfield cross country teams perform well at WCCA meet

| Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Hempfield's Morgan Ansell (463) sprints to the finish line during the Westmoreland County Coaches Association Cross Country Meet at St. Vincent College on Oct. 10, 2013 near Latrobe. Ansell finished third in the girl's event in a time of 19:45.6.

Hempfield cross country coach Ron Colland didn't know how his teams would fare at the annual Westmoreland County Coaches' Association meet on Oct. 10 at St. Vincent in Unity.

He was hoping they would perform well, and they did just that.

Neither team brought home a county title, but the girls finished in second place and the boys in fourth, pleasing their coach.

Kiski Area won both the boys and girls titles.

“It wasn't a surprise, especially for the girls,” Colland said. “We lost to Greensburg Salem and Norwin each by four points (in dual meets). We knew they were capable of winning the section title, but we told them they could exact some revenge on those teams with a strong performance.”

Led by junior Morgan Ansell (third) and freshman Michelle Burns (seventh), Hempfield finished with 70 points while Greensburg Salem had 76 and Norwin 77. Kiski Area was the top team with 47 points.

The other girls who competed were sophomore Rachel Fiaschetti (18th), junior Meghan Stewart (20th), sophomore Olivia Adams (22nd), senior Brianna Gaudi (34th) and Miranda Veliky (38th).

“What's good about both teams is they are young,” Colland said. “We only lose one senior from the squads, so everyone else is back.

“The guys ran a lot better and have continued to get better all season. We don't have any stars, but if we run as a pack they can be good.”

Sophomore Jordan Stack and junior August Papas were the top Hempfield runners in the county meet. Stack finished 14th and Papas 15th. Both were hoping for top 10 finishes.

The other runners competing were junior Kevin Weldon (22nd), sophomore Tyler Borelli (31st), junior Brandon Patellos (36th), junior Jacob Bancroft (37th) and junior T.J. Fox (38th).

There are only two weeks left for many of the high school runners. Colland said Ansell, a two-time PIAA qualifier, and Burns have good chances at going to the state meet again.

The teams competed in the Tri-State Coaches Association event Thursday, and will compete in the WPIAL championships Oct. 24.

Both events are at Cooper's Lake Campground in Butler County.

“I just want to see the runners remain consistent and perform like we expect them,” Colland said. “We want them to build toward next year as teams.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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