Fox Chapel's Ethan Martin, Shaler's Schwartz win Tri-State meet titles
TribLIVE Sports Videos
There wasn't much out of the ordinary at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Cross Country Championship at Cooper's Lake in Slippery Rock on Thursday.
While first-time fans may have found the conditions to be a bit adverse, the biting rain and inches of mud didn't catch the runners by surprise.
“It seems like every year here at Cooper's Lake the weather is just against us,” North Allegheny senior Michael Becich said. “I was expecting the worst.”
Mt. Lebanon won the boys team title, with 97 points and an average time of 17:14, followed by North Allegheny (164) at 17:29. Villa Maria (184) was the winning school for the girls at 21:18.
Fox Chapel seniors Ethan and Colin Martin, both Michigan recruits, placed first and third, respectively, in the boys race.
Grove City junior Aaron Benka finished between the brothers in second. Ethan Martin edged Benka by a hair, as the two runners each finished in 16:34.
Martin has been dealing with Achilles tendonitis throughout the season. It was unclear if he would even participate.
“My coach was worried that I would flare up,” Martin said, “but he said it would be smart to get this race under my belt again and understand what I need to do next week (at the WPIAL meet).”
Shaler junior Brianna Schwartz placed first in the girls race with a time of 18:31.
“Obviously my time wasn't as good as I wanted it to be,” Schwartz said, “but I felt really good and I'm really excited for WPIAL's next week.”
Vincentian freshman Marianne Abdalah came in second at 18:58, followed by North Hills senior Mary Malone at 19:26.
“I've run it before so I already knew the course and where to plant myself,” Abdalah said.
The first-year runner should be a top finisher for years to come, but already has her sights set on the Cooper's Lake course record of 18:04, set by Latrobe's Natalie Bower in 2008.
“I was only 30 seconds behind my time today, so I'm hoping that if it's a dry day I'll do a lot better and try to break the record if I can,” Abdalah said. “And if I can't get it this year, then I've still got three more years.”
North Allegheny's second-place finish came without its top five runners. Coach John Neff thought resting his stars would give his team the best shot at another WPIAL championship next week.
“We've had a lot of races coming down the stretch. The high school season is really packed with a lot races,” Neff said. “I just thought we want to be fresh for next week and the following week.”
Colin Martin didn't completely agree with his philosophy.
“Right before the race I saw the (North Allegheny) guys, but they told us they weren't racing today. They were just doing a workout to get ready for next week, which is honorable,” Martin said. “You want to have an idea of what you're getting into next week. I think today is valuable because now you know you're going to have to wear bigger spikes for next week.”
WPIAL champions in Class AAA, AA and A will be crowned at Cooper's Lake on Oct. 24.
Races begin at 12:45 p.m.
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com.
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.
- Four helicopters respond to Route 51 crash in Rostraver
- Steelers notebook: Linebacker Timmons hoping for contract extension
- Miami (Fla.) gets prepared to take on ‘physical’ Pitt team
- Steelers plan to use smart pass rush against Seattle QB Wilson
- Penguins 4th line is showing promise
- School lunch group hopes to revise rules it calls impractical, too restrictive
- Kittanning News carries latest books by Boarts and Creel
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis’ intangibles provide 1st-line value
- Carrick crime ‘blitz’ shows early signs of success
- Western Pa. students bristle at changing menu choices
- Small stores take big gamble by not upgrading credit card readers