ShareThis Page

Fox Chapel's Martin brothers wage battle for cross country title

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 11:57 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Colin Martin crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country championship Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Cooper's Lake in Butler County.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Ethan Martin (right) hugs Colin Martin after the two finished the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country championship Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Cooper's Lake in Butler County.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Fox Chapel's Colin Martin leads the pack to win the WPIAL Class AAA boys cross country championship Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Cooper's Lake in Butler County.

SLIPPERY ROCK — The Brothers Martin finally have a WPIAL gold medal in cross country. And the winning twin knows exactly where the medallion is going.

“Oh, definitely in my room,” said Colin Martin, who edged his brother and Fox Chapel teammate, Ethan, to win the Class AAA title Thursday. “We used to have bunk beds until my sister moved out. Now we have our own rooms, and I'll find a nice place for (the gold medal).”

The seniors — Michigan running recruits — were bumping elbows until the final 200 meters at frigid, wind-swept Cooper's Lake Campground. At about the point of the notorious castle that runners pass down the stretch, Colin pulled ahead and crossed the finish line in 16:04.

Ethan, who wasn't able to catch the leader despite a strong final kick, finished in 16:20.

“Having the chance to run here last week was a huge plus,” said Colin, who took third behind his first-place brother at the Tri-State Coaches meet. The win is his second against Ethan; the other was at the Red, White and Blue Invitational. “(Ethan) is my eternal training buddy. We were both thinking about the final kick. We have been 1-2 so many times. We knew we wouldn't finish together. Ethan has a way better kick. He kind of had a leg up on me this season, but I guess I'm catching up.”

Fox Chapel finished second in the team standings to advance to the PIAA championships Nov. 2 in Hershey. The top three teams and top 15 individual finishers not on those teams also qualified in each classification.

Of the 17 Alle-Kiski area runners who qualified for the state meet, seven are sophomores. That means the second time around at the WPIAL finals came with more experience and fewer nerves.

Knoch sophomore Brandon Grumski wasn't surprised by his fifth-place finish in the Class AA race. He was 19th as a freshman.

“I thought I could be in the top five,” said Grumski, whose time was 17:04. “I fixed myself in (among) some of the other guys so I knew where I was. I was actually more nervous this year than last because I expected to do better.”

Riverview sophomore Molly Kennedy was a 10th-place finisher last fall but improved four spots to sixth.

“I knew if I stayed behind some of the girls, like Maddy (Schmiedeknecht) of Winchester Thurston and (Lauren Gronbeck of Eden Christian), I would be OK,”

Kiski Area sophomore Megan Aller finished seventh in Class AAA in 19:30. Another 10th grader, Knoch's Mandi Moxie, finished ninth (20:30), a year after missing state-qualifying by one spot.

Also in Class AAA, Fox Chapel sophomore Mary Humphrey took 14th (19:45). Aller's teammate, junior Lauren Smeltzer, was 19th (19:57).

Local Class AA qualifiers were Freeport seniors Hayley Davis (20:43) and Becca Dudek (21:07), Knoch junior Ashlyn Carlsson (20:54) and Highlands freshman Kyla Kelley (21:09).

Other Class AAA boys qualifiers included senior Patrick Miller (16:49) and freshman Eric Kennedy (17:06) of Kiski Area, and Plum sophomore Jake Susalla (16:56). In Class AA, Knoch junior Preston Carlsson advanced (17:26).

Knoch's boys (AA) and Kiski Area's girls (AAA) finished fourth, a spot away from the state meet.

Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.