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Greensburg Salem freshman medals at PIAA cross country meet

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Riley Kwiatowski's first trip to the PIAA cross country championship at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey can be described as a success.

The Greensburg Salem freshman was the only runner from Westmoreland County to return home with a medal after placing 25th in the Class AA race.

Greensburg Salem finished 13th as a team, 14 points behind WPIAL Class AA champion Mars. Greensburg Salem did it without one of its top runners, freshman Rachel Rossi, who became ill prior to the race and didn't compete.

“We did well,” Greensburg Salem coach Nathan Snider said. “Rachel was a big reason we finished second in the WPIAL championship. She ran a great race. We probably would have been able to defeat Mars with her.”

But with five of the top eight runners returning, Snider said there is no reason why the team can't return to the PIAA championship in 2014.

Back are Kwiatowski, Rossi, Hadley Ankrum, Mackenzie Tressler and Katie Austad. The seniors are Laura Rosner, who finished 35th, Gina Mattei and Sarah Kolar.

“Riley ran well,” Snider said. “The course is challenging and the environment is different here.

“I hope being familiar with the course will help her and the underclassmen next season. I expect the five underclassmen will be strong; we just need a couple others to pick it up.”

Snider said being able to jump over Moon in the WPIAL championships was big because Moon had beaten them in three previous meets.

“Going into the WPIAL championships, we knew we had a chance if we ran well,” Snider said. “They did a great job.”

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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