Section 4-AAA cross country squads meet at Schenley Oval to decide titles
Section 4-AAA decided its boys and girls cross country team champions Tuesday afternoon at Pittsburgh's Schenley Park Oval.
All nine schools in the section took part in the all-in-one championship event.
Each team had scores tabulated against the other eight squads.
The Gateway boys team beat Allderdice (27-28) and Penn Hills (22-33), but lost to Kiski Area (21-34), Pittsburgh Central Catholic (19-37), Fox Chapel (17-46) and Plum (15-42).
The Gators also picked up forfeit wins against Highlands and Woodland Hills.
The Highlanders and Wolverines didn't have the necessary five runners needed for a team score.
Fox Chapel wrapped up the boys team title with an 8-0 record.
Central Catholic was second, followed by Kiski Area, Plum and Gateway.
Central beat Kiski, 27-29, for second place.
Senior Jordan Landfair paced the Gators attack with a 17th overall finish (18:18) out of more than 70 runners.
Freshman Liam Connolly was 25th, followed by seniors Tyler Palenchak (26th) and Ben Farina (33rd) and freshman Jose Figueroa (37th).
On the girls side, Gateway juniors Tamisha and Tameka Williams placed 11th and 16th, respectively, while sophomore Ricki Kapp (29th) and freshmen Maria Reynolds (39th) and Margaux Wilson (59th) rounded out the top five for the Gators.
Freshman Katie Heasley again was out of the lineup for the Gateway girls as she continues to battle through a leg stress fracture.
She was the team's top runner in early-season meets before she went down with the injury.
Gateway head coach Tom LaBuff said he couldn't say for sure if she would be able to return to action by the WPIAL championship meet three weeks from today.
Gateway scored victories against Highlands (24-32), Penn Hills (24-31) and Woodland Hills (21-35), but fell to Kiski Area (16-44), Fox Chapel (21-39), Allderdice (25-32) and Oakland Catholic (19-39).
Kiski Area won the girls team title.
The Cavaliers went undefeated and had the top three individual finishers.
“We lost to some teams (on both sides) we shouldn't have because we didn't run as well as we were capable of,” LaBuff said.
LaBuff said having all nine teams compete in a one-day championship event was a success, and, he said, the coaches want to do this again next season.
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.