Gateway runners to compete at annual Tri-State meet
By Michael Love
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 8:55 p.m.
The championship season for cross country takes a big step forward Thursday as teams big and small from all over western Pennsylvania descend on Cooper's Lake Campground outside of Slippery Rock for the Tri-State Coaches Association Championships.
The WPIAL teams are expected to get a good feel for the Cooper's Lake course with the WPIAL championships there on Oct. 25.
Gateway will be in the mix, and head coach Tom LaBuff said he is not worrying about how his runners stack up against the other teams as much as he wants to see improvements in time and how they maneuver around the course.
For a couple of the Gators runners, it will be their first time on the Cooper's Lake course.
“Both teams have really focused in on these races,” LaBuff said. “With small teams, it was more difficult (in the dual meets).”
The Tri-State boys race will be at 4 p.m., and the girls race will be at 4:30. A combined JV race will be at 5.
LaBuff said 65 to 70 teams with up to 10 runners on a team will be in the field for each race.
“It will not be as crowded at WPIALs next week, especially with three races,” LaBuff said.
For the first time, the WPIAL will break the boys and girls fields into three classifications — AAA, AA and A — for the championships.
Gateway senior Tyler Palenchak led the boys team at the Tri-State meet last year, and he hopes to continue to get back to top form Thursday.
LaBuff said Palenchak donated blood about three weeks ago, and the removal of red blood cells often will reduce the ability of the blood to use oxygen. That can affect a runner's endurance and make him or her slower.
LaBuff said Palenchak's times have gone down the past couple of weeks, and he finished 34th at last week's Mingo Classic with a time of 17:40.
“Tyler is running a lot better,” LaBuff said. “He's getting back to where he was before. He wants to run a good race (Thursday).”
Senior Jordan Landfair led Gateway at Mingo with a 24th-place finish (17:25).
Landfair twisted an ankle during a workout on Saturday, and, LaBuff said, he wasn't sure if Landfair would be able to compete at Tri-States despite therapy efforts that included ice and rest.
Senior Ben Farina and freshman Liam Connelly finished 36th and 37th, respectively, at Mingo, while freshman Jose Figueroa came in 45th for the Gators, who placed sixth in the team standings.
On the girls side, junior Tamisha Williams was Gateway's lone medalist, as she placed 10th overall (20:54).
“Tamisha ran really well,” LaBuff said. “It was a tough (girls) field at Mingo.”
Fellow junior Tameka Williams was 31st (21:51).
LaBuff said freshman Katie Heasley, who led the Gateway girls runners earlier this season, continues to work back into form after a leg injury took away about a month of practice and competitions.
“She's doing everything she can to recover,” LaBuff said. “She has a great attitude.”
LaBuff said the attitude of the whole team has been great this season, from the seniors to the freshman, and he is looking forward to what the rest of the season holds.
“It's been a pleasure to coach the boys and girls teams this year,” LaBuff said. “They have worked so hard.”
Michael Love is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Panthers free agent safety headed to Steelers
- Penguins notebook: Letang skating, but no return set
- Upper St. Clair man dies in crash of experimental airplane at Washington County Airport
- Seton-La Salle again ends GCC’s season in PIAA tournament
- Analysis: Steelers could fill needs with free agents while not spending big bucks
- Mars Area School Board rejects drilling proposal
- Robert Morris dominated by Mount St. Mary’s in NEC title game
- District college notebook: Pitt sophomore infielder Wolsonovich fuels upset of UNC
- Professor-turned-mystery author goes for character details
- Police charge Westmoreland County priest in $124,000 theft case
- Memo confirms VA Pittsburgh officials knew of Legionella threat long before made public