Share This Page

Southmoreland's Beistel sets school record in cross country

| Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Riley Beistel set a Southmoreland girls cross country record this season and she hopes for a strong showing at next week's WPIAL Championships. Jason Black/Daily Courier

As a young runner on the Southmoreland girls cross country team, Riley Beistel didn't know what she would be capable of accomplishing during her freshman season.

As it turns out, Beistel has accomplished plenty, and she still has several goals left to achieve.

Beistel, 14, has finished first in all but one of the Scotties' dual meet races this season. And in the process of her efforts, she broke a record that stood for 16 years.

In Southmoreland's last dual meet of the season against Greensburg Central Catholic, Beistel finished with a time of 21:55, besting the Southmoreland girls school record formerly held by Jennifer Anthony (22:14). Anthony's record stood since 1996.

“I was really excited,” Beistel said. “I didn't know if I would be able to break it this year or not. I'm happy about it. I didn't know how I was doing (in the race), but when I came to the gate for the final lap, people were screaming for me, and I knew I had to pick it up.”

According to Southmoreland cross country coach Don Gilpin, Beistel's success is no accident.

“She works hard, and she is very dedicated,” Gilpin said.

With her name in the school record book, the season has already been a success for Beistel. But, she isn't resting on past performances.

“I just want to keep improving my times each meet,” Beistel said. “I want to make states, if not this year, then next year.”

Beistel and her teammates will compete in the Freedom Invitational on Wednesday before they travel to Cooper's Lake for the WPIAL championships on Oct. 25.

“I would like to see her qualify for states, but it will be tough,” Gilpin said, explaining that this year, only three teams and 15 individuals from Class AA will earn a spot at the state meet Nov. 3 in Hershey. “But she works at it, and she's running well.”

Beistel is having success thanks to a basic formula.

“I don't miss practice, and I just do my best,” Beistel said.

Aside from cross country, Beistel also enjoys softball and track. She's not sure which sport she will compete in during the spring.

In addition to sports, Beistel also enjoys music. She has been playing the piano since she was 8. She also plays the saxophone in concert band.

Jason Black is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jblack@tribweb.com or 724-626-3534.

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.