Share This Page

Adding Class A race shakes up WPIAL championship meet

| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 9:10 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Vincentian's Ryan Archer crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class A boys championship race Thursday at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AAA boys championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Uniontown's Julie Friend crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AA girls championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Knoch's Preston Carlsson keeps pace ahead of the pack during the WPIAL Class AA boys championship race Thursday October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Carlsson finished in fifth place. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Shaler's Brianna Schwartz crosses the finish line to win the WPIAL Class AAA girls championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Vincentian's Ryan Archer leads the pack on his way to winning the WPIAL Class A boys championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
South Park's Tyler Rigby eyes the finish line before collapsing after winning the WPIAL Class AA boys championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Christopher Horner
Freeport's Kayla Zboran finishes seventh in the WPIAL Class AA girls cross country race to lead her team to a sixth-place finish Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. (Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review)
Christopher Horner
A South Fayette runner is carried from the course after finishing the WPIAL Class AA boys championship race Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Cooper's Lake in Butler County. Races were delayed as emergency crews were kept busy aiding fallen runners. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The addition of a third classification shook up Thursday's WPIAL cross country championships.

The district crowned individual and team champions in the newly created Class A, and former Class AAA standouts made a big impact in Class AA on an unseasonably hot afternoon at Cooper's Lake Campground near Slippery Rock.

Vincentian senior Ryan Archer (16:34) and Laurel senior Emily Maxwell (20:14) made history by claiming the first-ever WPIAL Class A titles. They finished third and sixth, respectively, in Class AA last year.

And in AA, South Park senior Tyler Rigby (16:59) and Uniontown senior Julie Friend (19:23) captured their first WPIAL championships. They leaped forward from 40th and 14th-place finishes in AAA last season.

Continuing the theme of firsts, Kiski Area junior Brent Kennedy (15:59) and Shaler sophomore Brianna Schwartz (18:32) won the AAA crowns.

Impressively, Archer's time was good enough to win the AA race. He said the addition of Class A reduces large differences in the enrollment of schools in the same division but admitted he wouldn't mind competing individually in AA.

“This makes it fairer for teams,” Archer said. “But, as far as individuals, I'd rather see a more competitive state race. Still, it's pretty cool to win (the first WPIAL Class A title).”

Maxwell, who got off to a strong start, said she knew from the beginning of the race she'd have a better chance to win this year.

“This is just incredible,” Maxwell said. “Ever since last year, it was my goal to win a WPIAL title. With the new class, it's cool to say I was the first winner of that class.”

Rigby's improvement was the largest among the winners, but he still was challenged by the heat and competition. He held off Beaver senior Marshall Bruce (17:04) but collapsed at the finish line.

“I was trying to drink as much water as I can,” Rigby said. “I poured a bunch of water on me to stay cool. As for the race, I tried to do what I always do. I definitely exhausted myself. My buddies picked me up and got me to treatment. I was definitely blurry. I lay on ice for awhile, and I was fine.”

Last year, Friend suffered from dehydration and stumbled down the home stretch before being treated.

“It went better than I thought it would (this year),” Friend said. “I was afraid the heat would get to me, and I'd pass out. I hydrated a lot over the past week.”

In the girls' team standings, Laurel won Class A for its first WPIAL title, Quaker Valley won in AA, and Mt. Lebanon took top honors in AAA.

In the boys' competition, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart placed first in Class A to capture its first WPIAL crown, Quaker Valley won AA, and North Allegheny cruised to its eighth consecutive AAA title.

Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at pkogut@tribweb.com or 724-224-2696.

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.