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Freeport sophomore finally healthy, ready

Freeport sophomore Kayla Zboran was afraid to run last June, four months after pulling muscles in her left hip.

The threat of another injury was a scary thought. But after a month of physical therapy, Zboran rehabbed vigorously and was able to get back into racing shape.

When the season started, Freeport coach Bob Livrone said that he didn't notice any drop off in her performance.

"She came back and was ready to go when the gun went off," Livrone said. "She works really hard; she's a natural runner who puts in a lot of miles outside of practice."

After taking second place last year, Zboran will look for another strong performance Thursday in the WPIAL Class AA cross country championships at Cooper's Lake Campground in Slippery Rock.

The Class AA girls' race will start at 1:45 p.m.

"I've been sitting in class the last few days just thinking about how I'm going to run the course," Zboran said. "It's one of my favorite courses. It's wide open with a lot of loops. I run some of my best times there."

Livrone said returning champion Sarah Miller and Zboran should both finish in the top five again.

"There's a good chance that Kayla can finish in the top three or four," Livrone said. "There's a girl from South Fayette who is running real well, but anything can happen."

Zboran finished with a time of 19:30 last year, five seconds behind Miller. While Zboran is one of the frontrunners for individual gold, her goals are more team-oriented.

"I'm crossing my fingers that the team can qualify for states. We only have one senior, but she really would like to go," Zboran said. "As an individual, I just want to qualify for states. Last year, my expectations were low, and I surprised myself. I want to do the same thing this year."

The top four teams qualify.

Livrone feels after Quaker Valley and Beaver, Freeport is one of the five teams competing for the other two spots for states.

"We have a team that doesn't like to lose," Livrone said. "And at some of the invitationals we've competed in, we've been doing well against some of the other top teams."

Zboran said she can't wait for tomorrow, especially after she saw the weather forecast.

"It's almost perfect running weather," Zboran said. "No rain, and it's supposed to be in the 50s. I like running when it's not raining or sunny. When it's too hot or too cold, I can't breathe."

Additional Information:

Cross country championships

Thursday, Cooper's Lake Campground, Slippery Rock

Schedule: Girls Class AA, 1:45 p.m.; Class AAA girls, 2:30; Class AA boys, 3:15; Class AAA, 4.

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