Photo by Phil Grove
SRU Mack Cooper Invitational - Girls' Meet Preview
Come Saturday, we're less than two weeks out from the District 7 (WPIAL) Championships. But before that, most of the WPIALs top teams and individuals will get a look at the district course at Slippery Rock on the Cooper's Lake course. There will just be two varsity and big fields and should serve as a good precursor to the WPIAL Championship meet scheduled for October 26.
Seven girls have already run sub-19 this season in the field. At the top is North Allegheny's Clara Savchik. The reigning WPIAL champ and state runner up in AAA from last year has earned three top five finishes this season, but is still searching for that elusive first win of her senior season. Saturday may be the day for Savchik and she'll be worth watching for.
She'll face challenges from a handful of top 25-ranked girls in the state. We haven't seen Butler's Maggie Welty run for a few weeks, but the senior is worth watching for. Last year when the calendar turned to October, Welty really turned it on, so she should be a factor on Saturday. Fox Chapel Area's Caelan Miller, Sharon's Gianna Labbiento, New Brighton's Alyssa Campbell are among the other ranked girls that should make some noise.
The list of other contenders is vast. Fox Chapel's Sarena Seeger and Annika Urban will be in the mix. NA sophomore Hannah Lindgren has been running well all season as her team's No. 2 runner behind Savchik. Fairview's Maddison Hayes, along with Vincentian's Tara Lucot and Sharon's Labbiento are impact freshmen should be up there.
General McLane's Devyn Bayle, Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic's Rylee Kopchak, Seneca Valley's Lizzy White, Fairview's Halle Myers, Fox Chapel's Grace Sisson, and Mount Lebanon's Allison Small are also in this deep field, and each will compete for spots within the top ten.
Photo by Phil Grove
The heavy team favorite is Fox Chapel Area, which enters Saturday at PA#2. They passed all the early season tests, winning at Red, White & Blue and taking second at Foundation. With a powerful pack of frontrunners in Miller, Seeger, Urban, and Sisson, FCA will be tough to take down on Saturday.
North Allegheny---led by low sticks Savchik and Lindgren---will be a team worth watching for. The Tigers sit at PA#9 entering the weekend and is looking to get one of the three state qualifying spots out of the WPIAL. Mount Lebanon, Seneca Valley, and Butler are among the other AAA WPIAL squads and state hopefuls looking to make a good impression ahead of the district meet.
1A squad Vincentian Academy has looked strong all season. They'll face a good test against some strong AAA and AA teams this weekend. Another 1A team---Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic---is worth watching for. District 10 squads Fairview and General McLane will head south for some good competition, hoping to fair well ahead of their October 28's district meet.