In a wide open AAA girls' field, it was going to take a runner's best day to take the win on Saturday. Behind a strong final mile, Cardinal O'Hara's Elizabeth Mancini came out on top.
The senior, who took 19th as a part of O'Hara state championship team last year, made a big jump into senior year and it culminated with an individual state title. Mancini passed Abington Heights' Katie Dammer in the final loop and brought it home for the win in 18:18, a PR.
Mancini took second place finishes at Briarwood, Foundation, and DELCOs, before running away with PCL and District 12 titles.
North Allegheny's Clara Savchik took second for a second consecutive year. The senior ran one of the best races of her season to hang in the pack and take the runner-up spot in a time of 18:24. Upper Saint Clair's Savannah Shaw closed well to take third in 18:34 after placing 14th in the state last season.
Dammer, who led through two miles and down past the sewage plant, went after the win, but fell just short. The senior ended up fourth in 18:35. Dallastown's Emily Schuler was the first non-senior to cross, taking fifth in 18:40. Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch was sixth in 18:42.
Hershey's Andrea Demko (seventh in 19:02), Coatesville's Brooke Hutton (eighth in 19:02), Elizabethtown Area's Katie Locker (ninth in 19:07), and Conestoga's Dominique Shultz (tenth in 19:08) make up the rest of the top ten.
The Fox Chapel girls looked like they were on a mission on Saturday.
After taking second to a strong Oakland Catholic squad at last week's District 7 (WPIAL) Championships, Fox Chapel reversed its fortune at Hershey, taking the win and the AAA state title with 104 points. It was enough to beat Manheim Township and Oakland Catholic, which both scored 123 points; Manheim Township took second on the sixth runner tiebreaker.
Ultimately, Fox Chapel had the best balance on Saturday. Sarena Seeger led FCA to the win with a strong 11th place finish in 19:09. Annika Urban was 28th in 19:43, and Caelan Miller was 30th in 19:45. Grace Sisson was 47th in 19:56 and Brooke Krally was 74th in 20:14. FCA graduates just Miller from its top seven, so look for them to be near the top of the state again next fall.
Manheim Township's top five was separated by just 12 seconds with Ava Pasewicz and Anabelle Lapp taking 36th and 37th, respectively. Oakland Catholic was led by Hannah Schupansky, who took 15th in 19:12, and placed third in the state.
North Allegheny had the state's best 1-2 punch with Savchik taking second and sophomore Hannah Lindgren taking 13th. The Tigers placed fourth with 161 points. Three of the top four team spots went to teams in the WPIAL.
State College Area put together yet another strong season, taking fifth with 185 points, led by Kileigh Kane's 12th place finish. Unionville was the top District 1 team in the field taking sixth to beat out seventh place Dallastown on a sixth runner tiebreaker.