In a battle for the ages, Patrick Anderson captured the AAA individual title, running past a talented North Allegheny duo of Zach Kinne and Dan McGoey. With two lowsticks, North Allegheny won its first team title since 2014, outlasting some strong challengers.
Up front, it was a clash of familiar foes.
For the third straight week -- fifth time this season -- Mount Lebanon's Patrick Anderson faced off with the North Allegheny duo of Zach Kinne and Daniel McGoey. The state's top 3 boys entering the state meet had exchanged wins throughout the season (Kinne won at the Red, White & Blue Classic and Foundation, Anderson won at TSTCAs, and McGoey won at WPIALs).
On Saturday, it was Anderson that took the top spot, out-dueling the NA pair in the final half mile or so to win the state title in AAA. Kinne, who transferred from Illinois over the summer, was in the lead through two miles and started to open up a gap over the next kilometer or so. But Anderson seized control late and ran to the win.
Anderson became the first junior since Jake Brophy in 2014 to win in AAA. He finished in 16:03 on a muddy, wet, and torn up course. Kinne was second in 16:07, while McGoey came home in 16:09. Mifflin County's Brayden Harris, a sophomore, was fourth in 16:22.
It was quite a day for the WPIAL. District 7 took four of the top five spots. After the top 3 (all WPIAL runners), Fox Chapel junior Christian Fitch was fifth in 16:29. Four of the top five in AAA return next year, likely setting up another terrific race for the win.
While Kinne and McGoey surely wanted an individual state title coming into Saturday, there was a team title at stake, too. And North Allegheny put its best foot forward to take the win, the program's first title since 2014.
It was a terrifically executed race by NA, putting its fifth runner in before any other team's fifth.
Kinne and McGoey scored five points combined between the two of them -- a great start. After that, the 3-4-5 took care of business, as well. Just 10 seconds separated the remaining NA scorers -- Ethan James (44th in 17:09), Stephen Nalepa (52nd in 17:15), and Andrew Kollitz (59th in 17:19). The Tigers scored 90 points, 22 points ahead of second place.
The reigning AAA state champions from LaSalle College took second place with 112 points, led by Vincent Twomey's 22nd place finish. Ethan Maher was just outside the medals for the Explorers in 27th. Downingtown West was third with 121 points -- Payton Sewall (9th) and Isaac Valderrabano (16th) getting on the podium.