Race Recap: PIAA Girls AAA

A couple of streaks continued in the AAA girls race. Mia Cochran ran to her third straight AAA individual crown, and the North Allegheny girls made it an historic four state titles in a row on the team side.


For a third straight year, Mia Cochran in a state champion in cross country. The Moon Area senior and Arkansas commit rolled to the win on Saturday in the last girl's race of the day, running 18:08 -- the day's fastest time -- to win. After winning as a sophomore in 2019 and then again last year in 2020, Cochran added her third XC state gold.

Cochran gapped the field around the mile and held the lead from there. Mount Lebanon's Logan St. John Kletter, in her first state meet, hung well and placed second in 18:21. The sophomore battled with Claire Zubey of Owen J. Roberts for much of the race, before gaining the advantage in the last kilometer. Zubey, a junior, earned her third straight state medal after taking ninth and 11th the last two years, and placed third this time in 18:28.

Bensalem's Shana Kearney kicked to fourth in 18:38, just ahead of the North Allegheny pair, Eva Kynaston and Wren Kucler, who were fifth and sixth respectively.

Of the 25 medalists in AAA girls, just seven were seniors, which means a plenty of talent will return next fall, including eight of the top ten. Cochran is one of those seniors, so we'll see a first-time state champion in AAA for the first time in three years in 2022.

North Allegheny made some history on Saturday, becoming the first AAA girls team to win four straight cross country state titles. The Tigers were dominant in their title defense, scoring just 62 points for an 87-point victory. 

The champions got out hard and stayed there for the duration of the meet, with their score hardly wavering during all 5,000 meters. NA had three individual medalists. Kynaston, a sophomore, led the way with a fifth place finish and freshman Wren Kucler was right behind her taking sixth. Robin Kucler, also a freshman, also got on the podium with a 23rd place finish. Senior Maura Mlecko was 36th and sophomore Erin McGoey came home 47th to round out the scorers for NA.

With just one graduating senior, North Allegheny is in a good spot to make it five straight next year. But surely for now, the Tigers will soak up another dominant performance at Hershey.

Dallastown ran well to take second place. The District 3 champions scored 149 points, led by individual medalists Lydia Tolerico (13th) and Victoria Rodriguez (22nd). State College Area wasn't far behind, taking third with 154 points. That makes seven straight top five finishes at the state meet for SC.

Mechanicsburg Area finished the season well taking fourth with 199 points and Hershey was fifth with 217, closely followed by sixth place Mount Lebanon (222) and Pine-Richland (227).