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Friday November 18
PIAA Girls & Boys Class AA Cross Country Championships 9:00 p.m.
PIAA Girls & Boys Class AAA Cross Country Championships 10:00 p.m.
Photo Galleries: Photo Gallery by Charles Stone (start & finish) | Photo Gallery by Don Rich (Starting line & Poop-Out Hill) | Photo Gallery by Marleen Van den Nesta (700m|4600m) | Photo Gallery by Patty Morgan (1000m|2400m|Aloha Hills) | Photo Gallery by Meghan Clugh (1400m|2000m) | Photo Gallery by Phil Grove (Roving) |
Feature Stories by Phil Grove: Quaker Valley does monkey control for all who came before
Meredith Speakman, Boiling Springs - Big Time PR from 2010
Feature Stories by Cory Mull: There are now medals available for others-The last Hibbs has taken home hardware in XC
Video Interviews: Angel Piccirillo, AA Girls Champion | Meghan McGovern - Post Race | Meghan McGovern, AAA Girls Champion | Hannah Grossman - AAA Girls Runner-Up | Brendan Shearn, AA Boys Champion | Connor Quinn, AAA Boys Champion | North Penn: AAA Boys Team Champions | Quaker Valley: AA Boys Team Champions | Mark Lacianca, Head Coach, AAA Girls Runner-Up Unionville | Anne Herman & Sara Sargent - Repeat AAA Girls Team Champions Pennsbury | Tom Kennedy, Head Coach, AAA Boys Runner-Up Cardinal O'Hara on tiebreaker | St. Basil coach Greg Green and #1 runner Megan McGarrity - AA Girls Team Chams
Race Flow Photo Galleries with Narrative by Jayson Jackson: Click Here
Awards Photos by Megan Zeller: Click Here
Newspaper coverage from around PA: Click here for links to local stories from around PA
Meet Summaries and Feature Stories by Cory Mull and Phil Grove
Photos by Don Rich, Charles Stone, Marleen Van den Neste, Patty Morgan and Megan Zeller
AA GIRLS BY PHIL GROVE
Many across the state had counted on an Angel Piccirillo victory at Hershey in Class AA since the season began. St. Basil Academy coach Greg Green was just as certain – just as long ago – of a down-to-the-wire team battle on the Parkview Course.
Both came to fruition Saturday as the Homer-Center star defended her individual title in a short-lived course record of 18:31, and the Panthers slipped past Elk Lake by three points for the team crown.
“Win it once, you can say oh it just happened,” the Villanova recruit said when asked of the significance of a title repeat. “To come back and win it again says something about the training that I’ve done, the work I’ve put in and kind of how my talent has progressed. What I’ve been able to do in a year’s time, it really shows it here.”
Piccirillo was already clear of the field by the time it reached the first road crossing and initial right-hand turn. An overly fast opening mile of 5:33 – though already in the works – was not part of her plan.
“I wanted to go out with kind of a patient mile – around 5:45 – and then just put my foot to the pedal, hold it down as long as I could and push as much as I could,” she said. “Our first mile was a little fast. I saw that and was a little nervous, but at that point you have no choice, just go with it.
“I tried to keep pushing as hard as I could. The course record was a goal, and I knew that I would probably have to run by myself, keep going and push up the hills.”
Only a second up at the mile, Piccirillo led Elk County Catholic’s Kennedy Weisner by seven seconds as they crossed the bridge heading to the Aloha Hills. The gap almost doubled by the two-mile point, with much of the suspense of ownership of top medals in the history book.
“I didn’t know how long they would hang close like that,” the winner said. “People were yelling at me all throughout the Aloha Hills that they were ‘50 meters back,’ ‘100 meters back.’ I think that was also a motivator, to know that they were not going to give it to me so I really had to keep working, pushing hard to come home with a win.”
By the time Piccirillo reached the bottom of Poop-Out Hill, shouts of “Angel” and applause from admiring spectators lining both sides of the course had reached a crescendo. The Homer-Center star was alone at the front, and her fans were bringing her home.
“If I can just get to that last hill, I’m going to be OK because that’s the crowd,” Piccirillo said of the final several hundred meters. “Everyone lines that hill, and then they’re lining the whole finish. That’s definitely the best part. You’re finishing and you can hear everyone screaming, you can’t even hear yourself breathing. Everyone’s yelling for you, and they’re so supportive here.”
Crossing the line next – and duplicating their finishes from 2010 – were District 9 rivals Weisner and junior Adair Gennocro of St. Marys. Weisner was the runner-up in 18:52, while Gennocro clocked 18:58. Meredith Speakman of Boiling Springs (18:59) was the last to break 19 minutes, with Rachel Sowinski of Holy Redeemer fifth in 19:21. Weisner was runner-up in 2010 as well.
“Timewise, I didn’t have any (goals),” said Weisner, who will join many of Saturday’s top finishers at the Foot Locker regional November 26 on Long Island. “I just wanted to try and stay close to Angel and see what I could do.”
Megan McGarrity (19:23) of St. Basil, Jazmin Booker (19:30) of West Catholic, Marissa Durako (19:30) of Holy Redeemer, Kennedy Catholic’s Marina Wareham (19:32) and Hickory’s Morgan Richards (19:38) closed out the top 10.
Weisner’s coach believes his standout has what it takes to assume the reins of AA once the Homer-Center star graduates this spring.
“She does everything right,” coach W.J. Fernan said. “Kennedy’s not anything but focused all the time. She had a good year and followed the plan … that’s all you can do.
“She’s not overly zealous in trying to get 300 miles in a month. She’s incrementally adding miles, incrementally getting stronger. She’s not rushing the process, but she stays at it.”
The race for team honors started to take shape among the early finishers as both St. Basil and Elk Lake had a pair of medalists. After each team’s third runners crossed the line, it was a one-point race. There was little movement when their scorers finished as St. Basil kept Elk Lake from repeating and added a third title to its PIAA crowns from 2004 and 2006, 72-75.
“We’ve been saying all season that it was going to be a five-point meet,” Green said. “We figured it would be three or four teams involved. Yesterday we went over the course, and I said … you have to show guts the last half mile, and the kids moved.”
Green singled out the efforts of McGarrity and senior Stephanie Welte (24th overall) as significant in his team’s victory.
“We said if our 3, 4 and 5 can just keep (Welte) in sight,” he said. “If we’re close together, it doesn’t matter what everyone else does. Just use each other, feed off of it and see what happens.”
In analyzing the race, Elk Lake coach Will Squier had narrowed down the barriers to a title repeat: St. Basil.
“They presented the biggest problem to us in where they ran and what I thought we could do,” he said. “Everybody loves to win. I’m very satisfied with what these girls did today. I think they really pulled together and ran probably the best race they ran all year here.”
Quaker Valley, with four in the top 30 team scorers, was third with 121 points, followed by Holy Redeemer (163). Mercyhurst Prep (199) held off District 10 rival Villa Maria (209) for fifth.
AAA GIRLS BY CORY MULL
HERSHEY -- It was when Ann Herman surveyed the course trail nearly two miles into the PIAA Class AAA girls' cross country championship that she probably first knew.
This was Pennsbury's day again.
Typically a more conservative racer, Herman took the lead at one point during the Saturday morning jaunt at Parkview, which ideally was not in her race plan.
"I was shocked because I was leading at one point," said Herman, who finished in 18:42 and was among four Pennsbury runners to place in the top 21. "I didn't think that would happen. By the two mile point, I was in the lead, though."
It didn't stop her from continuing, and while she eventually gave way to a third-place finish, her efforts and many more led the Falcons to their second-straight state Class AAA title.
"We're really excited," Herman said. "I kind of wish I wasn't a senior, to see if I could get some more with the team. But I think the team is on to something. It would be nice to keep it a tradition."
As the case has been all year, Pennsbury accomplished their feat with superior pack running, tallying just 42 points behind a spread of 61 seconds. Junior Sara Sargent, who won the field in 2009, registered a seventh place finish in 18:55.
Sophomore Erica Gray was 16th overall in 19:09 and freshman Erin O'Connell was 21st in 19:19. Junior Elizabeth Wedekind completed the scoring with a 45th place finish in 19:43.
The field wasn't really close otherwise, with Unionville finishing in second with 129 points. West Chester Henderson was third with 148 points, Downingtown East was fourth with 153 and North Hills was fifth with 160.
Interesting enough, District 1 fielded the class' top four teams and five of the top six overall, with North Penn claiming sixth with 184 points.
North Penn senior Megan McGovern captured the individual field in 18:28, overtaking Strath Haven junior Hannah Grossman in the final meters for the first major title of her career. She also became North Penn's first female cross country title-winner ever.
And she set a course record, besting a mark that was set nearly an hour before by Homer Center's Angel Piccirillo (18:31).
"I'm so excited, it's like a dream come true for me to win," McGovern said.
The senior was eighth as a sophomore and fifth as a junior in 2010.
"I didn't want to have to set the pace, so I sat back and let other people do that," she continued. "As people separated I tried to go with them each time someone would try to separate."
Grossman was within meters of claiming her own title, too, but couldn't out-kick McGovern. While her final kick wasn't there, she was happy with her overall performance.
"Last year I ran an easier kind of race because I didn't know what to expect," said Grossman, who came in third as a junior. "I started off kind of back and picked off people as I went, so at the end I was feeling pretty good. And I knew today it would have to be a different type of race. I still went out conservatively, but I was definitely at the front from the start. I knew I wanted to go."
Saturday was a day of improvement for several young harriers. Unionville's Courtney Smith led at one point, too, before falling to fourth in 18:44. It was Smith's first season of cross country.
Dallas' Regan Rome, 20th a year ago, finished fifth in 18:48 behind a mile pace of 6:04.
"I was behind early, but that was fine because I worked my way back up at the mile," she said. "There were about 20 of us at the mile. I knew I needed to hang on to whoever I could to finish well."
Pennridge freshman Marissa Sheva revealed her talent, finishing in sixth in 18:50. Penn Manor sophomore Greta Lindsley, the District 3 champion, was eighth in 18:58.
West Chester Henderson junior Stephanie Aldrich was ninth in 18:58 and Governor Mifflin's Tessa Mundell was 10th in 18:58.
Pottsville sophomore Paige Stoner was 11th in 18:59 while Tori Gerlach, the District 1 champ of Pennridge, was 12th in 19:03.
AA BOYS BY PHIL GROVE
Starting fast and finishing strong – the perfect way to sum up performances by Quaker Valley and North Schuylkill’s Brendan Shearn on Saturday in the Class AA championship race and throughout the 2011 season.
Dave Noyes’ Quakers hit their marks early and powered away to one of the two lopsided team victories of the day, recording just 90 points to runner-up North East’s 181. Meanwhile, Shearn worked his race strategy to perfection as he was two seconds ahead of Elk Lake’s Luke Jones at the line.
“A lot of our workouts started with a really fast mile to simulate getting out fast and then we’d go through the workout,” Noyes said of reoccurring preparations for the Parkview Course. “Now you’re tired and you’re going to have to finish this. “I don’t like that they have to do this. I don’t think it’s the best way to race, but unfortunately that’s just the facts at this course. You have to do that.”
Senior Nat Fox led the winners with a fifth in the team scoring and 11th overall in 16:49. He was right on his mark at the mile and in position to lead the Quakers, who registered milestone victories at the PIAA Foundation and District 7 (WPIAL) meets en route to Hershey gold.
“We knew that you have to get out really fast, way faster than you think you need to,” Fox said. “My personal plan was to get out at about 4:58, and I actually was exactly 4:58. When I did that, OK, I’m right on track.
“There are a lot of pinch points, and it’s easy to get blocked off. You get stuck behind, and there’s no way you are going to make it back up.”
With its top four runners within five seconds and in the top 15 team positions after a mile, Quaker Valley was well on its way to the school’s first state cross country title. The Quakers still charted as the only team under 100 points with a little more than a mile remaining.
“With my top 4, anything can happen in a state race,” Noyes said. “So they were in the top 31 range (overall), I’m completely happy with that. And our fifth guy managed to push it up far enough, (so) it was a good, all-around day.”
Junior Roy Hadfield, the surprise individual champion in the WPIAL meet, was 12th in the team race, followed by seniors L.J. Westwood (15th) and Matt Cooper (16th). Sophomore Rob Veltre closed out the Quakers’ scoring in 42nd for a 1-5 spread of 1:09.
“We decided to run the Foundation race and that’s really where we said we have to come up here and make a statement right now,” Noyes said. “We want to be in front at that point in the season. I knew it counts at the end, but I think this was a strong team that we should be strong throughout the whole season like so many of these great AAA teams.”
With Quaker Valley’s top five in the chute before North East’s third runner, veteran coach Ted Miller of North East knew the best his squad could do was No. 2.
“(Quaker Valley is) a terrific team, and I was just hoping all year long maybe we could nail top 3 or 4,” Miller said. “Second’s a bonus. Our second man had some problems today, and the other kids picked him up. He saved them at district, they saved the team today. That’s the way good teams prevail.
“When you are dealing with the best teams in the state, and second place – I didn’t used to celebrate that – but this one I do because only three of these guys ran in the state meet last year. These kids got out and ran as a club every morning all summer. They got about as high as they could get today. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Junior Ryan Smathers led the Grapepickers by repeating his fifth-place overall showing from 2010 in 16:30, while freshman Gary Olson was 25th in the team scoring. Holy Redeemer was third at 190, while Masterman was fourth and West Middlesex fifth as both schools had 204.
While the Quakers were forging their way to the top, Shearn was content to be second at the mile in 4:54 and part of a lead pack of seven that ventured into the Aloha Hills first. At two miles, he was one of three runners a tick behind Northeast Bradford’s Curt Jewett.
“I knew that there were a lot of solid guys in the race, so I wanted to wait and let the hills take their toll,” the winner said. “Just as soon as I hit the downhill, take off and push. I knew if I could get a lead, I think I could hold it. That was my plan.
“I’m a good uphill runner, too, but I knew after the hills, I’d be able to put some hurt in some guys. I like to get a strong final 1,000, kind of what I have been doing all year. Pushing the last K and breaking away.”
Projected as a pre-meet favorite on the heels of a District 11 title, Shearn earned kudos from his coach, Frank Briggs, for allowing his strategy to play out for the win in 16:15.
“Brendan’s a very mature runner, he knows exactly what he wants to get done,” Briggs said of Shearn, who was 15th last year. “I’m proud of him. It’s really an honor to be his coach.
“He practices hard every day, never takes a day off. He’s earned it, he deserves it a lot.”
Jones, the District 2 champion, is looking forward to another opportunity to race for the state cross country title.
“I was really happy with my performance today,” said Jones, who was 17th in 2010. “The race was really tough, they’re all juniors so next year will be even better. I didn’t have it in me today. I just didn’t have enough to finish today.”
Rico Galassi (16:26) of Holy Cross and Sam Williams (16:29) of Northeast Bradford were the only other runners under 16:30.
Sixth through 10th went to Beaver Area’s Josef Dipietrantonio (16:38), Towanda’s Aaron Valerosa (16:42), Wellsboro Area’s Jordan Jackson (16:42), Saegertown’s Nata Tallada (16:45) and Vincentian Academy’s Ryan Archer (16:48).
Underclassmen dominated the medalist ranks as eight of the first 10 were juniors, with only two other seniors breaking up an all-junior second 10. A senior, a sophomore and three more juniors grabbed the remaining individual awards.
AAA BOYS BY CORY MULL
HERSHEY -- Sometimes when it's close, it's agonizingly close.
For the first time since 1972, a PIAA boys' or girls' cross country championship was decided by displacement, with Cardinal O'Hara and North Penn both earning 132 points through five point-scorers.
Interestingly enough, it was not the No. 1 ranked team in the state that won.
Instead, PA #7 North Penn, which won state cross country titles in 2007 and 2008, won its third major championship in five years. And the Knights, who had a compression of just 46 seconds between their first five runners, have Hunter Hill to thank.
The junior's 139th place finish in a time of 17:36 was enough to give North Penn a narrow victory over their counterparts, Cardinal O'Hara.
"Going into the season, our goal was to win state," North Penn head coach Mike Werner said. "And we had setbacks along the way, but we always knew we had a shot. We had to run the perfect race. When you're an underdog, you're not going to run away."
Indeed, North Penn did not. They ran for a title.
Junior Jack Macauley paced the Knights with a time of 16:26 while senior Dan Davis finished in 16:39. Senior Chris Trimble, averaging a 5:23 mile, registered a 16:41, while sophomore Ryan Grace clocked in at 17:11. Sophomore Matt Molloy was North Penn's fifth scorer, finishing in 17:12.
North Penn had its first three runners in the top 35.
"If we gave ourselves a chance at the mile mark, at Aloha (hills), and we fought for every point, as it turns out, every point mattered," Werner said. "The guys ran great. The last week, the guys really believed in themselves. Each day this week, going into every day, we felt we were going to do something special."
Cardinal O'Hara, meanwhile, finished second with an identical 132 points. District 7 powers North Allegheny (144 points) and Mount Lebanon (153 points) were third and fourth, respectively.
District 1 champion West Chester Henderson cracked the top five with 195 points.
Individually, Hatboro-Horsham's Conner Quinn's superb day rendered him a state championship. The junior, coming off a third place performance in his team's District 1 championship more than a week ago, felt confident and raced well past the two mile mark.
"I ran pretty well in districts and I knew this was my kind of course," Quinn said. "I like hills. I don't have as much leg speed as the other guys, but I had a lot of confidence because I was in the lead."
In a field that was jam-packed until the two mile mark, Quinn decided to make his move at a critical juncture. It was a move that eventually paid off in the end, giving him enough room to fight off a good effort from Grove City junior Daniel Jaskowak, who was second in 16:06.
"I knew I had to start moving because there were a lot of guys who could kick," Quinn said. "But I felt really good."
Quinn became Hatboro-Horsham's first title-winner since 1994, when Russell Coleman, his current coach, claimed that honor.
It was fitting that Coleman was there to witness it.
"Coming into today, Connor's confidence was high after finishing third at districts last week, but I think he was able to run free," Coleman said.
"He didn't have the burden of being the district champion and the pressure of being the district champion, which is real. So today he just got out and he was running free. The longer the race, the more confident he got."
Boyertown senior Brett Keller, who wasn't far behind from the leaders, was third in 16:10.
Cardinal O'Hara's Dan Savage was fourth in 16:13, North Allegheny's Logan Steiner was fifth in 16:14 and University of Pennsylvania recruit Drew Magaha was sixth in 16:15.
All six runners averaged miles at 5:14 and under.
Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy was seventh (16:16), La Salle's Tom Coyle was eighth (16:17), Great Valley's Ned Willig was ninth (16:19) and Pennsbury's Connor Harriman was 10th (16:21).
Race Flow by Jayson Jackson
Race Flow photos by Don Rich, Marleen Van den Neste, Patty Morgan and Megan Zeller
At 800m into the race, Angel Piccirillo (Homer Center), Kennedy Weisner (Elk County Catholic), and Adair Gennocro (St. Mary's) were leading the with the field about 2 seconds behind them. By the time they hit the mile, Piccirillo’s lead was already 7 seconds on the field. Barring a catastrophe, it appeared Piccirillo was well on her way to repeat as state champ and the big question now was if she could get the course record as well.
As they prepared to cross the bridge at 2400m for the first time, Piccirillo has a 20 yard lead on Weisner who had 20 yards on Gennocro and Meredith Speakman (Boiling Springs). The field was stretched behind them and Quaker Valley and St. Basil’s Academy were locked into a tight race for the team title.
At 2 miles, Piccirillo's lead had increased to 40 yards and she was running comfortably. All of the fans were cheering hard for her as she raced the course for the final time. One fan even yelled, “Thanks for the memories. Enjoy the last mile.” Weisner was still in second, but Speakman was closing ground on her with every step and Gennocro was in fourth. St. Basil’s and Elk Lake had really starting asserting themselves and were setting up for the final push to the line. Quaker Valley and Holy Redeemer were still in it, but had lost several places over the last uphill and downhill to two miles.
With 1000 to go, Piccirillo was running comfortably as she headed for home. She was still on record pace as well. The race for second was on between Weisner and Speakman. Gennocro was comfortably in fourth with the team battle taking shape behind her. Megan McGarrity (St. Basil’s) had moved into fifth with the Holy Redeemer tandem of Rachel Sowinski and Marissa Durako right behind her. Elk Lake’s #1, Maria Trowbridge, was in a pack with Jazmin Booker (West Catholic), Morgan Richards (Hickory), Lillie Brown (Boiling Springs) and Marina Wareham (Kennedy Catholic). St. Basil’s and Elk Lake still had some space on the rest of the field, but the team race was too close to call.
Piccirillo did end up with the course record (18:31) as she repeated as state champ. While Weisner and Gennocro repeated their finishes of second and third, respectively, from a year ago. Sowinski grabbed fourth place with McGarrity in fifth. Saint Basil’s beat Elk Lake by 3 points, 72-75, to dethrone the defending champs.
AA Girls Race Highlights
At the 800, Sara Sargent (Pennsbury) was making her presence felt as she led the field. She was being followed closely by her teammate Ann Herman, Tori Gerlach (Pennridge), Meghan McGovern (North Penn), Hannah Grossman (Strath Haven), Margo and Shannon Malone (North Hills), Courtney Smith (Unionville) and few other of the usual suspects. It was obvious the Pennsbury team was on a mission, because the whole squad was out hard with all of their runners in the top 40.
As they hit the mile, Smith and Herman were shoulder to shoulder with Sargent. Gerlach, McGovern, Paige Stoner (Pottsville), Margo Malone, and others were only a step behind as the pack was still very much intact.
Herman was the first to make a move to break the race open. She had a five yard lead as she crossed the bridge and was followed by Gerlach, McGovern, Grossman, and Malone with Regan Rome (Dallas) tracking their every move.
Herman’s move had dwindled the chase pace down considerably. After two miles, Herman was still leading with McGovern and Grossman intently focused on reeling her in. They were followed by Smith, Stoner, and Rome, with Gerlach a few seconds behind. At this point, the team race looked as if it was over. Pennsbury had 4 girls in the top 20 and their 5th was in the top 50. Everyone else was racing for second.
McGovern (18:28) got the best of Grossman (18:30) and as both slipped under Piccirillo’s hour-old course record of 18:31. Herman held on for 3rd as Smith secured 4th ahead of Rome and Pennridge’s other star runner, freshman Marissa Sheva. Sargent finished 7th.
Pennsbury led the District One onslaught at states as they grabbed five of the top six team spots. North Hills prevented the sweep by finishing 5th.
By 800m into the race Barrett Kemp (Oswayo Valley) was leading the field by a few steps with his prime competition right behind him, Brendan Shearn (North Schuylkill), Rico Galassi (Holy Cross), Curt Jewett and Sam Williams (Northeast Bradford), Shawn Wolfe (Annville-Cleona), Ryan Smathers (North East), Luke Jones (Elk Lake), and Nate Tallada (Saegertown).
As the hit the mile, the pack was still very much intact with Shearn now shoulder to shoulder with Kemp. Quaker Valley was already making a statement in the team race with 4 in the top 30 in an effort to win the title that has eluded them the last few years. Holy Redeemer, Wellsboro, and Annville-Cleona were fighting for the second podium spot.
As they prepared to cross the bridge, Shearn began to assert himself and lead the pack of seven up the first hill. Jewett also seized this opportunity to make the first big move of the race which propelled him to the lead which he held through two miles.
He was followed closely by Shearn, Jones, and Galasi as they were three abreast and in pursuit. Smathers, Williams, Kemp, and Tallada were all in a line behind the front four. In the team battle, Quaker Valley was still out front by a lot, but North East’s pack was backing up Smathers’ with a 17-second spread from 2-5 as they moved into second ahead of Wellsboro and Holy Redeemer, with West Middlesex gaining ground as well.
Shearn then countered Jewett’s mid-race move with one of his own that gave him a ten yard cushion over Jones, Galassi, and Williams with 1000m to go. Jones emerged from the pack of three to challenge Shearn over the last half-mile and make the race interesting. But Shearn held on for the victory and his first XC state title in 16:15, followed by Jones in 16:17. Galassi (16:26), Williams (16:29), and Smathers (16:30) rounded out the top five.
Quaker Valley continued their push to the finish and scored under 100 points (90) to secure the state title. North East would hold on for second, followed by Holy Redeemer, Masterman, and West Middlesex.
Ethan Louis (Cahedral Prep) was out front at the half-mile mark leading the pack that contained Conner Quinn (Hatboro Horsham), Dan Savage (Cardinal O’Hara), Daniel Jaskowak (Grove City), and Alex Moran (Mount Lebanon) among others. Drew Magaha (Upper Moreland) was lurking towards the back of the lead pack biding his time.
By the mile, Tom Coyle (La Salle College) was now in control as he built a slight lead over the chase pack of Quinn, Savage, Aaron Wilkinson (Valley View), Jaskowak, Moran, and several others. As expected, PA #1 and District 12 champs Cardinal O'Hara looked strong as a team, but they were locked into a tight battle with North Penn. District 1 and District 7 were dominating up front and it showed in the race for the team title.
Coyle kept the pressure on the field as he widened his lead as they crossed the bridge. He was starting to stretch the field as they headed up the first of the Aloha Hills, while Quinn, Logan Steiner (North Allegheny), Brett Kelly (Boyertown), Jaskowak, and 6 others were looking for the right time to begin reeling in Coyle.
Quinn was the first to go after him as he pulled even with Coyle at two miles with Jaskowak and Steiner trying to close the gap. Jaskowak continued his surge up and down the next hill as he prepared to make his charge for the line. As they crossed the bridge for the last time, Jaskowak had a few step lead on Quinn. The winner would be one of those two as they had a 10 yard and growing lead on Kelly, Steiner, and Savage.
Magaha was probably in the 20s, but looked very relaxed and after hearing about his exploits at the District One championship, everyone wondered if more magic was in store. The team battle was too close to call as Cardinal O’Hara and North Penn were matching each other man for man. North Allegheny and Mount Lebanon were doing their best to play spoiler as they closed the gap significantly.
Quinn would use the final hill and straightaway to pull away for the win over Jaskowak, 16:03-16:06. Kelly (16:10) was the next to hit the line, followed by Savage (16:13), and Steiner (16:14). Magaha closed the best of anyone in the race as he grabbed 6th (16:15), but was too far back to make a serious threat at winning.
North Penn and Cardinal O’Hara finished as close as you can get, tying at 132 all, and North Penn won the title on the tiebreaker. North Allegheny was able to hold off Mount Lebanon for another weekend, while District 1 Champ West Chester Henderson finished fifth. All of District One’s 5 teams finished in the top ten for a very impressive day.
Newspaper coverage from around PA:
Republican Herald: North Schuylkill's Shearn Captures AA Gold
Allentown Morning Call: North Schuylkill's Shearn Wins PIAA Class 2A Cross Country Title
DELCO Times: Despite a Strong Effort, Team Title Eludes O'Hara
DELCO Times: Grossman Satisfied With Second (With Video)
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Quaker Valley Wins Boys AA Cross Country Title
Indiana Gazette: Piccirillo Claims Sixth State Title
The Reporter: State Titles for North Penn Boys and NP's McGovern
Bucks County Intelligencer: Quinn, North Penn Triumph
Bucks County Intelligencer: Pennsbury, NP, H-H Win State XC Titles
Tribune Live: Quaker Valley Surges to PIAA Cross Country Title
Times-Leader: Determined Dallas has run on hope
Bucks County Intelligencer: Pennsbury worked hard to repeat
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Quaker Valley boys ends WPIAL Class AA championship drought
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