Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allderdice Feeling 'At Home' Running in City League Again

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Allderdice Feeling 'At Home' Running in City League Again

Article excerpt

One year ago, both of Taylor Allderdice High School's cross country teams competed in the WPIAL Class AAA cross country championships at Cooper's Lake in Butler County.

The boys team finished 27th and the girls finished 10th.

Things will be a lot different this year. Following a two-year experiment that expired at the end of the previous school year, both Allderdice teams will be competing against familiar rivals on Saturday at the City League cross country championships at Schenley Park.

"I couldn't be happier," said Ed Flynn, who has been the school's cross country coach since 1981 and was an advanced placement biology teacher at the school before he retired two years ago. "I'm not sure whose decision it was for us to join the WPIAL for cross country, but I lived with it. I was told that moving into the WPIAL would help us run more dual meets."

But as it turned out, the coaches in the section Allderdice was assigned to had made a unilateral decision to forgo running dual meets.

"I was just listening, and what they were saying was that they didn't like running all of these midweek dual and triangular meets. They were focusing on invitationals, and that's what we've been focusing on all along at Allderdice. They held their conference meet this year right before the Central Catholic Invitational."

So, when Flynn was given the option of staying in the WPIAL or going back to its roots in the City League, he didn't hesitate.

"I was happy to move back, and so were the kids," he said. "For the two years we were in the WPIAL, we were a city school not running in the City League, and they were still having a City League championship. It just seemed logical to move back."

Flynn's teams have competed in five midweek City League meets involving the league's six schools: Allderdice, Brashear, Perry, Obama Academy, Westinghouse and Carrick. That same grouping will run on Saturday, but to ensure that the league sends competitive runners to the state meet, standards have been established.

"It's not enough to win the title," Flynn said. "Each of the top five runners on the winning boys team must run faster than 19:30. For the girls, they have to run below 21:30. …

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