Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Runners Get a Taste of National-Level Competition

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

District Runners Get a Taste of National-Level Competition

Article excerpt

One team decided to run after a disappointing showing at the PIAA cross country championships in Hershey.

One team had been talking about competing before the PIAA finals.

Both ran well but neither qualified for the national championship.

The Wexford Flats XC Club [North Allegheny boys] and the North Hills XC Club [North Hills girls] competed in the Nike Cross Northeast Regionals in November at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. The North Hills girls finished fifth with 203 points, while the Wexford Flats team was sixth with 215.

The top two teams in each of the championship races advance to the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore.

"The girls started talking about running in it [when they were riding] on the bus home from the state meet," North Hills High School coach Doug Sundo said. "They were a little disappointed in how they ran [at Hershey] and didn't want to finish that way."

North Allegheny coach John Neff thought the same thing was true for his runners.

"Then I found out they had been talking about running there long before the state meet," he said. "We knew it would be a tall order qualifying for the nationals given the teams that were there. But I thought the guys ran well and finishing sixth there was pretty good.

"There were some teams there that were just outstanding. There were a couple where I think Logan [Steiner] would have had a tough time making the varsity."

Steiner, a senior at North Allegheny, won the WPIAL Class AAA individual title and helped the Tigers to the team championships. He finished 17th overall at the regional, covering the 3.1-mile course in 16 minutes, 36 seconds. Jake Leahy of New Jersey was first in 16:08.

Brent Kennedy, a sophomore at Kiski Area High School, was 20th in 16:42.

The North Hills girls and North Allegheny boys teams won WPIAL titles. North Hills finished fifth in the team standings at the PIAA meet. …

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