Thursday, October 28, 2021 | 9:12 p.m.
The Riverview boys’ cross country team had been stuck in a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day” for the past few years.
The Raiders, from 2016 until last year, were second to Class A tag team champion Winchester Thurston.
That changed Thursday in Cal (Pa.).
Riverview, led by an experienced squad that includes senior captains Parker Steele, Ty Laughlin and Lucas Wilton, placed his top five runners in the top 26 to win the WPIAL tag team title with 76 points.
Winchester Thurston, with four in the top 25, was second with 90 points.
“It’s amazing that you can accomplish this,” said Steele, who led Riverview with a fifth place in the individual standings (17: 55.3).
“After the last five years so close, it’s great to be able to do it with this group of guys. Now we’ll see how it goes (in the US) next week. It’s a whole different race with a whole different group of great teams. It will be fun for sure. We’ll be ready to run again and try to bring the state title home. “
Laughlin was 10th (18: 19.5) and junior Amberson Bauer 14th (18: 33.2), followed by Wilton 25th, freshman Christopher Barnes 26th, freshman Holden Deasy 27th and sophomore Cohen Hoolahan 44th. .
“I’m so happy for all of them,” said Riverview coach Palma Ostrowski. “I had this experience with my women’s team a few times, winning WPIALs, and I knew what it was like. I just wanted the same for the boys. We managed to beat three very good programs.
Riverview, who was denied travel to the States last year due to covid restrictions, placed second behind Winchester Thurston at the 2019 PIAA meeting.
In addition to the top four boys and girls teams, the top 20 people not from any of these four teams also qualified for Class A states. In other classes, these are three teams and 15 runners.
Riverview will take a pair of runners to the United States after sophomore Gwyn Fichte (22: 17.3) and rookie Lily Bauer (22: 49.2) placed 16th and 24th.
“I wasn’t even sure I could do it because a few weeks ago I sprained my knee a little,” said an emotional Fichte. “I thought it would be completely lost. So it’s a bit overwhelming. I had been hoping for a while.
Fichte and Bauer’s finishes helped Riverview to place sixth in the women’s team standings with 211 team points.
The Riverview runners took on the Cal (Pa.) Course and its tough hill in Tri-States last week and in an additional practice race.
“We all wanted to make sure we were ready to tackle the course well, and I think we did,” said Bauer. “It was really good for me to know where the hill was and what to expect. I’m really proud of myself because I was really stressed before the race because it was my first.
Gracie McShea, a senior competing in her last WPIAL race, placed 59th (24: 37.1).
In the Girls Class 3A race, won for the third time in a row by Moon’s Mia Cochran, Kiski Area sophomore Eliza Miller was fifth.
Miller’s goal was to try and stay with Cochran early on, and she did. She achieved her goal of placing in the top five. Now she wants to win a medal at the PIAA Championship on November 6 in Hershey.
“The race was a little more uncertain than I thought,” said Miller. “I wanted to be in the top five this year, and I did. It was the same as last year. My race did not go as well as last week because the course was really muddy.
“It was difficult on the downhills, but I’m happy. I really want to win a medal in the United States this year because I didn’t do it last year. This is my biggest goal.
At the class 2A girls meet, two sophomores from Alle-Kiski Valley qualified for the States. Grace Nesko of Burrell was 19th overall in 21: 56.2 while Emma Haugh of Knoch was just behind Nesko by half a second in 20th (21: 56.7). Haugh led the Knights to 11th in the team standings, while Burrell was 14th.
Last year at White Oak Park, Haugh placed 10th, just six seconds behind the States under PIAA covid restrictions limiting the number of States qualifying in Class 2A girls to seven. Nesko did not. ran to the States as a freshman.
In the boys’ class 2A race, won by Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak, Deer Lakes senior Carson McCoy (17: 39.7) took fourth place.
“I didn’t feel very good at first, but I kind of got it in and made sure I got to the states,” McCoy said. “We went up fast, but it was difficult to go down the slope because it was muddy.
“To be successful in cross-country is cool. The most success I have had on the track came when I won 1,600 in the United States. Being able to go out and compete well in cross country too is definitely motivating. “
In the boys of Class 3A, Fox Chapel finished third in the team race, qualifying for the state competition. Jack Lorence led the way with a ninth place finish.