From the Tri-States Track Coaches Association Cross Country Championships, which is pretty much a warm up race for the WPIAL championships the next week:
10. North HillsTheir top three are easily the best in the state- to run those times on the hills of western Pennsylvania is remarkable, let alone to dominate a huge meet of 497 finishers. One of the teams that finished ahead of them won't be competing for a trip to states, but unless a few miracles and a lot of disasters happen to other teams.
1 Juris Silenieks, Sr 15:39
2 Zach Hebda, Sr 15:39
3 Joe Kush, Sr 15:50
98 Anton Martinez, Fr 17:55
308 Alex Baginski, Fr 20:03
347 Andy Fitzpatrick, Fr 21:01
381 Dan Fulton, So 22:09
Total Time = 1:25:05 Total Places = 412
Now, this team has had a very successful last six years, so missing a trip to states isn't horrible, nor is this an indictment of three freshmen and a sophomore who are thrown in with three top-notch senior runners. It's just worth noting the difference between three good runners and five, which makes cross country so compelling. Last year, these three went to states with a few seniors:
3. North HillsBefore that, the best circumstance of a great top three missing a chance to compete as a team at states was the 2000 Baldwin team. The difference is that I was friends with four of the runners on that team, of the North Hills runners, I have only met Juris. The 2000 season was the first year the WPIAL lost its fifth team qualifier for states, meaning Baldwin, a fierce but respected rival now and when I ran for Mt. Lebanon, missed out. Though they didn't run as well at WPIALs, their performance at Tri-States turned heads.
796 3 Joe Kush, Jr 15:48 5:06
797 4 Juris Silenieks, Jr 16:01 5:10
795 5 Zach Hebda, Jr 16:01 5:10
791 17 Paulson Domasky, Sr 16:39 5:22
792 129 Brian Dulick, Sr 18:19 5:54
793 231 Corey Palko, Sr 19:23 6:15
Time = 1:22:47 Places = 158
5. BaldwinI remember talking to Conroy (Hoag) after WPIALs and all he could talk about was how close he felt they were to catching North Allegheny (23 points). Same from Sheehan. These guys were team players. North Hills might be, too. But those Baldwin guys might reap all the benefits of team running- they unseated North Allegheny, for a week, at Tri-States this year and if they run confident races on Thursday could win the school's first WPIAL cross country title since 1999, the days of Scary Larry Quinn and Bobby Toth.
1 Daniel Mazzocco, Jr 16:08 5:12
3 Ryan Sheehan, Sr 16:49 5:25
6 Jeff Conroy, Sr 17:04 5:30
113 Chris Ritter, Sr 19:08 6:10
114 Brett Brennfleck, Jr 19:09 6:10
162 Eddie Weaver, Sr 19:55 6:25
163 Joe Brichacek, Jr 19:57 6:26
Time = 1:28:16 Places = 237
I'm pulingl for Mt. Lebanon to make its comeback to states.