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Cross Country Game Summaries

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2022-2023 Game Summaries

NA Cross Country Teams Crowned PIAA Champions

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by Cross Country Contributor

For the fifth year in a row, the NAXC girls won the state title. The NA girls did not waste time getting into a good position in the race, taking a 26-point lead by the end of the first mile. By the halfway point (near the highest elevation of the on the course), they had already increased their lead to 52 points on the nearest competitor.  The Tigers increased that lead in the second half, winning with 60 points versus the second-place team who scored 118 points. Leading the way for the girls, while having her best race as a Tiger, was sophomore sensation Wren Kucler, placing third overall. Next in for the champs, was junior leader Eva Kynaston with a ninth-place finish. Kynaston got out well and consistently passed people throughout the whole race.  Junior Erin McGoey was third for NA, with an outstanding medal-earning 23rd place. McGoey got boxed in early in the race, but she remained calm and poised and passed well over 30 people on the two aloha hills between 1.4K and 2.5K.  Lone senior on the girls’ state team, Grace Rowley was only one second and one place behind McGoey in 24th overall. Rowley has been a rock all season and came through again with an outstanding race when it mattered the most.  The top four girls were all on the medal stand – a feat very few teams in PIAA 3A history have accomplished. And not too far behind grace was sophomore Robin Kucler, who was so mentally strong in the last mile, grabbing an impressive 29th overall finish. Finishing sixth for the Tigers, was sophomore Camille Swirsding with a strong 85th place finish.  Sophomore Kendall Lucas was seventh for NA and 101st overall. Both Lucas and Swirsding helped displace many teams’ top five scorers.

For the third year in a row and fourth in the last five years, NAXC boys won state gold. The race was a very physical one, with many racers jostling for good position in the first have of the race. At the one-mile mark of the 5k course, NA was in sixth place. In the next 900 meters, the Tigers made some big moves and went from sixth to leading all teams by a 12-point margin. They continued their momentum, passing many runners in the second half of the race to earn an incredible margin of victory. The Tigers scored a low 85-point total compared to 161 points for the runner-up. This is one of the largest margins of victory in recent history.  Paving the way for the dominant victory was none other than sophomore Jack Bertram, who placed third behind two outstanding individuals. Finishing up a fantastic senior season campaign was Gregory Kossuth and Jackson Pajak.Kossuth was very strong for the champs (as he has been all season), grabbing a 20th place medal. Pajak had a great day moving up steadily throughout the race and grabbing the last individual medal (25th overall). Next in for the Tigers was junior James Behrend who placed 42nd overall with an outstanding performance. Following close behind Behrend, was senior Joey Rempe, who saved his best race for last. Rempe ran an incredible race, placing 45th to round out the top five and seal the win. Placing sixth for NA was Michael Gauntner, who displaced the top five runners from every team in the race, with his 82nd place finish.  Wrapping up the Tiger scoring was senior Nick Betler who was one of the most improved runners with a standout senior season.

Complete girl results can be found at https://runhigh.com/2022RESULTS/R110522AF.html

Complete boy results can be found at https://runhigh.com/2022RESULTS/R110522AG.html

NA Boys, Girls Both Win 5th Straight WPIAL Championship

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It was a beautiful day for a WPIAL cross championship meet at California University of Pennsylvania on Thursday and the NA Boys and Girls teams both claimed a fifth consecutive WPIAL Class crown.

In the girls’ race, the Tigers dominated the field, scoring only 39 points and cruising past second-place Mt. Lebanon, who finished with 107 team points.  Six Tigers ran their fastest time ever on the challenging course. The top five all medaled and all of NA’s top seven were in the top 25 of the race. Elite sophomore Wren Kucler led the way with a fantastic fourth-place performance.  Junior Eva Kynaston was the Tigers’ next finisher, having a tremendous race and grabbing sixth overall.  Just four seconds back from Kynaston was junior Erin McGoey with a very fast time in seventh place.  Senior Grace Rowley was awesome, coming in just behind McGoey in eighth overall.  Sophomore Kendall Lucas had a strong race edging out a couple opponents at the line to take 20th overall. Rounding out the scoring for the champs was sophomore standout Camille Swirsding in 25th.

Jack Bertram won WPIAL silver at the Class AAA XC Championship.

In the boys’ race, North Allegheny managed one of the lowest point totals in school and WPIAL history. Scoring only 31 points, the Tigers outdistanced second-place South Fayette by 114 points. NA placed three in the top five, and all seven runners finished in the top 17 of the race.  All seven runners ran personal bests for the course. Sophomore standout Jack Bertram ran an incredible 15:53 on the hilly 5k course to take second place overall. Butler’s Drew Griffith won the race and broke the course record.  Senior Gregory Kossuth had a great day taking fourth place and not far behind him was senior Jackson Pajak with a phenomenal fifth-place performance.  Junior James Behrend was fantastic in eighth overall. Following up his breakout race last week, senior Nick Betler outdid himself again with a new lifetime best, doing so on a course that runs slow due to the massive hill. Barreling in after Betler was an incredible sprint finish from junior Michael Gauntner who passed five people in the last quarter mile of the race. Senior Joey Rempe rounded out the scoring for NA with a great performance in 17th, displacing the top five finishers from all Class AAA teams.

Following Thursday’s WPIAL title victories, the Tigers hope take some of the positive momentum into Hershey next Saturday for the PIAA state championships.

Tigers Take Two Titles At TSTCA Championships

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The North Allegheny cross country teams traveled to California University of Pennsylvania for the TSTCA Championships on Thursday. Both teams smashed the competition with dominant victories.

The NA girls raced first and had a jaw dropping nine-second spread between their top five runners. All five runners placed in the top eight of the race, and the top seven were all in the top 19 of the race (earning individual awards). The Tigers scored an amazingly low score of 30 points, with the runner-up team 52 points back. Below are the individual results for the top 7 Tigers.

4 Robin Kucler (sophomore)
5 Eva Kynaston (junior)
6 Grace Rowley (senior)
7 Erin McGoey (junior)
8 Wren Kucler (sophomore)
17 Kendall Lucas (sophomore)
19 Elizabeth Pizon (sophomore)

The NA boys were also fantastic, claiming the crown with an incredible 32 total points, 77 points ahead of the nearest competition. The boys had three in the top five and seven in the top 19 (all earning individual awards).  The boys had a 58-second spread, which was impressive and back by Jack Bertram’s outstanding runner-up performance. Below are the top 7 Tiger performances:

2 Jack Bertram (sophomore)
4 Jackson Pajak (senior)
5 Gregory Kossuth (senior)
9 James Behrend (junior)
12 Nicholas Betler (senior)
17 Michael Gauntner (junior)
19 Joey Rempe (senior)

NAXC will head back to the same site and course next Thursday for the WPIAL Championships.

Tigers Conclude Section Slate With Sweep Of Butler, Shaler

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The North Allegheny cross country team wrapped up the dual meet season on Tuesday against Shaler and Butler at Butler high school. Both the NA Boys and Girls swept their opponents on a challenging course.

The Lady Tigers won, 15-48, against Butler and had a perfect score against Shaler, 15-50. Sophomore sisters Wren and Robin Kucler took first and second, respectively, on the difficult course. Juniors Erin McGoey and Eva Kynaston and senior Grace Rowley were right behind Robin, grabbing spots 3-5.  Sophomores Camille Swirsding and Elizabeth Pizon took seventh and eighth to round out the varsity scoring.

The NA Boys team defeated Butler, 20-41, and beat Shaler by default (incomplete team). Sophomore Jack Bertram was second behind Butler’s top runner.  Running very strong were seniors Gregory Kossuth and Nick Betler, snatching third and fourth, respectively. Junior Michael Gauntner was fifth and senior Jackson Pajak was sixth. Junior James Behrend was eighth and senior Joey Rempe was ninth, sealing the dominant victory.

With the victories the NA boys team won the section with a perfect 7-0 record. The Lady Tigers were section runners-up with a 6-1 mark.

 

Tigers Win Big At Home Sectional

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The North Allegheny cross country team hosted North Hills and Seneca Valley at North Park on Tuesday.  There was a lightning delay right before the start of the race and both varsity teams ran together due to the weather forecast.

The NA Boys team won, 20-40, against Seneca Valley and had a perfect score against North Hills, 15-50.  Seniors Jackson Pajak and Gregory Kossuth ran great races to take 1-2.  Junior James Behrend was fourth and senior Vincent Rotunno was sixth. Senior Joey Rempe finished seventh and junior Connor Williams grabbed 10th.  All seven tigers ran superbly.

The NA Girls team bested Seneca, 19-39, and had a perfect score against North Hills, 15-50. Sophomore Wren Kucler won the race and junior Erin McGoey was fast in second. Senior Grace Rowley took third and junior Maia Getz was fifth with a great race.  Sophomore Hallie Dong was solid in eighth, sophomore Nicole Ruebi was ninth and senior Sophie Kollitz rounded out the scoring in eleventh. All Lady Tigers ran fast times on the three mile course.

The NA Boys jump to 5-0 in section action and the Lady Tigers are 4-1. North Allegheny visit Butler for a tri-meet on Tuesday, Oct. 4 with the Golden Tornado and Shaler Titans.