NEW CASTLE —
Quaker Valley dominated the Class AA boys race with a 66. Mars finished second with a score of 132. There were 211 finishers.
Tyler Rigby (South Park) was the winner with a 16:59. Marshall Bruce (Beaver) finished second with 17:04. Zack Black (Blackhawk) was third with 17:05.
Ellwood City finished 19th with 551. Matthew Reed (33rd, 18:27) was the top runner for the team. Tatsumasa Abe (90th, 19:47) was next. The other finishers were Wesley Larry (107th, 20:07), Alex Tomak (150th, 21:15) and John DeCaro (180th, 23:01).
Mohawk finished 30th with a score of 861. Sam Whippo (146th, 21:07) was first. Next was Dakota Lee (164th, 22:03). Andrew Henley (175th, 22:43), Matthew Carran (190th, 24:17) and Nick Matsukas (201st, 25:53) were the finishers for the Warriors.
Strong efforts from Shenango and Laurel boys in Class A action didn’t result in a trip to the winners’ podium. However, individual efforts qualified runners from both schools and Neshannock for the PIAA Championships.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart won the event with a score of 113. Vincentian Academy finished second with 125. Shenango finished fifth with 160. Laurel was in seventh with a score of 194 and Neshannock came in 13th with a 365.
Ryan Archer (Vincentian Academy) won the race with a time of 16:34. Spartans junior Ethan Wilson finished second overall in the field of 185 finishers with a time of 16:38. Ryan McGuire (Trinity Christian) was third with 16:49.
“This is my third time going to states,” Wilson said. “I think I’m going to medal there this year. I did run track this year and that definitely helped to keep me in shape.”
Wilson also experienced troubles with the heat.
“It was definitely different from the cold week,” he said. “It’s nice that it’s dry, but it messed with a few heads.”
Edwin Cracraft (36th, 18:38) was second for the Spartans. Clint Glenn (53rd, 19:20), Bryan Taylor (55th, 19:21) and Robert Schrantz (59th, 19:33) were the other finishers for the team.
The Wildcats will be sending two boys to Hershey. Juniors David Waldschmidt (20th, 18:05) and Andy McCann (21st, 18:11) qualified for the event.
“The heat was unbearable,” Waldschmidt said. “Coming down the last half-mile, I didn’t think I was going to make it to the finish. I was getting a little dizzy, but I just kept with it to the end. There were a lot of top runners out there today. It was really fun and really competitive. It was just the heat was crazy.”
For Waldschmidt, the success was a long time coming. Battling injuries last year, he was determined to make it to the PIAA Championships in his junior season.
“I had stress fractures in both my legs, so I was out for all the track season in a walking boot,” Waldschmidt said. “Then, I had a lot of problems with my eyes seeing double vision. I had surgery and was out six more months with that. I was really excited for this year.”
McCann wouldn’t let the heat bother him.
“It’s just mental determination is what you really need to win races,” McCann said. “Our team clearly showed we had it today. It feels great to get to states as a junior.”
Zach Matuch (32nd, 18:28) finished next for Shenango. Nico Pagley (37th, 18:39) and Kyle Campbell (61st, 19:35) were the other finishers for the Wildcats.
The Lancers will be sending junior Robbie Kroner to the state meet. He finished 12th overall with a time of 17:33.
“It was definitely a hot one,” Kroner said. “On top of that, the dust that’s flying around here made for some tough weather conditions. I tend to run well in hot weather, but the dust made it tough. Overall, it was a good race. It feels pretty good to qualify for states.”
Senior Matt Turner (49th, 19:08) was second for Neshannock. Ron Calvert (70th, 20:02), Adam Alkhafaji (110th, 21:20) and Chris Clark (143rd, 22:34) were the other finishers for the Lancers.