WPIAL cross country championships part of 3 things to watch Thursday in high school sports
There will be three new champions crowned at the 2018 WPIAL boys cross country championships after three seniors took home gold a year ago.
But that isn’t the only new thing when it comes to Thursday’s district finals event.
After decades of holding the cross country meet at either Slippery Rock University or Cooper’s Lake in Butler, the district is heading south with the best area runners.
The course at Cal (Pa.) will host the championships for the first time.
While the boys will have three new winners, the girls had three underclassmen win gold last season.
Hannah Schupansky of Oakland Catholic, Annie Wicker of Quaker Valley and Haley Hamilton of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart ran to district titles in 2017.
Boys soccer quarters
Even though it’s Round 2, three district boys soccer teams make their postseason debut Thursday.
Seneca Valley, Norwin and Upper St. Clair all earned a first-round bye and will host quarterfinals matches.
The top-seeded Raiders host No. 9 Mt. Lebanon, Norwin welcomes Peters Township and USC is home to Butler. All those matches start at 8 p.m.
There are 16 second-round boys soccer matches that will set the stage for the Final Four next week.
One marquee match is in Class A where Seton LaSalle faces Winchester Thurston at 6 p.m. at Moon.
The Rebels and Bears faced each other in last year’s consolation match, where Seton LaSalle won 2-0 to earn a spot in the state playoffs.
Volleyball Class AAA, AA playoff openers
Two defending champs open defense of their titles from a year ago on Thursday in the Class AAA and AA girls volleyball first round.
However, the expectations for those two champs are a little different.
Class AAA top seed Knoch will be home to Ambridge. The Bridgers needed a preliminary-round victory over Albert Gallatin on Tuesday to earn the No. 16 seed.
Reigning Class AA champion Beaver is not a top seed; in fact the Bobcats are the No. 10 seed in the 20-team tournament.
The Bobcats will face Derry in the first of two matches at Armstrong, set for a 6 p.m. start.
Derry vs. Beaver is a rematch of a quarterfinals match last year when the Bobcats eliminated the Trojans, 3-1.