Kinne bolsters North Allegheny cross country team

October 6, 2018
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North Allegheny cross country runner Zach Kinne competes against Mars Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018, at North Park.

An out-of-state transfer student is giving a boost to the North Allegheny boys cross country team.

Senior Zachary Kinne (15 minutes, 55 seconds) came in first in the PIAA Foundation Invitational meet boys Class AAA 5,000-meter run recently in Hershey. The meet is considered a tune-up for the PIAA championship Nov. 3.

Kinne led the Tigers to a three-point margin over second-place Seneca Valley, the two-time defending WPIAL champion. There were 37 teams. Kinne (15:24) followed with a win in the Paul Short Run Boys Varsity Brown final at Lehigh.

Kinne moved from a Chicago suburb over the summer after his father accepted a position on the UPMC Health Plan Leadership Team.

Kinne, who is 5-foot-10, placed fourth in the Class AAA boys three-mile run in the Illinois High School Association championship last November. In outdoor track, he came in second in the men’s 3,200 varsity run.

He helped his high school cross country team to the state crown in 2016. Kinne takes his Pennsylvania performances, on hillier terrain, in stride.

Kinne and junior Daniel McGoey give the Tigers a one-two punch.

McGoey, who placed third in the WPIAL and PIAA championships last season, finished second to Kinne in the PIAA Foundation Invitational (15:58), as well as the Red, White and Blue Classic in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park in September.

Kinne said McGoey, the top returning Tiger, was nice about his joining the team and is one of his closest friends.

“I’ll pull him along (and his) being there helps me,” Kinne said. “We help each other out.”

McGoey said Kinne makes him train harder.

North Allegheny coach John Neff said Kinne and McGoey have something great.

On the girls side, the Tigers posted a comfortable win in the PIAA Foundation Invitational with junior Hannah Lindgren leading the way.

Lindgren (19:17) came in second. Lindgren, the top returning Tiger, said she misses Clara Savchik, but the underclassmen have stepped up. Savchik, the PIAA runner-up last season, is a freshman on the Duke women’s team.

Competing for the Tigers were sophomore Keeley Misutka, freshman Rachel Hockenberry, junior Caroline Daggett, senior Ally Christy, junior Jenna Mlecko and freshman Maura Mlecko. Among boys competitors were sophomore Andrew Kollitz, senior Ethan James, junior Stephen Nalepa, sophomore Connor Foody and senior Luke Turkovich.

Both squads (8-0 overall, 7-0 in Division I, Section 3) went undefeated in dual meets.

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