Oakland Catholic’s Shupansky runs to 2nd straight WPIAL title
Oakland Catholic senior Hannah Shupansky mastered Slippery Rock’s Cooper’s Lake Campground course at last year’s WPIAL cross country championships to claim her first WPIAL individual title.
A change of scenery this year didn’t deter Shupansky from again finishing on top.
She turned away the rest of the field Thursday on the Roadman Park course at Cal (Pa.) to capture the girls Class AAA crown.
“I went out a little bit slower than I usually do just because I knew that big hill was there,” Schupansky said. “Once I got up that, I felt ready to go, and I just kind of took off.”
Shupansky placed 64th at WPIALs as a freshman and rose to fifth as a sophomore.
She will join her Oakland Catholic teammates at states Nov. 3 in Hershey. The Eagles finished as runners-up to North Allegheny. Defending state champion Fox Chapel will make a return to the PIAA meet after placing third overall.
The top three teams in boys and girls Class AA and AAA and top four in boys and girls Class A teams automatically qualified for states. The top 20 individuals in Class A and top 15 for both Class AA and AAA not on one of the state-qualifying teams also punched tickets to the PIAA championships.
The North Allegheny boys returned to the top in Class AAA, and Tigers junior Daniel McGoey led the way by taking the individual championship in a time of 16 minutes, 1 second.
Now, the state title is in the back of his mind. He was third at WPIALs last year and also third at states.
“It’s the same game plan (for states),” McGoey said. “I just want to go out strong, hang onto the front and have a good race overall.”
Seneca Valley and Mt. Lebanon also will be headed to states in boys Class AAA after placing second and third, respectively.
Greensburg Salem ran away with the Class AA boys title after placing its five scoring runners in the top 20.
Golden Lions seniors Mark Brown (16:52) and Cameron Binda (17:02) led the field as the top two individual finishers.
Indiana, which had three finish in the top 20, placed second, and New Castle, with four top-20 finishers, was third.
South Fayette reigned in Class AA girls as the Lions finished with 55 team points, 64 better than runner-up Greensburg Salem. Avonworth placed third and also advanced to states.
South Fayette placed three in the top 10 and all five scoring runners in the top 20, but individual top honors went to Quaker Valley junior Annie Wicker who set the pace and defended her Class AA title with a winning time of 19:18.
Wicker was sixth overall as a freshman.
Winchester Thurston put five runners in the top 16 to claim its third straight Class A boys title, and Riverview finished as runner-up for the third consecutive year with individuals at fourth and ninth overall.
The battle for third and fourth was as close as it could get with Eden Christian, Shenango and Shady Side Academy separated by just one point.
Meet officials went to video to review the finishes and confirmed Eden Christian in third with 179 points. Fourth place and the final spot to states came down to a tiebreaker as both Shenango and Shady Side Academy tallied 180 points.
The tiebreaker -- better finish between each team’s sixth runner -- and a state berth went to Shenango.
Individually, Freedom junior Adam Hessler crossed the finish line first in a time of 17:03. He was fifth last year and 14th as a freshman.
Shenango sophomore Carmen Medvit claimed the Class A girls championship with a time of 19:55. She placed ninth as a freshman.
Vincentian Academy, led by the runner-up individual finish from sophomore Tara Lucot, captured the team championship for the fourth straight year.
North Catholic, West Greene and Riverview also punched automatic tickets to the PIAA meet.