2023 Meet Schedule & Results
Knight Under the Lights....................Friday Aug. 18, 2023................(Results)
Cal Univ. Invitational.........................Saturday Sept. 2, 2023............(Meet Info) (RESULTS) (map)
Red, White & Blue Invite...................Saturday Sept. 9, 2023......(MileSplit) (Norwin Times) (RunHigh)
@ Indiana + Ligonier Valley..............Tuesday Sept. 12, 2023............(Boys Results) (Girls Results)
@ Derry + Penn Trafford..................Tuesday Sept. 19, 2023...........(Boys Results) (Girls Results)
Blue Devil Invitational......................Saturday Sept. 23, 2023..........(Meet Info) (RESULTS) (MAP)
@ Hempfield + Greensburg...............Tuesday Sept. 26, 2023...........(Boys Results + Girls Results)
@ Latrobe + Yough..........................Tuesday Oct. 3, 2023................(RESULTS)
Bald Eagle Invite (@ White Oak).........Saturday Oct. 7, 2023..............(MileSplit)
Westmoreland County Champs.........Wednesday Oct. 11, 2023..........(INFO) (RESULTS) (MAP)
Twilight JV Championship(@ SV).......Monday Oct. 16, 2023............(MileSplit)
Hoka Postal Nations 2-MILE.............Thursday Oct. 19, 2023.............(Boys Rank) (Girls Rank)
WPIAL Championships (@ Cal U).......Thursday Oct. 26, 2023............(MileSplit) (Athletic.net)
PIAA Championships @ Hershey.........Sat. November 4, 2023............(Results)
2023 Season is underway...
Officially the 2023 season kicked off on Monday August 14, 2023. We had a great summer and logged thousands of miles on Strava, met almost 40 times in person, had picnics and team bonding. We are looking forward to our 3rd Annual Knight under the Lights 3K Time Trial and Parent meeting on Friday August 18 after the Pep Rally at the Norwin stadium. The official meet season kicks off Labor Day weekend at the California University of PA Invitational...(continued on "Yearly Results"....2023).
The summer training fully kicked off with our team Camp June 26-29 at Oak Hollow. We had a great week with lots of alumni and Coach Workman from W&J and Coach Esposito from High Point University speaking to the kids. We met close to 40 times this summer including a fantastic team family picnic at the Breauchy lake house at Treasure Lake. It was our most successful summer season of training with lots of healthy stronger athletes heading into the fall. We hope to keep momentum up once school starts as well.
Following our summer training, the official season began on Monday Aug. 14th. We had Spirit Week the first week with Hat Day and Sock Day and Twin day and lots of team building fun. The culminating event of Week 1 was the Fall Sports Pep Assembly and our annual Knight Under the Lights 3K Marker Run. We had over 40 athletes run a time and had our FASTEST EVER 5-person team averages--11:08 for girls and 9:38 for boys!
Leading the way were Annie Czajkowski with a blistering all time record of 10:34 followed by a pack of girls led by freshmen Emily Dansak, seniors Rosemary Gaydos, Audra Fedor and Julia Walko between 11:15 and 11:20. Twin sister Anna Dansak was next in 11:35 (ran on own that afternoon) followed by fellow freshmen Addie Farrah and Jullian Ryba. Anna Rakvic and Elin Bash rounded out the Top 10 for the girls. For the boys, the juniors paced the way with Enzo Jiancristoforo in an all time fastest 3k time of 9:24, followed by Thomas Gaydos in 9:33, Luke Simpson in 9:42 and Mario Breauchy in 9:44. Rounding out the top 7 were seniors Hayden Douglas, Teddy Ola and freshmen Owen Rankin cracking the 10:00 minute barrier. Dave Shepherd, Nick Patter and Cole Kubistek rounded out the top 10. Sophomore Mike Makay finished 13th with the biggest drop of the summer with a 4 minute and 35 second drop from July's run to finish in 11:27.
It was a great Night to be a Knight for NorwinXC under the lights and we hope to carry on the tradition.
On Saturday September 2, the Knights traveled to California University of PA for the Marty Uher Invite. The squads had strong performances in spite of the heat for the noon races.
The Lady Knights opened up the race with a strong 5th place finish in spite of some varsity runners not running. The Lady Knights were led by freshmen duo of Addie Farrah (21:36) and Jillian Ryba (21:44) 9th and 10th place medalists. Following the freshmen were Anna Rakvic, Ciera Berthelsen, and Emily Schaeffer. Kaelyn Lazar and Alex Oestreich round out the top 7 for the day. Lots of Lady Knights notched their first 5K aside from the freshmen, including Megan and Madelyn Friday as well as Lillian Holtzman.
The boys continued the "hot" performances finishing 6th in their race that kicked off at 12:20 pm. David Shepherd (18:50) led the Knights with a 17th place medal followed by freshmen Owen Rankin (18:59) in 22nd. Maerek Moenssens, Nick Patter and Cole Kubistek finished in the top 50 and senior Austin Hladek and freshmen Atticus Knight rounded out the top 7 for the Knights. Aside from the freshmen, junior Cailin Tolson and sophomore Noah Carney completed their first 5K of their careers.
On Saturday September 9, NorwinXC traveled to White Oak Park for the 21st annual Red, White & Blue Invitational which featured over 100 of the best teams in Western PA and WV. The JV Girls got the day started with a 4th place finish led by medalists Anna Rakvic (21:46), Emily Schaeffer (22:19), and Elin Bash (22:41). The most improved from last year Lily Chaney dropped over 6 minutes from last year to finish in 24:59. Following the JV Girls was the freshmen race. We had 2 freshmen girls compete and both walked away with medals (shirts): Ciera Berthelsen (22:18) finished 10th followed by teammate Kaelyn Lazar (22:26) in 11th. The boys ran the next freshmen race led by 28th place finisher Atticus Knight in 19:18. Also running the Frosh race: Owen Turgeon, Mason Madonna, Jack Evanuik and Caden Sanders. Following the frosh race, the Boys JV ran to a 6th place finish. Leading the boys was sophomore medalist Maerek Moenssens (18:37) with a 17th place finish, followed by Nick Patter with a PR of 18:59, Cole Kubistek, Mike Makay, Austin Hladek, and Richie Zula who all finished in the top 100 out over 350 runners!
Next, the Norwin XC Girls Varsity raced to an amazing 3rd place finish behind nationally ranked North Allegheny and Morgantown (WV)! The top 5 averaged 19:55 and our 7th place runner finished 47 out of over 230 runners. The Lady Knight's pack put them on the podium and wearing some new hoodies. Leading the ladies was sophomore Annie Czajkowski (18:56) with a 12th place finish, followed by freshmen medalist Anna Dansak (19:36). The Lady Knights used a 13 second spread to pack in the next 5 runners with freshmen Jillian Ryba (20:19), senior Julia Walko (20:19), freshmen Emily Dansak (20:28) and Addie Farrah (20:30), and senior Audra Fedor (20:32), rounded out by senior Rosemary Gaydos (21:10). The Boys Varsity was the final race of the day in the humid conditions. The Boys Varsity finished in 9th place just ahead of section rival Hempfield. The boys were led by a 1-2 punch of junior medalists Enzo Jiancristoforo (16:37) and Thomas Gaydos (16:41) to finish in 16th and 22nd place. Following these two, was junior Luke Simpson (17:26), freshmen Owen Rankin (17:58), seniors David Shepherd (18:14) and Teddy Ola (18:21).
Overall, it was a great invite to prep the team for strong showings in Section meets which begin Tuesday.
On Tuesday Sept. 12, NorwinXC traveled to Indiana to race first section match against Indiana and Ligonier Valley. With storms approaching, the boys started at 4:00 and the girls at 4:05. Luckily, both races completed as the rain and storms approached. Both boys and girls won in dominating fashion on the challenging White Twp. Recreation Complex. In the boys race, the boys won 15-49 vs. Indiana and 15-50 vs Ligonier. Leading the boys was the junior trio of Enzo Jiancristoforo, Thomas Gaydos, and Luke Simpson crossing the line in 18:53. Continuing the sweep were Hayden Douglas ((19:09), Teddy Ola (19:10), Owen Rankin (19:18). Rounding out the next two spots was David Shepherd (19:37) and Maerek Moenssens (20:01).
In the girls race, the Lady Knights dominated the competition as well, winning 18-45 vs. Indiana and 15-50 vs. Ligonier Valley. Leading the Lady Knights were Annie Czajkowski (21:58) and Anna Dansak (22:02), followed by an Indiana runner. NorwinXC then captured 7 of the next 8 spots with Rosemary Gaydos leading the chase pack, followed by Audra Fedor, Addie Farrah, Emily Dansak, Julia Walko, Anna Rakvic, and Elin Bash. Great pack running and race execution by both teams sits them at 2-0 in the Section heading into next week's matchup with Penn Trafford and Derry Area @ Derry High.
On Tuesday Sept. 19, NorwinXC traveled to Derry HS for meet with Trojans and Penn Trafford. The team traveled early to avoid bussing issues and had plenty of time to warm up on beautiful day. The boys won handily with scores of 15-50 vs. Derry and 18-45 vs. Penn Trafford. Leading the way for the boys team were Thomas Gaydos in 16:57 and Enzo Jiancristoforo in second with 17:00. Following the top 3, the Knights took the next 6 spots with Luke Simpson, Hayden Douglas, Mario Breauchy, Dave Shepherd, Owen Rankin, and Teddy Ola running in an ice pack. The boys got out fast at the mile coming through between 5:02 and 5:20 and then packed up and closed the 3-mile course.
In the girls race, the NorwinXC Girls also won easily defeating Derry 15-50 and Penn Trafford 20-43. Following PT runner Amelia Barilla, was a pack of Norwin runners led by Annie Czajkowski, Anna Dansak, Rosemary Gaydos, Jillian Ryba, Addie Farrah and Audra Fedor. The girls got out fast as well and opened first mile between 5:45 and 6:10. Lots of PR's on the flat 3-mile course and nice weather.
Both the boys and the girls improved to 4-0 on the season with wins, setting up a big showdown with Hempfield the following week on Tuesday Sept. 26 at Hempfield and Greensburg Salem.
The Blue Devil Invitational took place on Saturday Sept. 23 @ Buhl Park in Hermitage. NorwinXC had a record breaking meets with lots of PR's and some All Time marks on the fast 3.1 mile course on a beautiful fall day. The NorwinXC Girls kicked off the record setting day with a dominant victory placing 5 in the top 10 and scoring only 30 pts. over 100 pts. ahead of second place Latrobe. The girls posted a 19:03 top 5 team average, the lowest team average in the history of the girls program dating back to the 1980s!!! Leading the way for the Lady Knights was sophomore Annie Czajkowski with an impressive all time #2 time of 18:10 to capture her first Invitational victory. Annie waited until after the 2-mile mark to make her move and close the last mile of the course pulling away from competitors. Following Annie, were freshmen Anna Dansak in 18:54 (#6 all time time for girls program) and Jillian Ryba in 19:13. Right behind Ryba was Rosemary Gaydos (19:23) and freshmen Addie Farrah (19:32) to roundout the top 5. Julia Walko in 14th in 19:49 and Audra Fedor finished 7th in 19:57. All seven girls ran in the sub 20:00, which has never happened in history of program.
Following the girls were the varsity boys. The boys got out to a hot start and were in 1st at the mile mark with an average time of 5:10. The boys stayed near the front the whole race and finished runner up to a strong Quaker Valley team with 68 pts, 12 behind QV and 5 ahead of Eden Christian. Leading the way for the Knights was Enzo Jiancristoforo with an huge PR of 16:08 for 4th overall, followed by Luke Simpson and Thomas Gaydos in 8th and 9th in 16:27 + 16:28. This is the first time the Knights had 3 boys sub 16:30 in at least 20 years. Rounding out the scoring for the Knights were Mario Breauchy in 18th in 16:50 and Hayden Douglas in 17:11. Also with medal performances were David Shepherd (17:31) and Teddy Ola (17:36).
The JV Races kept up the fire for Norwin XC with the boys winning handily with 33 pts. The JV Boys averaged 18:42 led by Maerek Moessnens 17:58 finish for 3rd overall. Freshmen Atticus Knight with a big PR and run of 18:43 for 5th, followed by veterans Austin Hladek and Nicholas Patter in 18:54/ 18:55. Owen Turgeon, Cole Kubistek and Richie Zula closed out the top 7 for the Knights. Lots of PR's in the race and first time medalists including Mike Makay.
The JV Girls capped off the day with a dominating performance and perfect score of 15 pts. The Lady Knights took the first 7 places and 8 of the top 10 finishers overall. Freshmen Emily Dansak blasted a 20:13 for a big PR along with Anna Rakvic PR of 20:39 for 1-2 overall. Next, freshmen Ciera Berthelsen 20:49 and Elin Bash 20:59 to crack the 21:00 barrier. Closing out the top 7 was Kaelyn Lazar, Alex Oestreich, and Emily Schaeffer. Autumn Stoken closed out the top 10 with a 9th overall and Lily Chaney had a big 5:00 min improvement from last year.
On Tuesday Sept. 26, NorwinXC traveled to Hempfield for a big Section showdown with the Spartans and Greensburg Salem. It was an overcast mid 60's degree day and the hilly course was in solid shape. The Boys started off the day by setting the tone and racing a strong race against a young Hempfield crew and pack. The boys defeated Greensburg Salem 15-50 and beat Hempfield in a close one 23-32. The boys used a strong front trio to bury the Spartans up front. Enzo Jiancristoforo (17:29), Thomas Gaydos (17:47), Luke Simpson (17:57) mathematically won the race by finishing 1-2-3 overall. Enzo's time of 17:29 beat the course record held by Greensburg Salem's Quentin Gatons, a Pitt runner in college right now. Enzo made a move before the mile mark and never looked back, while Thomas and Luke waited until lap 2 to close on the Hempfield runners and take the lead. Following the trio up front, David Shepherd (18:22) and Mario Breauchy (18:38) closed out the scoring in 8th and 9th place. Teddy Ola, Hayden Douglas, Maerek Moenssens and Atticus Knight closed out the top 20 on the course for the day. Overall, the boys record improves to 6-0 in the Section with one more Tri-Meet to go.
The NorwinXC Girls closed out the sweep with dominating scores of 15-49 and 15-50. The girls took the top 6 spots overall in the race with Annie Czajkowski (20:06) racing to a course record as well and winning easily. Following Annie, the next three Norwin runners broke the course record as well--Julia Walko (21:12), Jillian Ryba (21:16), and Addie Farrah (21:21). Anna Dansak and Audra Fedor closed out the top 6 sweep for the Knights. Following the first Hempfield runner, Rosemary Gaydos and Emily Dansak, who fell hard in the woods, finished in the top 7 for the Lady Knights. Overall it was a fantastic showing and impressive run for both boys and girls and both teams are now 6-0 headed into final Section meet at Oak Hollow with Latrobe and Yough.
On Tuesday Oct. 3rd, NorwinXC had their lone home meet and final Section meet of the season against Latrobe and Yough. Both the boys and girls capped off a perfect season with 8-0 records by defeating all teams in the Section. On an 82 degree hot and sunny day, the girls kicked things off with a dominating pack run. Skatell of Latrobe ran away with the individual win, but the Norwin pack captured the next 6 spots, led by Czajkowski, and trio of seniors--Fedor, Gaydos, Walko, then A. Dansak and Ryba finished ahead of Latrobe's #2 runner. The girls defeated the 2nd place team in the Section convincingly 20-42. The girls put 15 runners ahead of Yough's 1st runner for a shutout of 15-50.
The Boys capped off a perfect season to capture Section title by defeating Latrobe 15-47 and Yough 15-50. The boy harriers utilized a strong pack and second half of the race led by a sweep up top from juniors Jiancrisotforo, Simpson, Gaydos, Breauchy and senior David Shepherd all finishing before the first Latrobe runner. Senior parents and families stuck around for some after meet celebration of and recognition for the seniors on a great career for NorwinXC. Cole Kubistek, Austin Hladek, Teddy Ola, Hayden Douglas, David Shepherd, Audra Fedor, Rosemary Gaydos, Julia Walko and Brookelyn Kotch are your 2023 NorwinXC seniors!
On Saturday October 7th, NorwinXC traveled to White Oak Park on a chilly, crisp fall morning for another run on the district course at the Bald Eagle Invitational. The Knights were looking to post some improvements from Red, White & Blue and sharpen up on White Oak course for WPIAL preview. Norwin got the day started off right with a Boys Varsity win. The boys ran to a low score of 35 pts, besting second place Taylor Alderdice by 34 pts. Enzo Jiancristoforo and Luke Simpson ran 16:33 and 16:37 to finish 2nd and 3rd in the AAA race. Following the junior duo was fellow juniors Thomas Gaydos in 6th and Mario Breauchy in 11th. Owen Rankin finished 13th and David Shepherd 15th to put 6 runners in the top 15 for the Knights. Teddy Ola and Hayden Douglas closed out the race for the Knights as all 8 runners took home medals (shirts).
The girls kept the pack running going, by placing 8 runners in the top 17 and having 5 (almost 7) runners break 20:00 on the course. Last time the girls ran here, only 2 girls dipped below 20:00 barrier. Annie Czajkowski led NorwinXC with a 4th place finish in 18:32, followed by Anna Dansak in 19:28, Rosemary Gaydos in 19:41 for 7th and 8th. Right behind them was Jillian Ryba in 19:43 and Julia Walko in 19:53 to close out the top 5 under 20:00. Addie Farrah finished right at 20:00 with a 13th place finish, followed by Audra Fedor in 20:03 and Emily Dansak in 20:09. The strength of the wolf is the pack for sure!
The JV Runners kept the streak going with lots of PR's and medals. Nick Patter led the boys with a PR of 18:25 for 5th place followed by Liam O' Donnell's 18:37 tenth place finish and Atticus Knight's 18:39 to close out the medalists in the JV race for 15th place. The JV Girls were not to be outdone by dominating the Girls JV race. Anna Rakvic won the JV Race in a blistering 20:58, followed in close second by teammate Kaelyn Lazar in 21:04 for a big PR. Elin Bash, Emily Schaeffer, and Alexandra Oestreich capped off the medalists as Norwin girls put 5 runners in the top 8 for the Lady Knights JV team. All in all, NorwinXC brought home 2 huge trophies and 24 medals for a huge early October tune up meet.
On Wednesday Oct. 11, NorwinXC traveled to WCCC for Westmoreland County Coaches Cross Country Championship on a clear 63 degree beautiful fall day. Both the Boys and Girls Varsity as well as JV Teams brought home the first place trophies from the meet, and NorwinXC walked away with 11 of the 30 medals overall.
The Boys Varsity started the meet off hot with a tight pack to win the meet overall A, AA, and AAA with a combined score of 41 pts. Hempfield was 2nd with 63 pts, followed by Kiski with 74 pts. Leading the way for the Knights was was the four junior harriers: Luke Simpson in 4th (16:42), Enzo Jiancristoforo in 5th (16:45), Thomas Gaydos in 7th (17:03) and Mario Breauchy in 8th (17:04). Closing out the scoring for the Knights was Owen Rankin in 17th (17:43) and David Shepherd in 19th (17:50), and Teddy Ola in 25th (18:13).
The Girls Varsity was the next race at 3:40 and the girls kept the fire going for NorwinXC by dominating the girls race. The girls scored 37 pts, half of Latrobe's 75 pts for 2nd, and Kiski's 106 pts for 3rd. Leading the way for the Lady Knights was sophomore Annie Czajkowski with a 3rd place finish (18:49), followed by the pack led by Julia Walko in 7th (19:50), Addie Farrah in 8th (19:51) and Jillian Ryba in 9th (19:52). Audra Fedor cracked 20 minutes with a 11th place (19:58), followed by Anna Dansak in 13th (20:08) and Rosemary Gaydos in 14th (20:11).
Following the two varsity races, the combined JV Races also featured some stellar performances. The Boys JV squads won the team title with only 22 pts, beating 2nd place Hempfield who had 39 pts. Leading the way for the boys with a blazing (probably JV record time) of 17:27 in first place. Hayden would have earned him a medal in the varsity race as well. Following Hayden was a nice group of top 10 finishers including: Liam O'Donnell in 3rd (18:45), Atticus Knight in 5th (18:54), Maerek Moenssens in 6th (18:54), Cole Kubistek in 7th (19:02), Richie Zula in 8th (19:08) to close out the top 10 finishers for the Boys JV squad. It was nice to avenge some earlier season set backs to Hempfield JV and beat them on at County Championship.
The Girls JV absolutely dominated the field taking the top 7 spots for a clean sweep! Leading the way for the Lady Knights JV Squad was freshmen Emily Dansak who ran a blistering 20:14 to run away with title (also unofficially a JV record too). Following Emily was the pack of Anna Rakvic in 2nd (21:20), Elin Bash in 3rd (21:26), Ciera Berthelsen in 4th (21:41), Kaelyn Lazar in 5th (21:51), Emily Schaeffer in 6th (22:12), and Alex Oestreich in 7th (22:14). All in all, it was a great start to Championship October as NorwinXC hopes to keep momentum going into last few meets of the season.
WPIAL Championship meets kicked off on Monday October 16th with the JV Twilight Showcase at Seneca Valley HS. The JV girls started things off with a TIE for first with North Allegheny but lost on the 6th place tiebreak. Leading the way for the girls was Emily Dansak (20:46) with the win followed by teammate Elin Bash (20:55). The duo pulled away in the second half of the race. Following Dansak and Bash was Anna Rakvic in 9th and Kaelyn Lazar in 11th. Alex Oestreich was the 5th runner in 15th place to grab the last medal, and Emily Schaeffer finished in 19th place as the Lady Knights put 6 in the top 20.
The Boys NorwinXC JV Squad also had a tie, but this time the Knights grabbed the tiebreak W over Pittsburgh Central Catholic with 98 pts. Nick Patter raced his strongest meet of the year and grabbed the lone medal for the Knights with a 13th place finish in 18:29. Following Patter were teammates Liam O' Donnell (16th), Atticus Knight in 20th, Maerek in 21st, Cole Kubistek in 28th, Owen Turgeon in 38th and Austin Hladek in 42nd.
In the JV Open Races, sophomore Mike Makay broke up a North Allegheny string of 9 runners to finish in 10th place with a time of 19:34. Following Mike was Richie Zula and Cade Kubistek in 25th and 26th place. On the girls Open Race side, Lily Chaney, Megan Friday, and Autumn Stoken rounded out the girls squad in the Open Race with strong last races.
On October 26th (Coach Fleck's birthday) the team traveled to White Oak Park for the D7 WPIAL Championship. The girls started off the warm fall day with a nail biter. Only the top 3 teams qualify for the PIAA Championship the next weekend. Initially when the scoring rolled in, the dramatic scoring kept fluctuating--Norwin is in, now we're 3rd, now we're out... The scores corrected over the course of the next 25 minutes as happy and sad tears flowed. Finally, when the dust settled, Norwin won on a tie break and the NorwinXC Girls Varsity was the first team to qualify for PIAA Championship out of Westmoreland County in AAA since the Norwin girls in 2009.
The race started out fast as the runners came through the mile quickly, as number one runner Annie Czajkowski came through at 5:38 and was in 8th place. The loaded field took the race out fast and Norwin's pack hovered 6:03 and 6:13 and ranged from 33rd to 52nd place. The team had work to do over the next two miles and the girls chipped away at the leaders to close the gap and move the pack from the 50's to the 30's. The heat caught up to some runners and the scores tightened as Norwin girls hovered around 3rd place the whole race. When it was all said and done, Annie Czajkowski held on for 17th place in 19:27, followed by the 'wolf pack' led by Julia Walko, Addie Farrah, Rosemary Gaydos, and Jillian Ryba in 31, 32, 33 and 35th place. Rounding out the top 7 were Anna Dansak in 38th and Audra Fedor in 47th. The girls qualified and lived to race another day and history was made for the Lady Knights.
In the boys race, the heat increased even more as the racing heated up as well. The boys race shot out quickly as well as the district and state champion from Butler Drew Griffith paced the runners to a 4:37 mie. Juniors Luke Simpson and Enzo Jiancristoforo led the Knights with a 5:05 and 5:07 first mile, followed by Mario Breauchy in 5:11 and Thomas Gaydos in 5:15. As a team, the juniors had the Norwin Knights in 7th place at the mile mark and had lots of work to do to crack the Top 2 to qualify for the PIAA Championship. As the race wore on, the Knights kept climbing the ranks. The team scores moved from 255 points at 800 mark to 155 to close out the 3.1 mile course and secure 4th place, for the highest finish for a Norwin Boys team since 2005. Leading the way for Norwin boys was Enzo Jiancristoforo with a medal and a 15th place finish to qualify for PIAA Championships. Unfortunately, Luke Simpson was the first person out of qualifying and finished 17th place. Breauchy finished in 30th and Gaydos in 41st to round out the top 4 for the junior boys. Closing out the varsity was senior David Shepherd in 52nd, freshmen Owen Rankin in 80th and Hayden Douglas battling a foot injury in 154th. It was a great close to the season for a hard working deep boys team!
PIAA Weekend was on November 3rd and 4th at Hershey at the challenging Parkview Course. The team traveled to Hershey with two vans full of the Norwin Varsity girls team and Enzo Jiancristoforo and roommate Luke Simpson. The team arrived to Hershey and previewed the course on Friday afternoon. Following the arrival at the park, the team checked in to hotel, had dinner, and a quick obligatory stop at Hershey World. The team woke the next morning and traveled to the Giant Center on a chilly Nov. 4th morning. Once at the park, the team readied themselves for a competitive showdown. North Allegheny was the perennial favorite with 5 state titles in a row and soon to be 6, but the Knights had competition from fellow district team Mt. Lebanon as well as a host of other teams from across the state.
The race plan was set to be cautious the first mile because the last two miles of the course can be brutal. At the mile mark, the girls settled in exactly as the race plan and were in 4th place. Led by Czajkowski in a 5:49 first mile and 12th place in team scoring, followed by the wolfpack between 6:10 and 6:15 and scoring of 32nd to 49th and scoring 164 pts. As the race headed to the brutal second mile, the girls were in great shape. At the two mile mark the girls were in 5th place with 181 points and needed to hold spot to secure a top 5 finish. As the Knights headed up the hill to the last U-Turn to the finish, they kicked it in to hold that 5th Team spot. Annie Czajkowski led the way for NorwinXC with an impressive 27th place finish and a time of 19:33, over 1:15 better than last year. The 'wolfpack' came through and secured spots ranging from 37 to 59th in team scoring led by seniors Rosemary Gaydos and Julia Walko, then freshmen Jillian Ryba, senior Audra Fedor, and freshmen Addie Farrah and Anna Dansak. The girls 5th place finish was the 2nd highest team finish only behind the 2008 finish of 3rd place. Great cap to a great season for Norwin Girls XC as they were unranked coming into the season and finished in 5th place in the state of PA. When all results (A + AA + AAA) were merged, the girls finished 7th overall and 5th in Dual Meet scoring with a record of 58-5 against the best PA schools!
In the boys race, junior Enzo Jiancristoforo followed the race plan well and had a nice start and settled in with a bit of a cautious first mile in 5:16 for 144th place in a field of 240 best runners in the state. As the brutal Aloha Hills 2nd mile wore on, Enzo closed the gap and moved up to 106th in 10:58 seconds. Enzo closed out the last mile holding position and finished in 109th in 17:27 less than a minute over his WPIAL time and right on pace with the challenging course. Team scoring would have Enzo at 61st place and the boys look to make an appearance next year and get those team scores in the 30's and 40's. Overall, a great experience for both junior boys Luke and Enzo to experience the state championship!