Jenna Lang

Bethel Park's Jenna Lang gets ready to stop her wristwatch as she approaches the finish line. After securing the silver medal at the WPIAL cross country championships, the Bethel Park freshman went on to take seventh place during the PIAA meet held Nov. 7 in Hershey. The showing earned Lang All-State acclaim.

Bethel Park freshman Jenna Lang set modest goals for the PIAA cross country championships.

After finishing as runner-up in the WPIAL, Lang said she wanted to gain all-state acclaim.

“Maybe even top 5,” she said.

During the Class AAA meet on the the Parkview Cross Country Course in the Hershey Giant Center Complex, Lang crossed the finish line in seventh place with a 19:21 time.

Despite failing to capture WPIAL or PIAA titles in 2020, Lang, now an all-state runner, said she is confident in her trajectory moving forward.

“I have three more years of running,” she said. “I can get stronger and work harder to get those titles.”

The warm weather, which was above 70 degrees, added nearly a minute to her silver-medal mark achieved during the WPIAL finals, which were held Oct. 30 in muddy conditions with temperatures in the low 40s.

“The heat made the run more exhausting,” she said.

Had Lang finished in 18:22 as she did in the WPIAL, only Mia Cochran from Moon would have topped her.

Cochran won her second PIAA title in 18:28. Like Lang, she ran slower in the event’s relative heat.

Cochran won a WPIAL championship with a time of 17:46.

“Times were slower for everyone,” Lang said.

“The heat had a bit of an effect on how we all did. All the others would have finished faster, too.”

Lang and fourth-place finisher Clair Paci were the lone one freshmen who finished in the top 7.

“I feel real good about myself and what I have accomplished. I pushed as hard as I could,” Lang said. “I’m happy because I wanted top 10. This sets the bar.”

Lang said she will work on her speed during the spring track season. She also plans to focus on strength training while she continues to perform for the competitive cheer squad during the winter months.

“I need to be more consistent with that but sometimes it’s hard to get that in because I do competitive cheer,” she said. “But that will definitely make me better.”

South Fayette’s Lauren Iagnemma figures to be among Lang’s future competition. The junior finished 35th overall with a 20:32 time.

In the Class AAA boys competition, Jake Borgesi from South Fayette and Barak Asher of Mt. Lebanon submitted top 90 performances.

Borgesi, a sophomore, finished 67th overall with a 17:52 time while Asher, a senior, was 86th in 18:29.

In the team competition, North Allegheny swept both the boys and girls titles. The Tigers girls team won with a 59 score while the boys won with 49 points.

Almanac Sports Editor

An award-winning journalist, Eleanor Bailey has been employed by Observer Publishing Company since 1982. She is the sports editor at The Almanac and a contributor for the Observer-Reporter.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!