For Patrick Anderson of Mt. Lebanon, the WPIAL cross country championships were just another day at the office.
In winning for the third time this season on the 5-kilometer course in Roadman Park on the California University of Pennsylvania campus, the North Carolina recruit captured the Class AAA boys’ title with another record performance. He lowered the course standard he set only a week prior during the TSCTA meet, clocking a personal best time of 15:41.
Anderson, who has won every dual meet and invitational he has entered this fall, is the defending PIAA state champion.
“Having a target on my back,” he said of being the favorite in each race this season, “I think makes you think about it a lot more and it focuses you harder to get ready for these races because you know you are being looked at and the guys are coming for you. So you have to take care of business.”
While it was the third time this season Anderson won on the Cal course – he also captured a championship at the Marty Uher Invitational to kick off the 2019 campaign–it marked his first WPIAL title. Last year, Anderson placed behind North Allegheny’s Daniel McGoey
“It’s pretty amazing to win this race,” Anderson said. “There was a little bit of revenge. To come back and getting this title for myself from Dan, a rival whom I go against race in and race out and have so much respect for was pretty exciting.”
Getting a WPIAL record also was pretty thrilling. Anderson said that the race basically went according to his expectations.
“The plan was to put up the best time possible,” he said. “Last week (at Tri-States), I wanted to get comfortable with these guys and the conditions but the hill was still a factor and I was ready for it.”
On Nov. 2, Anderson will be ready for the PIAA championships. The state finals will be held on the course that he dominated last year as well as captured the championship at the Foundation Meet in late September.
“I love that course,” Anderson said of the 5K layout in Hershey. “A lot of guys I haven’t raced yet from Eastern PA but I am looking forward to it.”
Anderson added the WPIAL championships were a good tune-up for the state finals.
“I really wanted to come here and have a good performance,” he said of the District 7 meet. “It was a tougher race, battling for a title but I put it all out there.”
USC duo qualify
Alex Shaw and Kasey Turner put it all out there and the two Upper St. Clair seniors qualified for the PIAA championships.
Shaw finished 11th overall with a 16:56 time. Turner placed 16th with a 17:11 mark.
“Alex and Casey ran great.” said USC coach Doug Petrick. “They ran phenomenal races. They were fantastic.”
The pair paced the Panthers to an eight-place finish as a team. Ryan Sarkese, Robert Shontz, Mahesh Lakshminarayann, Joseph Markowitz and Nathaniel Paul, Jr. also contributed to USC’s showing.
“We were pleased with how our guys finished as a team because this is a young group but they are very competitive,” Petrick said. “They were really able to get up and perform well at the end of a very long day.”
North Allegheny made it a long day for all Class AAA boys’ clubs as the Tigers captured the team title with 66 points. Butler (88) and Seneca Valley (163) followed in second and third place while Mt. Lebanon finished fourth with 197 points.
After Anderson, Matthew Quinn placed 25th overall with a 17:29 time and qualified for the state championships. Barak Asher finished in the Top 45 with an 18:02 time. Other top runners for the Blue Devils included: Duncan LaDuke, Eli Lehman, Thomas Quinn and Robert Winschel.