Fox Chapel cross country team wraps up campaign
The Fox Chapel cross country team wrapped up its season a few weeks ago. Coach Tom Moul felt that it was a rewarding season.
“We had some injury issues on the boys side this season — most notably Brendon Urso, who lost a month of training due to his being sick,” Moul said.
“He came on strong toward the end as he’s a hard worker and good racer, but it’s difficult to overcome a whole month of lost training. He’ll be back to full strength for track season, and he’ll be a big part of our cross country team next year.”
The coach was impressed by another performance, as well.
“The biggest surprise this year was Aaron Ivie. He was a middle-of-the-pack kid last year and ended up being our No. 3 runner this year. He really bought into the program, learned how to train and became a good racer, too. I’m looking forward to his being one of our main guys next season.”
One runner who will be missed is senior Elias Graca, Moul said.
“He’s such a hard worker, a coach’s dream, really. He trusts in the training, works hard and the results speak for themselves.
“He overcame being sick for a couple of weeks near the beginning of the season and hit his peak at the state meet. For a mid-distance track runner to place in the top 30 at the state cross country meet is quite impressive. He’ll be missed for sure.”
Along with Graca, the Foxes will lose seniors Andrew Golio, Chris Good, John Zottola and Jacob Halasowski.
“Jacob was our consistent No. 2 guy, and Andrew was another mid-distance kid running cross country,” Moul said. “He won the team’s ‘Most Inspirational’ award this season for his hard work and dedication. They will all be missed.”
Mary Humphrey will hold down the fort for the girls next season.
“She qualified for states for the second year in a row, which is quite impressive. She had some minor aches and pains this year that hampered her training just a bit,” Moul said.
“She was able to regain her form for the state meet, however, and set a personal record on that course. I’m sure she’ll be shooting for a state medal next year.”
Like Ivie on the boys side, Moul had a girls runner unexpectedly step up.
“The biggest surprise this year was Katherine Kauma,” he said.
“She didn’t run in her first meet until a couple of weeks into the season but quickly elevated herself to be our No. 2 runner. If she continues to train hard, she could be one of the top WPIAL runners next season.”
The Foxes will lose seniors Greta Altmeyer, Sanders Bennett, Caroline Gackenback, Sonia Appasamy, Kat Nestel and Sophia Brooks.
“This was a very hard-working and fun group. They provided excellent leadership and work ethic. Greta was a four-year letterwinner, and Sanders Bennett won the team’s ‘Most Inspirational’ award. These girls will be missed for sure.”
Marty Stewart is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 412-782-2123 or [email protected].