As a freshman last season, Shaler's Brianna Schwartz finished eighth in the WPIAL cross country meet.
At Saturday's 10th annual Red, White & Blue Classic at Schenley Park, Schwartz showed that she'll be one of the favorites to take home the WPIAL crown this season.
Schwartz finished the girls' race in 18:07, almost a minute faster than her personal-best time of 19:01 and 13 seconds faster than the race's second-place finisher, junior Mary Malone of North Hills. Malone finished fourth at last year's WPIAL tournament.
Morgantown's Brynn Harshbarger took third with a time of 18:24.
The race was the first meet for many squads, and with 47 girls teams competing, including all of the top-five finishers from last year's WPIAL tournament, it was a good measuring stick for the racers.
"It definitely gives me confidence going forward," Schwartz said. "I'm excited."
In the girls' team standings, Morgantown won the larger-school division, as well as the overall. Mt. Lebanon took second and Hampton placed third in both.
In the smaller-school division, Villa Maria took first, Moon finished second and West Allegheny placed third.
Villa Maria's Bernadette Prichard had the fastest time in the smaller-school division at 18:51.
Much like the girls' race, the boys' event also featured a runaway winner in Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy. The junior finished with a time of 15:27, eight seconds faster than second-place finisher Ethan Martin of Fox Chapel. Daniel Jaskowak from Grove City ran a 15:40 to place third overall and first in the small-school division. Allderdice's Ean Disilvio placed fourth with a time of 15:55 and Vincentian Academy's Ryan Archer took fifth with a time of 5:09.
Kennedy's time was 25 seconds faster than he ran at the same course last season. He said the weather, which was cool with a light-to-heavy rain throughout the morning, was ideal for the runners.
"I thought the weather was perfect," Kennedy said. "Not too hot, not too cold. It was my kind of weather. I guess it was any runner's kind of weather."
With 60 boys teams competing, North Allegheny won the boys' larger-school division and overall title. Mt. Lebanon finished right behind the Tigers in both categories, and Fox Chapel placed third in the larger division and fourth overall.
Grove City placed third overall and first in the smaller-school division. Quaker Valley and West Allegheny finished second and third, respectively, in the smaller-school division.
First Published September 9, 2012 4:00 AM