As the Allderdice cross country team negotiated its tricky first year competing against a WPIAL schedule, senior Ean DiSilvio had no problems.
DiSilvio is proof that although districts can change and courses can be unfamiliar, a runner can choose to keep his competitiveness constant. He finished third in the Class AAA race at the WPIAL championship meet last Thursday at Cooper's Lake Campground near Slippery Rock.
In fact, DiSilvio was in a familiar spot at the Cooper's Lake course last Thursday. It was only the second time he'd run it -- the previous week's Tri-State Track Coaches' Association Invitational had been his first. The familiar thing was that no one was around DiSilvio except Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy and Fox Chapel's Ethan Martin. The trio took places one through three in the order of Kennedy, Martin and DiSilvio.
"I can usually beat Ethan Martin," said DiSilvio, whose time at Cooper's Lake last Thursday was 16:13. DiSilvio had beaten Martin at the Red, White & Blue Classic on Sept. 8 as well as the Section 4-AAA championship meet on Oct. 2. In both races, Di-Silvio beat Martin and lost to Kennedy.
DiSilvio is headed for another PIAA championship competition, but he's going without his teammates.
"My team usually gets to go to the state championship because we competed in the City League before . So it's kind of sad. Team-wise, the WPIAL is much more competitive than the City League," DiSilvio said.
DiSilvio felt that Allderdice's switch to compete in the WPIAL as well as the 2012 graduation losses of Barrett Adams, Adam Herman and Nick Hoffman were what hurt Allderdice's team performance. DiSilvio did note, however, that his own training is more intense than his teammates.'
"In the summer, I train by myself and I do a lot more than my team does," said DiSilvio. "Toward the end of the summer, I was running around 70 miles per week. On the weekends, I usually just go for a long [8 to 10 mile] run on the day after a meet."
DiSilvio is from Squirrel Hill and typically runs near his home as well as at the Schenley Oval and Frick Park.
Cross country and track are not his only sports; he is also a member of Allderdice's 2012 City League champion wrestling team.
When asked which sport he prefers, DiSilvio replied: "I like cross country and track and I'm probably better at them, but I really love wrestling. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to leave that behind in college. But I love wrestling a lot."
DiSilvio's speculation of his departure from wrestling was not about college prospects.
"Running is just an easier lifestyle," he said, referencing the weight cutting and physical demands of wrestling.
At this point, DiSilvio plans to do his college running at the University of Pennsylvania. He's spoken with the coaches and applied "early decision."
"I really liked the school," DiSilvio said.
The medium-sized, urban campus appealed to DiSilvio as well as its Ivy League reputation.
But before DiSilvio can run in college, he's got one more cross country meet to complete in high school: the PIAA championship meet this Saturday at the Parkview Course in Hershey.
DiSilvio came in 14th for a time of 16:31 at last year's PIAA meet. In the Sept. 22 PIAA Foundation meet (held at the same Hershey course as the PIAA championships), DiSilvio recorded a time of 16:25 and second place in the boys' varsity "Gold" race.