Kiski Area's Brent Kennedy thought he "ran a really good race" at the PIAA cross country championships Saturday in Hershey. The problem was Tony Russell of West Chester Henderson ran on a different level.
"He ran a great race," Kennedy said.
Kennedy, a junior at Kiski Area, finished second to Russell in the Class AAA race in Hershey. Kennedy ran 15 minutes, 52 seconds, seven seconds behind Russell.
Kennedy had the best finish of any WPIAL boy or girl in any of the six races at the PIAA championships.
"Finishing second is kind of bittersweet," Kennedy said. "It's not sitting too well with me right now, but I also think I realize I ran pretty well. There were a lot of good guys at that meet. I just didn't win."
Kennedy thought he had a chance to win late in the race.
"With a little over a half mile left, I was still in contact with Tony, but he just maintained a gap and I couldn't respond then," Kennedy said. "I figured I would try to wait until the last hill to see if I could close the gap, but he just hung on and had a good kick."
Also in the Class AAA boys race, Ethan Martin of Fox Chapel finished fifth in 16:00. His twin brother, Colin, was 16th in 16:22. North Allegheny placed fourth in the team standings.
Besides Kennedy's second-place performance, the next-best finisher from the WPIAL was Shaler sophomore Brianna Schwartz, who placed third in the Class AAA girls race with a time of 18:39. North Hills junior Mary Malone was fifth at 18:42. They finished 1-2 at the WPIAL championships.
The Mt. Lebanon girls placed fifth in Class AAA and North Hills eighth.
In Class AA boys, South Park's Tyler Rigby was the only WPIAL finisher in the top 20, placing 10th in 16:42. Quaker Valley placed seventh in the team standings.
In Class A boys, Trinity Christian's Ryan McGuire was 13th in 16:52. Vincentian was fifth in the team standings.
In Class AA girls, Uniontown's Julie Friend was the top finisher from the WPIAL, placing seventh in 19:32. Uniontown placed eighth as a team
In Class A girls, Emily Maxwell was the top finisher from the WPIAL, placing fifth in 19:53. She helped Laurel finish fifth in the team standings.