No slowing down

Cross country teams head into post season


Coach Fleck

2020 Westmoreland County Medalists–Alex Jubert, John Dodaro, Cullen Shipley + Becca Testa, Audra Fedor, Avery Davis, Emma Jiancristoforo, Julia Walko

Max Christopher, Writer

Oct. 30, 2020…

Boys Cross Country:

   On Tuesday, Oct. 7, the Norwin Knights raced their final section at Oak Hollow Park against Franklin Regional and Yough, ending the section season with a 5-3 record for the boys.

     The Knights now move into the postseason led by senior Alex Jubert. To kick off the postseason, Jubert won the County meet title at Westmoreland County Community College on Thursday Oct. 15.

     “I was really happy about winning the race, but I had a really tough time on the course,” said Jubert.

   With less than two weeks until the WPIAL championship, the Knights are looking forward to their final races.

     “I do hope our varsity team at least comes in the top 10 this year at WPIALs,” said senior Alex Jubert.  “That’s our main goal as a team, and I think it’s definitely possible to do that.”

     Jubert has had an impressive senior season.  He not only set the course record at Greensburg Salem and Latrobe, but also won the Bald Eagle Classic at White Oak Park with a 15:57.15 time – the second best 5K time in Norwin cross country history.

     While Jubert has taken charge on the boys’ side, a slew of other talented runners such as seniors John Dodaro and Cullen Shipley have solidified a solid varsity roster for the Knights.

     “I believe that going into championship season, we are going to give it all we got, as we still have a lot to prove,” said Dodaro.  “We want to beat the few teams that we lost to during the section meets.” Dodaro also opened up about the challenges the team faced and the importance of leadership.

     “It was very hard for us since we lost some very important runners and leaders like Spat and Tar from last year, but I believe we stepped up and provided a good example for the underclassmen,” said Dodaro.

     Dodaro placed 9th at the County meet, allowing him to medal alongside Jubert and Shipley (who placed 14th).

     The boys came in third place overall at the County Meet with a 76 points, coming in behind Greensburg Salem in first place and Greater Latrobe in second.

Girls Cross Country:

     The Norwin girls cross country team boasts an impressive 7-1 section record after their final meet, losing only to section champions Hempfield Area.

     Even more impressive than the girls’ record is their varsity roster.  Six out of the seven top varsity girls are either underclassmen or first year runners, including first year runner and sophomore Emma Jiancristoforo.

     Jiancristoforo ran 21:52.3 at the County Championships on Thursday Oct. 15, leading the Lady Knights and finishing 14th for the girls varsity.   

     “At the end of the race I felt pretty good, but I was not satisfied with my time,” said Jiancristoforo.  “Everyone’s times were about 30 seconds slower than normal which wasn’t expected.”

     Jiancristoforo, along with junior Rebecca Testa and freshmen Audra Fedor and Julia Walko, all medaled at the County Meet.  The girls came in third at the meet as well, scoring 83 points and coming in behind Hempfield and Kiski.

     Though not content with the County Meet, Jiancristoforo looks optimistically to the WPIAL championships.

    “I think with hard work and dedication WPIALS  will be a success,” said Jiancristoforo.  “I’m proud of all of our freshmen for coming through and helping out the team.”

     One such freshman, Rosemary Gaydos, has been a strong varsity competitor all year.

     “Compared to middle school (the season) was better because you have to work harder at practices and in the summer to be able to run well,” said Gaydos.

     Gaydos holds similar optimism to Jubert, Dodaro and Jiancristoforo in regards to the final races of the year.

     “I think that the future’s looking good because the younger runners will keep improving,” said Gaydos.

     Though for some of the runners their season has already ended, those who will compete at the WPIAL championship on Thursday, Oct. 29 at White Oak Park are preparing to do all they can to win.