Youth Cross Country Challenges Winners Announced!
PITTSBURGH – The 2015 Youth Cross Country Challenge came to a close at the 2015 TRA Cross Country Championships on Sunday, November 8th. Athletes participated in the inaugural cross country series running 6 meets with varying degrees of difficulty, competition and weather conditions. The competition was designed to increase interest in the sport and highlight the physical and competitive benefits of distance running. Athletes and clubs participated and earned points towards a final series score. Scoring rules and summary can be found here.
Increasing participation in the youth cross country program was a major goal of the Association for 2015. The organization spent a significant amount of time and resources promoting the Challenge advertising in the spring with WPIAL and later in the fall with PIAA. The Association also created a series of promotional tools for use and download by association members and clubs.
A total of 182 athletes and 14 clubs participated in the Challenge making the 2015 youth cross country season the most successful in years. Each of the 5 developmental meets saw record participation numbers with only the first competition reaching less than 75 participants. A total of 28 athletes participated in all 5 meets. By comparison, the average developmental meet participation number is just under 50 athletes dating back to the 2012 season.
After weeks of competing, the 2015 Youth Cross Country Challenge Individual Age Group Champions are:
|Name||Club Name||Age Group||Total Points|
|Lenna Birchard||Penn Hills Eagles||8 & Under Girls||1376|
|Yeshua Musoba||Penn Hills Eagles||8 & Under Boys||1416|
|Gabrielle Williams||Penn Hills Eagles||9-10 Girls||1400|
|Timothy Barrett||Unattached||9-10 Boys||1398|
|Corinn Brewer||Valley Speedsters||11-12 Girls||1385|
|Jacques Moye Jr||Penn Hills Eagles||11-12 Boys||1450|
|Grace Henderson||Valley Speedsters||13-14 Girl||892|
|Kasey Turner||Pacer Track Club||13-14 Boys||1231|
|Taylor Tomman||Penn Hills Eagles||15-16 Girls||1270|
|Mason Meddings||Pacer Track Club||15-16 Boys||610|
|Michelle Pompa||Mountain Top||17-18 Women||600|
|Robert Malcolm||AK Track & Field||17-18 Men||600|
Top 3 Teams:
|Place||Club Name||Total Points|
|1||Penn Hills Eagles||4290|
|2||Pacer Track Club||3720|
|3||Get Fit Families||2845|
Each of the age group winners will receive a championship t-shirt, medal and water bottle. Top 3 teams will receive water bottles for all participating athletes and USATF Member coaches affiliated with their team. A breakdown on prizes can be found here:
- Jacques Moye Jr of the Penn Hills Eagle won every race for his age division and posted a perfect Challenge score of 1450 points.
- 8 & Under Girl, Lenna Birchard trailed Emma Orndorff for the majority of the series but won the last 3 races to become the champion by a mere two points.
- 9-10 Boy Julian Pelisserro of the Pacers Track Club participated in all 6 competiton. He showed great sportsmanship and served as the 3rd man for the Pacers 9-10 Boys team that produced valuable team points each week which contributed to the overall 2nd place finish. He also shaved 50 seconds off his 3k time from Meet #1 to the Association Championships.
TRA would like to congratulate all the Individual Age Group Championships, Team Award winners and Challenge participants. A special thank you to all the coaches, club administrators and officials who believed in the program and played an integral role in making the 2015 youth cross country season a success!
Prizes will be shipped beginning next week and continue throughout the first week of December.