Girls XC

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2015 Summer Fun Runs Begin Wednesday, July 1 at 8am
We will be meeting near the track by the tunnel entering into the athletic facility. If you're not away on vacation, we hope to see you there!

2014 Season

Kelsey Potts - 17th at Foot Locker National Championship
12/13/14 - Kelsey Potts was the first Pennsylvanian to cross the line and finished 17th overall at the prestigious Foot Locker National Championship at Balboa Park in San Diego, California. She finished in a time of 18:16 among the 40 female qualifiers for the event.

On Friday, it uncharacteristically rained throughout the day - particularly when the runners were previewing the course. The four PA runners (Kelsey Potts - Mt. Lebanon, Marissa Sheva - Pennridge, Brianna Schwartz - Shaler, and Madeleine Davison - North Allegheny) checked out the course together.

While it rained a little over night, the sun came out and a rainbow even graced the sky prior to the race Saturday Morning.

After each individual was announced to the line, the race started out in a fury. Kelsey was in 38th place after the first mile. 

By the second mile, she worked her way up to 31st place. Through the final mile, particularly on the uphill portion of the course Kelsey kept on passing to get into the top 20.

On the final 0.1 mile stretch, she kicked past several more runners to finish 17th. A very impressive last mile, moving up 14 places while among some of the top runners in the country.

A big smile after a hard-earned result!

A very impressive day for Allegheny County as three girls were competing in the national championship that live within 15 miles of each other.

After the race, while Kelsey was being interviewed by PennTrackXC, professional runner Mary Cain casually strolled by - a brush with fame! You can find the interview here.

Another well-deserved accolade from being the top PA finisher was getting her picture as the headline lead story on PennTrackXC.


Congrats to Kelsey and all 40 of the runners who competed at the National Championship!


Kelsey Potts - Foot Locker XC National Qualifier!
11/29/14 - Kelsey Potts extended her storybook season by finishing 8th at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional, qualifying her to compete alongside the 39 other finalists at the prestigious national championship in San Diego on December 13th. Foot Locker national championships consists of the top 10 finishers from each of four regional qualifiers: Northeast, South, Midwest, and West. Congratulations also to fellow Pennsylvanians Brianna Schwartz of Shaler (1st), Madeleine Davison of North Allegheny (4th), and Marissa Sheva of Pennridge (7th) for also qualifying for the national meet.

After taking a few days off following the November 1 state championship race, she got back to work preparing for the Foot Locker regional with a combination of repeats and mileage. Thanks to Mt. Lebanon boys' team member Zach Dewit for giving up most of his November off-season to train with Kelsey and push her in the repeat workouts. 

On Thanksgiving Friday, the Potts family traveled up to the Bronx and Van Cortlandt Park in New York for her first ever post-state competition. 

Pictures from footlockercc.com and Penntrackxc.com

Kelsey competed in the seeded girls race among 123 competitors who hailed from from Pennsylvania up to Maine. The temperature was in the upper 30's and the footing was solid. The race started out predictably fast, but Kelsey maintained similar poise as she did in the state meet to go out in the vicinity of 20th place through the first mile. From there, she worked her way up through the field to finish in 8th place with a time of 18:01. 
As can be seen in the finish line video screen shot above, it was a tight field approaching the line. Kelsey was only 11 seconds away from 2nd place. The 9th and 10th place finishers were 9 and 17 seconds behind her, respectively. 



It seemed fitting that Kelsey's finish line crossing was in mid-air. She was very excited, perhaps walking on air, to qualify for the national championship!



Her season highlights include:
*A then-course record by 16 seconds at the California University of PA Invitational Labor Day weekend, winning by 1:11 over 2nd place 
*Runner-up finish at the Red, White, and Blue Invitational
*Slippery Rock Invitational champion by 54 seconds
*Finishing first overall in each team dual meet, leading the team to their 9th consecutive undefeated section title. 
*In Hershey at the PIAA foundation invitational, she placed 2nd despite battling a cold. 
*Three days later, she broke the Mt. Lebanon home course record by 40 seconds that current Penn State freshman (and NCAA National Finalist) Jillian Hunsberger set last year.
*A 52-second victory at the Central Catholic Invitational
*Runner up at the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Invitational
*3rd place at the WPIAL (District 7) meet to the 1st and 4th place finishers at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional Race to lead her team to a district runner-up finish.
*5th place at the PIAA (state) meet behind the 1st, 4th, and 7th place Foot Locker Northeast Regional finishers plus the NXN (Nike) Northeast Regional Champion. Her finish helped Mt. Lebanon place 5th in the state. Kelsey's time of 18:08 would have won the state championship in 8 of the past 10 years.
*8th place at the Foot Locker Northeast regional

Good luck in San Diego, Kelsey!


"Beyond the XC Course"
(Note: Two posts in one day! Scroll down to see an alumni update from NCAA regionals.)

The girls this fall did more than just run in races. Here are some of the highlights:

On October 11th, some of the team that wasn't taking PSAT's, SAT's, or ACT's went over to Shadyside to volunteer as course marshalls and post-race cleanup crew for the Shadyside 5k that benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Shadyside.
Front Row: Elizabeth Bolt, Moira Anderson, Cora Broadhurst, Paulina Braverman, Chloe Mantheiy
Back Row: Celia Tandon, Madeline Morycz, Kayla Powers, Erin Cowell, Amy Sullivan, Azaria Kobik, Jocelyn Solomon, Clara Davis-Andres, Kelsey McKiernan, Maya DiGirolamo, and Coach Shutt

Amy thinking the police traffic horse was meant to be used for "horsing around" as Cora and Azaria look on.

On November 13th, some of the girls packed shoe boxes with supplies and toys to send to underprivileged children in poor countries through Operation Christmas Child
Celia Tandon, Jesse Cetorelli, Kay Casturo, Mariana Tandon, and Sadie Saxton

11 shoe boxes heading off to needy children!

The girls danced the night away at the Homecoming Dance...

At the team banquet, Senior Madeline Morycz won the Coach Schreiner award. 
This award is given to the runner who best exhibits the following 3 award characteristics-  1) positive attitude, 2) team commitment, and 3) work ethic. Thank you to alumnus Debbi Fitzgerald for establishing this award and for her generosity and support to the girls cross country and track & field teams. It is very much appreciated!

Finally, something to be VERY proud about, our girls earned the highest GPA of all of the fall sports at Mt. Lebanon!

Congratulations, ladies!


Alumni Update - NCAA Regionals
11/14/14 - Lebo alumni Jillian Hunsberger and Audrey Gordon each punched their tickets to the NCAA National Championship race with their performances at the NCAA Regionals.

A small contingent from Mt. Lebanon made the trek up to Happy Valley to see Jillian run for Penn State in the Mid-Atlantic Regional. Jillian started out the race with her teammates, making a strong pack.

As the race progressed, Jillian worked her way up the field and eventually ended up in 11th place with a time of 20:49 for the 6k course (5:35 per mile pace). Jillian was the #1 runner for Penn State on the day!



The top four individual runners not on one of the automatically-qualified teams (Georgetown & West Virginia) earned automatic bids to the NCAA championship. Jillian was #4! A full recap from Penn State's Sports Information Department can be found here.

So, she will be competing as an individual at the national championship along with mid-atlantic region champion, Matt Fischer of Penn State, on the men's side. Racing in the national championship race will cap a remarkable fall for Jillian, as very few freshman compete in the NCAA championship on a team qualifier, let alone qualifying as an individual.



We also got to see LeboXC alum Julia Staltari (2014), who is now attending Penn State.
Awaiting the finish of the women's race.
(Grace Tandon, Julia Staltari, Sadie Saxton, Todd Gunzenhauser, and Katie Gunzenhauser )

A post-race group photo with the NCAA qualifier! 
(Kelsey Potts, Grace Tandon, Jillian Hunsberger, Sadie Saxton, and Julia Staltari)

In the men's race, Lebo grads Seamus Roddy (2013) and Rad Gunzenhauser (2010) competed for George Washington and St. Joseph's, respectively. It was great to catch up with them after the race. Julie Kocjancic (2013) was not competing but was driving a golf cart around the course, serving as a course marshall.

Audrey Gordon's William & Mary team took the top spot in the Southeast Regional, automatically earning a spot in the NCAA Championship race. This was William & Mary's first every regional victory. Audrey was the team's 7th runner for the 14th-ranked Tribe and completed the 6k course in 22:07 (5:56/mi pace). A recap from William & Mary's website can be found here.

Congrats to all of our alumni and good luck to Jillian and Audrey in Terre Haute on November 21st!


5th at the State Championships
11/1/14 - Mt. Lebanon capped the 2014 season with an excellent performance at the PIAA Championship Meet in Hershey, earning 5th place in the AAA Classification .

The trek began with Hershey bars at practice...

Upon arriving to the course on Friday, the girls posed for a shot with their new warmup tops....

...and did their best "PIAA" impression.

On race morning, the rain held off to the east and the temperature was in the 40's. The masses started at a blistering pace.

Just like at WPIAL's, the girls executed the plan and showed great restraint not going out too hard in mile 1. In fact, after the first mile, the girls were only 10th in the team standings. 
Kelsey Potts (5:34) in 11th after the first mile

(R to L) 
Dougherty (5:59), Saxton (6:00), and Tandon (6:00)  around 100th place after mile 1

Rory Vigrass (6:08) too fast for the camera and in 145th place after mile 1

Frankie Kavalir and Ellie Meinzer going out in 6:24 and around 200th place

As the race progressed through the Aloha Hills in mile 2, the girls steadily worked their way up through the field. Potts, 11:25 at mile 2, began passing and moved up to 5th. Dougherty (12:26, 77th), Saxton (12:28, 81st), and Tandon (12:29, 82nd) all moved up 20-plus places. Vigrass (12:48, 126th) had a similar move with Meinzer and Kavalir coming through at 13:37 and around 200th place. With this effort, the girls' team score improved up to 5th place after mile 2.

The signature of the course is "Poop-out Hill", a steep quick incline located a little over 1/4 of a mile from the finish line that just happens to be beside a sewage treatment plant (thus poop-out figuratively AND literally). The girls used this point to charge ahead to the finish line and secure the 5th place team finish.
Junior Kelsey Potts made up 12 seconds in the final mile on Marissa Sheva, the 4th place runner ahead of her, but finished a minuscule 3 seconds behind her to stay in 5th place in 18:08 (5:51 per mile pace). She took 23 seconds off of her 4th place finish from last year's state meet. More on Kelsey's time and performance later in the summary.

Junior Grace Tandon led the 3 amigos' charge up the final hill and finished in 19:52 (6:24/mi) for 66th place overall. She took 43 seconds off of last year's state meet performance (where she was 101st) and 23 seconds from her effort at September's Foundation meet.

Junior Sadie Saxton strided toward the line to finish at an even 20:00 (6:27/mi) - SO CLOSE to the 19:xx!!! She finished in 76th place, a 10-second improvement on last year's race and 14 second improvement from September's Foundation meet.

Junior Claire Dougherty fought off breathing and leg issues in the final mile to battle to a time of 20:07 (6:29/mi) and 90th place, 3 seconds faster than last year's state meet.

Freshman Rory Vigrass had her best performance of the year at the biggest race, finishing in 20:27 (6:36/mi) and 117th place. This was an improvement of 1:08 from her first experience on the course at the Foundation meet in September. She was the 16th best freshman in the AAA race.

Senior Ellie Meinzer (left) and junior Frankie Kavalir (right) worked together the entire race to both PR with sub-22 minute times. Meinzer completed her final high school cross country race in 21:50 (198th place), a 10-second course PR. Kavalir crossed at 21:53 (201st), giving her a 12-second course PR.

Freshman Paulina Braverman was the alternate and learned a lot from the veterans of the team on the routines and preparations for the State meet. This was Paulina's first year of organized running and she grew leaps and bounds throughout the year. In fact, she did not run under 24 minutes in a race until her 4th attempt - the Red, White, and Blue Invitational. From there she continued to improve and was the 7th runner at the Tri-State meet and ran 22:39 at WPIALs. 


The team score is calculated by excluding individual qualifiers that are not part of a team. From that, Mt. Lebanon's 5th place score was 175 points (3+32+36+45+59). 
This put the girls behind the three pre-race favorites - Pennsbury (68), Unionville (78), and Cardinal O'Hara (104). Plus a big performance by North Allegheny's supporting cast behind 3rd place overall finisher Madeline Davison catapulted NA to a 4th place finish with 149 points. Seneca Valley finished 6th with 189 points, giving the WPIAL a great team day (3 of the top 6 teams). In addition, the WPIAL individuals finished 1st (Schwartz - Shaler), 3rd (Davison - North Allegheny), 5th (Potts), and 7th (Alexis O'Shea from West Allegheny). The state is composed of 12 districts.

Many girls and parents made the trek across the state to stand out in the cold temperatures and root on the girls and boys teams.

Also, congratulations to the boys who battled to a 13th place finish with one of their top runners, senior Ian Baun, hampered in the race by a leg injury.

The "Lebo Lady of the Meet" wasn't any easier to select in the season finale. Every single girl ran faster than either last year's state meet or, if they were not involved in that, faster than September's Foundation meet. Grace Tandon gets an honorable mention for following up her WPIAL "LLOM" with another great performance today as the 2nd Lady Blue Devil across the line and the previously mentioned great improvements over a year ago. However, Rory Vigrass and Kelsey Potts stepped up to very high levels to share the year-capping presentation of the Lebo Lady of the Meet.

In September, Vigrass appeared to be on her way to making the "three amigos" a quartet, finishing only 23 seconds behind 4th runner Grace Tandon at the SRU Invitational. But Rory was then hampered with foot issues and illness for much of the next month. Not willing to give up on the season, she battled back and slowly regained her lost fitness to win the Central Catholic Invitational JV race. Then, after another cold, she re-cemented her spot as the team's 5th runner as she continued to get stronger at the Tri-State Invitational and WPIALs. Her improvement of being only 20-seconds behind the team's 4th runner at the state meet helped clinch the Mt. Lebanon's 5th place finish.

Kelsey Potts' day appears on the surface to be simply a "good" day. At last year's state meet she was 4th and this year she was 5th. However, when you dig deeper into her 18:08 performance on a very challenging course, you realize how special her day was. First, two of the girls Kelsey finished behind were the same two from the WPIAL meet that have previously been described as two of the top runners in possibly the country. The other two finishers in front of her were the younger sister of a former state champion and Foot Locker national finalist (Sargent) and last spring's 3200m state track champion that was 4 seconds off of the state record (Sheva). 6th place was 24 seconds behind Kelsey. This year's race was the first time ever in Pennsylvania's state championship history where three girls went under 18 minutes. The final piece of data to conclude the argument for Potts' phenomenal day is that her time of 18:08 would have WON the state championship in 8 of the past 10 years!

So, congratulations to Rory and Kelsey for their extra-special days and co-Lebo Ladies of the meet!

This concludes the competitions for the season. The girls were a strong, close-knit group from the first day of summer workouts and they certainly showed this as many girls across the entire team achieved what were previously thought to be unattainable goals. The seven seniors and their leadership and guidance will be greatly missed. This junior class that includes 6 three-year letter winners will be leaned upon to continue the excellence. The sophomore class is small in numbers but big in heart. The 12-person deep freshman class made many great contributions to the program and, after going through a season of high school cross country, will be stronger and provide more great performances next year. We also look forward to our incoming freshman class to see what they can bring to our excellent team.

THANK YOU'S
Thanks again to so many that made the program what it is:
-To longtime former girls Coach Schreiner, thank you for leaving a program that has so many marks of excellence and annually high expectations
-To assistant Coach Bilak, thank you for all of the assistance with all of the little things and being a sounding board for the rookie head coach.
-To boys Coach Agostinella, thank you for being a mentor through my years as an assistant and especially providing support and guidance through my first time through the process.
-To team dietitian, professional triathlete, and workout consultant (and my wife) Beth Shutt, thank you for the support for me to be able to invest the time into this group.
-To the wonderful parents - THANK YOU! For the rides to the trail in the summer, the photographs and food at every meet, helping clean out the stuffy equipment storage area on a hot August day, the "vintage" equipment sales, transportation and support with the Foundation meet in Hershey, senior day festivities and preparations, picking out and picking up clothing orders, and the preparation for the upcoming banquet. THANK YOU many times over. The girls are a reflection of the selflessness and hard work of all of you.


Alumni Update - College Conference Championships
11/2/14 - Mt. Lebanon alumni were key contributors to colleges at their conference championships this weekend:

Jillian Hunsburger (2014 Lebo grad) was Penn State's 2nd runner at the Big Ten Championships hosted by the University of Iowa. She finished 24th overall with a 6k time of 20:46 (5:34/mile pace). 
(The picture above is from Penn State's twitter account @PennStateTFXC) 

The Nittany Lions placed 7th as a team and Hunsberger was the 3rd freshman to complete the race, behind her roommate Elizabeth Chikotas (Saucon Valley) and a runner from Indiana University. Full results can be found here.

Julie Kocjancic (2013 grad), pictured to the left, also competes for Penn State but did not run at the Big Ten Championships. (Photo from PSU National photo gallery on gopsusports.com)

Audrey Gordon (2014 grad) finished 23rd overall in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Championship with a 6k time of 22:24 (6:01/mile) . 
(Photo from tribeathletics.com)
Gordon was the 8th runner for William and Mary and the Tribe won their 20th CAA Championship. You can see the results and a recap here.

While not on the girls' side, 2010 grad Rad Gunzenhauser has one sister who just completed her Mt. Lebanon career and another in 9th grade. Gunzenhauser enrolled at St. Joseph's University as a graduate student this fall with one year of eligibility remaining after a stellar career at William & Mary. He returned to Pittsburgh over the weekend and won the Atlantic-10 Conference Championship race at Schenley Park.
(Photo from sjuhawks.com)
Gunzenhauser's 1st place time was 24:33 (4:56/mile) and helped St. Joseph's to a 3rd place finish. 2013 grad Seamus Roddy also competed in the race for George Washington and finished 105th in the race. A recap of Gunzenhauser's victory (including a video interview) can be found here.

Congratulations to all of the Lebo alum continuing the tradition beyond high school!


A Close One at Cooper's Lake
10/23/14 - By a mere 5 points, the Mount Lebanon girls placed runner-up to Seneca Valley at the WPIAL Cross Country Championships, 87-92. North Allegheny was the third team to qualify for the state meet coming in with 107 points. Full results can be found here.
The WPIAL team going to the line - freshmen Paulina Braverman and Rory Vigrass, juniors Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, Kelsey Potts, and Grace Tandon, and senior Ellie Meinzer. Junior Frankie Kavalir - alternate. 
(All photos taken by Teresa Saxton)

The race started on a sunny yet windy afternoon with perfect execution by the Mt. Lebanon team.
Kelsey Potts up near the front with the rest of the team starting smart and not getting burned out on the first hill

Settling in around the half mile mark, the girls were exactly where they needed to be, with junior Kelsey Potts in 3rd place, juniors Claire Dougherty/Sadie Saxton/Grace Tandon in the 20's, freshman Rory Vigrass in the 40's, senior Ellie Meinzer and freshman Paulina Braverman right at 7:00 pace.

Throughout the race, the "three amigos" stayed strong and worked together while the rest of the team also continued to execute their plans.




Kelsey Potts came across the line in 3rd, behind a record-setting performance by Shaler's Brianna Schwartz and North Allegheny's Madeline Davison.





Grace Tandon - left -  led the amigos in to finish 12th, with Dougherty (14th) and Saxton (17th) right behind her in the background.

Rory Vigrass was the 6th freshman to complete the race and finished 46th overall.

Emerging from the castle, Ellie Meinzer used her sub-60 400m speed to work past many runners.

Paulina Braverman closed with a 7:14 mile to move up through the field in the final stretch.

Frankie Kavalir (pictured from Tri-States) had the difficult task of preparing all week as the alternate and was a great support to the team at practices and during warmup for the race.

Well-deserved hardware after a superb effort out on the course!



Thanks to many of the girls who joined us for the day and were out on the course cheering their lungs out and, alongside Coach Bilak (left), helping with calculating the finish line results.
Front Row: Seniors Madeline Morycz, Azaria Kobik, and Ellie Meinzer (Sierra van Dijk not pictured)
Back Row: Coach Bilak, Coach Shutt, Nina Arnone, Kelsey McKiernan, Clara Davis-Andres, Jocelyn Solomon, Amy Sullivan, Rachel Larkin, Mariana Tandon, Cora Broadhurst, Sadie Saxton, Grace Tandon, Claire Dougherty, Frankie Kavalir, Rory Vigrass, Paulina Braverman, Celia Tandon, Moira anderson, and Kay Casturo 


While all the girls performed excellently on the biggest high school running stage in southwest Pennsylvania, Grace Tandon's performance stood out. Grace finished 1:01 faster than last year at WPIALs (and 1:46 better from freshman year!), going from 42nd place to 12th. Also, while Grace, Claire, and Sadie have been finishing near each other at every race, Grace has been the team's 4th runner for each of the races this year. However on the day of WPIALs, Grace stepped up in the final mile to be the 2nd Lebo runner across the line, pulling in Claire and Sadie right behind her. For this, Grace earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award for WPIAL finals. Congratulations, Grace!

It was a great effort by the entire team, executing the plan throughout the race and finishing strong. While we congratulate Seneca Valley on their winning performance at WPIALs, we will have an opportunity next Saturday in Hershey to reclaim the distinction of top team from District 7.

Congratulations also to the Mt. Lebanon boys on their 3rd place finish and qualifying for the state meet.



And, finally, a BIG thanks to Teresa Saxton (aka Sadie's mom) for the wonderful photography throughout the season in addition to many other supports like the senior day festivities, picking up clothing orders, and helping transport and feed the girls at the Foundation Meet!




JV's at JV Championships
10/20/14 - The Mt. Lebanon girls JV runners competed and finished 2nd at Mingo Creek Park in the JV Championships. 


Seniors Nichole Dahlen (left) and Azaria Kobik (right) as well as sophomore Amy Sullivan (middle) took the race out and led the way early.


In the end, two runners from Bethel Park crossed the line before our girls. Azaria Kobik finished third overall in the race. Amy Sullivan was the 2nd Lady Blue Devil across the line, coming in 8th. Next, freshman Celia Tandon had her best performance of the season coming in 3rd for the team and 15th overall. Senior Nichole Dahlen (18th) and junior Emma Furry (20th) rounded out the scoring 5.
The "Lebo Lady of the Meet" was yet another close call. Celia Tandon (pictured left) had her best race of the year, but senior Azaria Kobik (pictured above #1807) was the top performer and led the JV group to a stellar performance as well as being the heart and soul of the team throughout the year. Congratulations, Azaria!

Up next, the varsity squad will be competing at the WPIAL Championships on Thursday at Cooper's Lake. Good luck, ladies!


TSTCA Champions!
10/16/14 - Returning to the course they ran Labor Day weekend, the Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country Team certainly labored to earn a hard-fought victory in the Tri-State Track Coaches Association Invitational.
(Photos by Teresa Saxton)
The Lady Blue Devils achieved the win behind Junior Kesley Potts' runner-up finish, as well as Juniors Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, and Grace Tandon earning top 11 finishes. Freshman Rory Vigrass came in 42nd to complete the scoring, giving Mt. Lebanon 67 points to North Allegheny's 74 points.

Sixteen of 23 on the team ran who ran both at the Cal U meet Labor Day weekend and at Tri-State's improved on their Cal U course time by over a minute. Of those, seven improved by over 2 minutes and of those, two runners improved by over three minutes! That is a testament to the work the girls have put in during the year and their continued effort.

Here's a photo recap of the day. Thank you to Teresa Saxton and many other parents for pictures and support so far this season!
Kelsey Potts leading the way - 2nd place

Claire Dougherty with a 5th place overall finish

Sadie Saxton (7th, left) and Grace Tandon (11th, right) charging to the finish line

Rory Vigrass (42nd) completing the scoring on the day

Frankie Kavalir (94th) and Ellie Meinzer (73rd) working up the mountain at Mile 2

Paulina Braverman with her best varsity team finish - 7th for the Lady Blue Devils and 83rd overall

The Varsity 10: Paulina Braverman, Amy Sullivan, Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, Grace Tandon, Ellie Meinzer, Azaria Kobik, Kelsey Potts, Rory Vigrass, and Frankie Kavalir)

The start of the JV race (from L to R) - Celia Tandon, Nichole Dahlen (14th), Cora Broadhurst (20th), Emma Furry, Clara Davis-Andres, 
and Erin Cowell
With the large group of girls achieving such fast times, the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" was yet another difficult decision. Some of the honorable mentions include: the trio of juniors (Dougherty, Saxton, and Tandon) who helped put the team in a position to take home the 1st place trophy, freshman Paulina Braverman finishing as the 7th runner on the team, senior Nichole Dahlen being the top finisher in the JV race, junior Erin Cowell taking over 3 minutes off her time from Cal U, and freshmen Cora Broadhurst, Celia Tandon and Chloe Mantheiy finishing in the top 7 for the team in the JV race. 
With all of those, the performance that topped them all was Junior Nancy Lu, who improved her time from Labor Day weekend by 3:25! Nancy is in her first year on the team and has improved throughout the year. In addition to this, on October 10th Nancy led Mt. Lebanon's Calcu-Solve team to a first place county-wide finish. Nancy was also the first place individual award winner. Congratulations, Nancy!


Next Thursday is the big day as Mt. Lebanon attempts to earn a berth into the PIAA (state) meet (by finishing in the top 3) and win their third consecutive WPIAL (district) title at Cooper's Lake. Before that, on Monday the JV girls will be competing at Mingo Creek Park. Good luck, girls!


Good Luck in Hawaii!!!
10/10/14 - This Saturday, Beth Shutt (team dietitian, xc workout consultant, #1 supporter of Coach Shutt, and a BIG fan of MLXC) will be competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
(Beth finishing 3rd at the North American Ironman Championships in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec to punch her ticket to Kona)
Beth is competing in the professional classification, making her currently one of the top 40 female Ironman Distance Triathletes in the WORLD. We are all wishing Beth great success on the Big Island from back here in Mt. Lebanon! Good luck, Beth! You can follow her journey and career through her blog.

In addition to Beth, Mt. Lebanon will also be represented at the Ironman World Championships by math teacher and former track coach Mr. Ben Erdeljac. While he "retired" from coaching two years ago, he has kept quite busy chasing his goal of qualifying for Kona and being a great dad to his two young boys. He qualified by finishing 4th in his age group at Ironman Louisville at the end of August. Congratulations and have a great day, Ben! Here is the link to Ben's blog.


You can track their progress throughout the day on Saturday at ironman.com or by clicking on the live updates and athlete tracker.

UPDATE: Beth Shutt finished 27th in the female professional field at the Ironman World Championships in a time of 9:59:49. Ben Erdeljac finished 83rd out of 206 triathletes in the 35-39 Age Group (416th out of 2187 total competitors) with a time of 10:02:08. Congratulations!


College Update 10/9/14
Three Mt. Lebanon alumni are currently key contributors for two nationally ranked Division 1 colleges:

Jillian Hunsberger (Mt. Lebanon '14) and Julie Kocjancic ('13) are members of the 
Penn State women's cross country team, which is currently ranked 27th in the country. This past weekend at the Notre Dame Invitational, Hunsberger was PSU's #4 runner and finished 52nd in a quality field with a 5k time of 17:09. 

Kocjancic was the 8th Nittany Lion to come across the line, finishing in 17:51 and 124th place. Penn State will be hosting the Penn State National this weekend in Happy Valley.

(Both photos from the Penn State Cross Country Roster Page)


Audrey Gordon ('14) was the 5th runner for William & Mary when they were in action two weeks ago. In the most recent poll, the Tribe moved up to 19th in the country. W&M will be travelling to Wisconsin next weekend (10/17) for the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison.

Keep up the great work, ladies!


Undefeated Section Champions!
10/7/14 - The Mount Lebanon Girls Cross Country team dodged the raindrops at South Fayette en route to victories over the Lions as well as Baldwin. This secured the 9th consecutive undefeated section title for the Lady Blue Devils. Currently, they have a streak of 66 consecutive section victories, dating back to 2006. (Thank you to Coach Schreiner for leaving us a detailed history of the Mt. Lebanon girls program!)
(Mt. Lebanon Girls warming up prior to the start- photo by Teresa Saxton)

Kelsey Potts, Sadie Saxton, Claire Dougherty, Moira Anderson, and Frankie Kavalir were the first five Mt. Lebanon runners across the line. It was difficult for anybody to stand out on a drizzly day with a course that didn't have good footing. So, we're giving more of a cumulative award of consistent performance throughout the year for the "Lebo Lady of the Meet." Frankie Kavalir (left) and Moira Anderson (right) have both been key contributors to the varsity team throughout the year and yesterday was no different. While some of the girls were held back due various reasons relating to health and upcoming meets, Frankie and Moira went out and gave a solid effort to bring home the win as the 4th and 5th runners. Great job, ladies!

With the dual meet portion of the season completed, the Lady Blue Devils turn their attention to attempting to earn a third consecutive WPIAL title. The WPIAL Championship meet will be held at Cooper's Lake on Thursday October 23rd. Prior to that, the Tri-State Coaches Association meet will take place next Thursday (October 16th) at California University of Pennsylvania and then the JV Championships are held on Monday, October 20th at Mingo Creek State Park.


There's no Ties in Cross Country!
10/4/14 - On a cold, blustery day to open October, the Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country Team encountered a rare scenario where both the Lady Blue Devils (1-5-8-12-38) and Chambersburg (2-10-14-18-20) each scored 64 points at the Central Catholic Invitational. Rules dictate that the tie-breaker is the place of the 6th runner, where Chambersburg's sixth runner was 21st in the field while Mt. Lebanon's was 39th.
Photos from Teresa Saxton - The Varsity Team: Frankie Kavalir, Nichole Dahlen, Ellie Meinzer, Amy Sullivan, Kelsey Potts, Claire Dougherty, Emma Furry, Sadie Saxton, and Grace Tandon

Junior Kelsey Potts led the way with another dominating performance, winning the race by 52 seconds over the nearest competitor. The second Mt. Lebanon finisher was Junior Claire Dougherty, who finished 5th with a nearly 20-second course PR. Sadie Saxton, Grace Tandon, and Ellie Meinzer completed the scoring for the Blue Devils. 

In the Junior Varsity race, Mt. Lebanon freshmen took the top four spots in the race. It was a very positive performance to see Rory Vigrass, Paulina Braverman, Moira Anderson, and Cora Broadhurst all looking stronger as they come back from various injuries.
(Photo from Erica Vigrass - The Fabulous Freshmen: Cora Broadhurst, Moira Anderson, Paulina Braverman, and Rory Vigrass)

The Lebo Lady of the Meet Award for the day was another difficult decision. Any of the four freshmen were worthy candidates. In addition, Junior Clara Davis-Andres took nearly a minute off of her course personal best (CPB). Senior Grace Simmons was the 5th Mt. Lebanon runner across the line in the JV race. Senior Madeline Morycz had a CPB by over 2 
minutes and freshmen Kay Casturo and Kelsey McKiernan ran 3 to 4 minutes faster than they did on this course in the Oakland Catholic scrimmage.

However, the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award goes to Sophomore Amy Sullivan. Amy was the 6th runner across the line and was right behind Ellie Meinzer. This was Amy's best finish in a varsity race and was over 3 minutes faster than the time she ran at this race last year as a freshman. Way to go, Amy!

Tuesday will conclude the dual meet portion of the schedule as Mt. Lebanon travels to South Fayette to take on the Lions as well as Baldwin. Two wins will secure an undefeated section record and the section title for 2014.


Two Wins at Trinity
9/30/14 - The Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country Team ran their section record to 6-0 with a pair of 16-47 victories against Trinity and Canon-McMillan at Trinity Middle School. The junior quartet of Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, Grace Tandon, and Kelsey Potts came across the line together in 20:46....however the other three may be quick to point out that Kelsey is officially listed as 4th place in the results so they finished ahead of her in a race! That effort placed the foursome 5 seconds ahead of the first Canon-McMillan runner.

The Lebo contingent warming up (Photo by Sandy Harris)

After a Trinity runner next completed the course in 6th place, Ellie Meinzer, Frankie Kavalir, Azaria Kobik, Paulina Braverman, Amy Sullivan, and Nichole Dahlen took places 7-12 to complete the scoring.

There were a handful of great candidates for today's "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award. Many girls have been continuously improving throughout the season. Honorable mention "shout-outs" go to Seniors Azaria Kobik and Ellie Meinzer, Junior Frankie Kavalir, Sophomore Amy Sullivan, as well as Freshmen Paulina Braverman, Cora Broadhurst, and Celia Tandon. The effort that stood out today was Junior Erin Cowell. Erin is in her first year of cross country, keeps improving every week, and has steadily moved up from the 18th runner earlier in the year to the 13th runner today. Congratulations, Erin!
(Photo by John Kozorra)

Also, thank you to all of the parents who patiently waited out the snarled traffic on I-79 southbound to make it down to the meet today!

This Saturday, the girls will begin October by making their third and final trip to Schenley Park for the Central Catholic Invitational. This is the final Saturday meet until the November 1st state meet in Hershey.


Alumni Update 9/27 Weekend
William & Mary Freshman and 2014 Mt. Lebanon graduate Audrey Gordon made her official collegiate debut in the Panorama Farms Invitational hosted by the University of Virginia. 
(photo from the W&M Twitter feed @wmxctf)
Gordon finished 37th overall and was the Tribe's 5th runner across the line with a 6k time of 22:37 (6:05 per mile pace). Her finish helped 26th-ranked William & Mary to a 2nd place finish. Full results can be found here.

In Pittsburgh's marquee 10k road race, The Great Race, 2008 graduate Megan Tramaglini ran a scorching 38:31 (6:12/mi pace) to finish 9th among the 4,500 females and 115th overall in a race of over 8,000 runners. Great Race results can be found here.

Great job to the alumni keeping the Lebo tradition going beyond high school!


Senior Day!
9/23/14 - On a day where seniors were honored and many of them ran their best time ever on the Mt. Lebanon course, Junior Kelsey Potts stole the show as she broke the fabled Mt. Lebanon Park Cross Country record by an astounding 40 seconds. Potts crossed the line in 17:22, significantly improving on the 18:02 record that current Penn State freshman Jillian Hunsberger set last year with Potts at her side. Prior to that, Zaritza Petrova's record of 18:21 had stood since 2005.

The Mt. Lebanon girls put the first six runners across the line to comfortably earn two section 6 wins against Upper St. Clair and Chartiers Valley.

Some of the photo highlights from the day:
Senior Ellie Meinzer was the second Blue Devil to cross the line, as she was escorted by the trio of Juniors 

Seniors Azaria Kobik and Nichole Dahlen finished strong on their final home meet.

Senior Sierra van Dijk dashed to the line to make one last home course pass
 
 
 
Grace Simmons, Madeline Morycz, and Caitlin Giron bid adieu to the home course  

Following the race, the parents put on an amazing reception for us to recognize the seniors. Thank you to the Saxton family leading the charge with many other wonderful families for the great post-race event!


Despite it being the seniors' day, the record-breaking performance by Kelsey Potts was unquestionably worth the title of "Lebo Lady of the Meet." Congratulations to Kelsey! 

Finally, a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS and THANK YOU to the seniors from the bottom of Coach Shutt's heart for being the glue to provide leadership and help with the transition to replace last year's leaders along with trying to replace the legendary Coach Schreiner.

After a weekend off from competition, Mt. Lebanon returns to section 6 action next Tuesday at Trinity Middle School against the Hillers and Canon McMillan.


Mt. Lebanon Girls XC Featured in Newspaper Articles
9/22/14 - Mt. Lebanon Ladies Setting the Pace in Cross Country by Eleanor Bailey of the South Hills Almanac
    Despite graduating four seniors from multiple championships squads and losing long-time head coach Ron Schreiner to retirement, the Mt. Lebanon girls’ cross country team continues to set the pace in the WPIAL as well as the state.....

9/21/14 - Cross Country: South Feature Athlete - Kelsey Potts, Mt.Lebanon by Brittany Goncar of the Post-Gazette


Hershey PIAA Foundation Meet
9/20/14 - With the smell of Hershey Chocolate......and the sewage treatment plant.....in the air, it could only mean on thing - the Mt. Lebanon Girls were competing in Hershey at the Parkview Cross Country Course. Fortunately (or unfortunately), most of the girls were not able to take in the aromas due to many of the girls battling colds and congestion all week.

(photos from Teresa Saxton and Diana Shutt)
In the varsity race, the girls got off to a solid start, finding their spot among the field which was moving at a blistering pace. Junior Kelsey Potts settled into 2nd place early in the race and maintained the runner-up spot through the finish line.

Juniors Claire Dougherty (front), Sadie Saxton (left), and Grace Tandon (right) charged up through the field to finish 21st, 26th, and 27th, respectively.

Freshman Rory Vigrass rounded out the scoring five in her first race in Hershey - finishing 67th overall and the tenth freshman to cross the line.    

Senior Ellie Meinzer (front, 86th) and Junior Frankie Kavalir (88th) completed the varisty 7.

The Top 20 finishers in the varsity race - Kelsey Potts 2nd

In the Junior Varisty race, Freshman Moira Anderson was the top finisher, coming in 22nd.

Battling through a week of sickness and some minor pains and strains, the varsity team finished 3rd on the day. Full results can be found here.
(From left to right: Kelsey Potts, Rory Vigrass, Emma Furry, Moira Anderson, Azaria Kobik, Paulina Braverman, Amy Sullivan, Ellie Meinzer, Sadie Saxton, Grace Tandon, and Frankie Kavalir. Not pictured: Claire Dougherty)

There were many outstanding performances on the day. Of our six girls on the varsity team who had competed on the course before, five of them ran at or faster than their previous course best (PCB) ...including the state meet at the end of the year! Kavalir beat her previous course best by 46 seconds and Tandon by 20 seconds. Dougherty and Meinzer beat their PCB's by 10 seconds each.

This made for a difficult choice for selecting a "Lebo Lady of the Meet." However, the performance that stood out the most was Senior Ellie Meinzer. She has been improving every meet since returning from a Youth Leadership Program in Nepal through the Magee-Womens Research Institute in August and her 6th place team finish was her highest ever in a varsity team invitational. She left everything on the course and had to be assisted by teammates for several minutes after crossing the line. Congratulations, Ellie!

Up next for the team is our final home meet of the year on Tuesday against Upper St. Clair and Chartiers Valley. After the races, we will honor our seniors (from left to right) Grace Simmons, Azaria Kobik, Nichole Dahlen, Sierra van Dijk, Ellie Meinzer, Caitlin Giron, Madeline Morycz, and Karen Augenstein.



Close One at Bethel Park
9/16/14 - The Bethel Park Black Hawks girls' cross country team gave Mt. Lebanon all they could handle on Tuesday in the Section 6 dual meet opener that also included Peters Township.
(photos by Teresa Saxton)
Mt. Lebanon squeaked by Bethel Park by the closest of margins, 26-29. Junior Kelsey Potts was the first runner across the line from all of the teams. After two Bethel Park runners, Juniors Claire Dougherty, Grace Tandon, and Sadie Saxton finished 4-5-6.

Adding in Potts' 1 and Junior Frankie Kavalir's 10th place finish in the Bethel Park scoring, the 26 points was enough to survive a very talented and focused Bethel Park team. The score against Peters Township was not as close as the Lady Blue Devils were victorious,16-42.

The varsity five all played a key role in the victory, so all could be considered "Lebo Ladies of the Meet." However, Claire Dougherty went above and beyond, running at less than 100% during the race due to a cold and then running all over the Bethel Park athletic complex after the race to track down ice bags and the trainer's room for a few of the girls who needed attention. Way to be a great teammate, Claire!

Up next is a trip to Hershey for the PIAA Foundation meet this weekend to preview the state meet course.


Mt. Lebanon Alumni College Update
9/13/14 - Mt. Lebanon alums Jillian Hunsberger (2014) and Julie Kocjancic (2013) competed for Penn State as the Nittany Lions hosted the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational in the pouring rain at State College. Hunsberger finished 4th overall in the race and 3rd for the Nittany Lions with a 6k time of 21:16 (5:42 per mile pace). 

Kocjancic was the 9th Penn Stater to cross the line and finished 43rd overall with a time of 22:41 (6:05 per mile pace). Penn State won the meet over Syracuse, Duquesne, and Pittsburgh (where Coach Schreiner is now an assistant coach).

In the men's race, 2011 Lebo grad Rad Gunzenhauser (completing his 4th year of eligibility at St. Joseph's University after a stellar career at William & Mary) finished 9th in the 5.2-mile race with a time of 26:20 (5:04 pace) to lead St. Joseph's to a 4th place team finish.
(Photos from Penn State's Athletic website, www.gopsusports.com)

A recap and results for the Spiked Shoe Invitational can be found on Penn State's website here.



2014 graduate Audrey Gordon (William & Mary) competed unattached for the Tribe at the W&M Invitational. Gordon finished the 5k in 18:56 (6:17 per mile pace) and was 6th overall in the race. A race recap can be found here.





SRU Invitational Champions!
9/13/14 - Cooler temperatures propelled the Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country team to fast times and a victory at the Slippery Rock University Cross Country Invitational at Cooper's Lake Campground. 
(Photos courtesy of Teresa Saxton)

Kelsey Potts was victorious at an invitational for the 2nd time in 3 weeks as she had a 54-second gap on the runner-up, Alexis O'Shea from West Allegheny. 

Potts (18:23) had her best time at Cooper's Lake by 23 seconds and led the Blue Devils (55 points) to the title with a 29-point victory over 2nd place Villa Maria Academy. 
(Pictured, from left to right: Frankie Kavalir, Rory Vigrass - 18th, Claire Dougherty - 11th, Kelsey Potts - Champion, Grace Tandon - 13th, Emma Furry, Amy Sullivan, Sadie Saxton - 12th, Moira Anderson, and Azaria Kobik).

Juniors Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, and Grace Tandon finished consecutively 11th, 12th, and 13th in the race for the Blue Devils. 

The JV race started off with a bang....literally...as a cannon signaled the start of the race. 

Freshman Paulina Braverman was the top JV runner as she came across the line in 6th place. Her time was the 9th fastest for Mt. Lebanon on the day.











Senior Madeline Morycz earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award for the day as she improved over 90 seconds from last year's SRU Invitational and a whopping 5 minute, 40 second improvement since she first ran at Cooper's Lake as a freshman!

Full results can be found here.

Tuesday begins the District 7, Section 6 team dual meet portion of the schedule as Mt. Lebanon travels to Bethel Park (4th place team at the Red, White, and Blue Invitational) to face the Black Hawks as well as Peters Township.


Red, White, and Blue Invitational Champions!
9/6/14 - The Mount Lebanon Girls returned to Schenley Park for the second time this season. This time for the Red, White, and Blue Invitational where over 60 teams toed the starting line.


(Thanks to Teresa Saxton for the photos!)

When the results were (finally) tabulated we came out on top, besting North Allegheny, Seneca Valley, and Villa Maria Academy. Junior Kelsey Potts led the way again, finishing second to a record-breaking performance by North Allegheny's Madeleine Davison. 

Juniors Claire Dougherty and Sadie Saxton finished back to back in 16th and 17th places. Junior Grace Tandon (36th) and Freshman Rory Vigrass (45th) rounded out the varsity scoring.

Junior Frankie Kavalir, Freshman Moira Anderson, Senior Ellie Meinzer, Senior Azaria Kobik, and Junior Emma Furry were also part of the varsity team on Saturday. 
(Pictured around the mile mark, L to R: Meinzer, Anderson, Kavalir, Kobik, Furry)

Freshman Cora Broadhurst earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award for the day, as she was Mount Lebanon's top finisher in the JV race (13th place) and ended up Mt. Lebanon's 9th overall fastest runner on the day.

All results from the day can be found here.

Next Saturday, the girls travel north to Cooper's Lake, to race in the Slippery Rock Invitational on the course where the district championships will be held in October.


First Day of School
9/2/14 - Our girls survived the first day of school...and were safety conscious as they navigated the traffic of the hallways!


Marty Uher Invitational
8/30/14 - The Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country had their first invitational of the year at California University of Pennsylvania. All results and photos are from the CalU track and cross country staff (CalUTrack.com).

Our girls took home first place with a team score of 24 points.

Junior Kelsey Potts led the way with the win by over a minute and in the process earned a course record of 19:04. The previous mark was 19:20. Fellow Juniors Claire Dougherty and Sadie Saxton finished third and fourth, respectively. They were followed by Freshmen Rory Vigrass (6th) and Moira Anderson (10th). Junior Frankie Kavalir (17th) and Senior Ellie Meinzer (20th) rounded out the scoring 7.

Freshman Chloe Mantheiy earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" award for the day as she moved up 10 spots on the team from her effort on Wednesday. Chloe was our 12th runner on the day.

The girls are in action next Saturday with over 60 teams at the Red, White, and Blue Invitational back at Schenley Park.



At the Schenley Oval
8/27/14 - Meet #2 was perhaps more sweltering than the opener as the Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country team traveled to Schenley Park to meet up with Oakland Catholic.
While it was close early, Lebo pulled out the top 4 spots, led again by Junior Kelsey Potts. Fellow Juniors Claire Dougherty, Sadie Saxton, and Grace Tandon went 2-3-4. Freshman Rory Vigrass rounded out the varsity scoring, finishing 7th. Saxton also earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet Award" as she improved on her time from last year's OC meet by just over a minute.

Up next is the first invitational of the year at California University of Pennsylvania on Saturday.


Girls XC Back in Action
8/22/14 - The Mt. Lebanon Girls Cross Country team had their first competition of the year, hosting Hampton and Fox Chapel in Mt. Lebanon Park. 

Kelsey Potts led the way with a time of 18:46. Juniors Claire Dougherty and Grace Tandon and freshmen Rory Vigrass and Moira Anderson rounded out the top 5 Lady Blue Devils. Senior Karen Augenstein (pictured to the right) earned the "Lebo Lady of the Meet" distinction for the day, as she beat her previous home course PR by over 2 minutes.

After the race, the girls accepted an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge as a team and got cooled off after a hot and humid afternoon. You can donate to ALS research through a charity of a former Ironman Triathlete who passed away from ALS here.


Lebo XC Takes In Nutrition Talk
8/22/14 - Registered dietitian and professional triathlete Beth Shutt came to talk to the cross country teams about nutrition, training, and recovery. Some of the big takeaways were to hydrate, eat more fruits & veggies, and plan out recovery food for after a workout.


Two-a-days in full swing
Officially on August 11th, the Mt. Lebanon girls cross country began their defense of their 2013 WPIAL title. In addition to running, the girls have had pool sessions, aerobic workouts, strength training, and theme days, like College Shirt Day....
....Smoothie "Family" Run Day 
...Twin Day

Thank you to Mrs. Melissa Hatton for leading us through a great aerobic/strength session and to many parents for driving to the Montour Trail and providing food after runs!


Old Site
You can visit the 2013 website here.


Girls Head Coach Contact: Oscar Shutt (oshutt@mtlsd.net)

Assistant Coach Contact: Joshua Bilak (jbilak@mtlsd.net)