The Westmoreland County Community College cross country team is going to the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III meet. This year the men’s team is playing at Georgia Military College, not the women. They are 80 miles from Atlanta.
Coach Comer said, “The women’s team finished third in the country last year.” The coach also said that the men have never had this many players. Usually, women are stronger because they have more opportunities.
Six runners will be on the men’s team, led by Dante Frescura, who won the NJCAA Region 20 and Western Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference titles.
He had a very good year.
Frescura has won many races. One is when he won the race in September, the beginning of the season. The WCCC team also has two runners from schools in the WPIAL. They are freshman Micah Conroy and freshman Ben Davis. The team has four other runners: sophomore Nathan Miller and freshmen Jared Bowman and Peyton Hause.
The women’s team has the highest GPA of any NJCAA, Division III school. They have just three runners, but two of them are from WPIAL. Hannah Klingensmith and Molleigh Henderson are sophomores. Anna Rubino just became a freshman. She already got All-Region 20 honors, too!
Rubino and Henderson will go to the national meet together. They are on the men’s team. This is our 7th straight year going to Nationals. We have always had a chance. If we have the horses, we can compete with any team in the nation.
This year, the men’s team at our college has shown flashes of talent. They finished second in the Region 20 Championships, and we think they could be really good. “A very strong group,” Comer said. “We’ve been ranked all year nationally.” These people work really hard. It’s an interesting group.
Conroy was a soccer player at Latrobe, and he did not run cross country. In December, he had successful surgeries on his ACL and MCLs. He has been doing exercises for rehabilitation by running. Davis ran on the 800-meter track at Mt. Pleasant. He did not run in the cross country until this year.
“He has come a long way,” Comer said. “Running five miles is a big change from running 800 meters, but he has definitely taken to the challenge.” Nos. 10-15 group is a good place to be in. They will have a flat course, and they are used to running on hills.
For WCCC to do well at the meet, Comer said that his runners need to stay connected.
“We have a good group, a close group,” he said. “You want to run in a nice, tight pack. You want to all come in at around the same time. Dante leads the way, and the other guys follow.” Frescura doesn’t mind when his team and coach expect him to do well.
He finished fourth at the Westmoreland County Championship. That is a good place. He then did better in the WPIAL Championship. It was 16 minutes and 31 seconds. He ran in the PIAA Class 3A meet. He finished in 59th place.
Frescura also took part in track and field and volleyball at Latrobe. He said, “I didn’t really go to WCCC to run. I just wanted to go there for now. I’m not sure if I will do running.” He works hard, and he is proud of himself.
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