The North Hills girls are coming of another big invitational win – they took first place out of 57 schools at the Tri-State Coaches Association meet on Thursday. So, it’s safe to say that the team of Malone, Malone, Malone, Janeda, Brown, Rode, and Palmieri has gotten the most out of the Slippery Rock dress rehearsal whether they needed it or not. Besides, isn’t WPIAL Championships the be-all, end-all for these girls?
Of course it’s not. This is North Hills – there is no end of their race.
“Their goal is obviously to do well at WPIALs and move on to the next race,” says Head Coach Doug Sundo about his team. “I believe that every team has a goal to go to states in every sport -- football, cross country, wrestling, track…” he adds. The North Hills cross country philosophy has long been that every race won is still just a race run – the next steps you take in your running shoes become more important at that point.
When given the analogy of WPIALs to a final exam, Sundo elaborates to show how it could fit his team. After all, a final exam is really just something you get past to move on to the next course. “When you think about a final exam (like in college),” Sundo says, “if you do your work in that class throughout the semester, then your final should be easy,” he adds. “If the kids put in the work throughout the summer, they’ll get a ‘passing grade’ at WPIALs.” A ‘passing grade’ at WPIALs is a team ticket to Hershey.
Last year, the Indians’ had their ticket stamped with a first place at the WPIAL Championships…