Gionna Quarzo ran into the record book Thursday afternoon after the Brownsville senior won her fourth county meet title at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.
Quarzo wasn’t challenged in the second half of the 5K race, crossing the finish line in 19:09 to join Laurel Highlands’ Jennifer Adamovich and Uniontown’s Julie Friend as the only four-time county meet champions.
“I was trying to have fun with this being my actual last race with my team,” said Quarzo. “I was really nervous. I’m way more nervous in cross country than track.
“It’s exciting to win four times.”
As Gionna Quarzo pulled away from the field, so did freshman JoJo Quarzo from Belle Vernon’s Grace Henderson. The younger Quarzo finished second in 19:40, while Henderson was third in 20:37.
“I was trying to get in the 19s and I wanted to stay second,” said JoJo Quarzo. “Going up College Hill, I was able to get ahead of (Henderson). Then I went for it and spread the gap.”
“I think it’s really cool,” JoJo Quarzo said of both siblings earning All-County honors.
Henderson had a basic approach to the race, saying, “I pretty much wanted to stay with JoJo as much as I could. She out-pushed me on College Hill. That’s a tough one. It doesn’t end.”
“I wanted to try to sprint back at the top of the hill, but my legs locked up and they didn’t do what I wanted them to do,” added Henderson. “I wanted to break 20 minutes on this course.”
Uniontown freshman Hope Trimmer fought through a cold to finish fourth in 22:34.
“I’ve been fighting a cold since last Friday. It definitely impacted me today. I couldn’t breath through my nose at all,” said Trimmer. “I knew I wouldn’t feel my absolute best.”
Still, Trimmer was able to accomplish what she set out to do.
“I wanted to finish fourth, and I did,” said Trimmer. “I’m happy.”
Belle Vernon’s Viva Kreis was fifth in 22:46, finishing four seconds ahead of Uniontown’s Karsyn Lucy. The Lady Raiders’ Ryleigh Kelley was seventh in 23:47 and Brownsville’s Ashton Reposky crossed the finish line two seconds later.
Connellsville’s Chloe Kalp wasn’t far behind in ninth place, completing the course in 23:50.
“I felt really good. There is some good competition,” said Kalp. “I was in ninth the whole time.”
Kalp earned All-County honors for the first time after some tough breaks in her previous three races.
“I was two off as a freshman. I injured myself on this course the last two years,” explained Kalp.
Brownsville’s Hannah DeWitt closed out the top-10 finishers to earn All-County honors in a time of 24:04.
Brownsville won the team title with 42 points. Uniontown was second with 51.