Born to Run: McFarland, Siegel Piling Up Miles and Success for North Clarion Cross Country

| October 13, 2021

siegel-mcfarlandTIONESTA, Pa. (EYT/D9) — North Clarion boys and girls cross country coach Roxanne McFarland has a simple request for her runners during the offseason.

Run. A lot.

She asks the boys on her team log 250 miles; the girls, 200.

That’s a lot road and trails to cover.

“Not everyone is motivated enough to do it,” the coach said.

Kaine McFarland, the coach’s son and a junior for the Wolves, certainly was. So was Brynn Siegel, a sophomore on the girls team.

The results this fall have shown all those runs and all those miles have paid off.

“She’s always been like, ‘Kaine, if you really want this, you want this,’” McFarland said of his mom and coach. “‘I’m not gonna tell you you have to.’ But, yeah, part of it is I just want to get her off my back, but I also want to get out there because I see how much it helps me improve my times throughout my whole career. So, I go out and do the work myself.”

McFarland and Siegel have been the top runners on the North Clarion boys and girls teams all season.

And they’re only getting better as the campaign hits the home stretch.

They both set personal-best times in the same meet two weeks ago at A-C Valley. McFarland finished in 18 minutes, 16 seconds; Siegel crossed the finish line in 21:36.

“It was pretty fun,” Siegel said. “I really wasn’t expecting to have a PR that race, but it was a good day for a run, so we just ran out and did our best.”

McFarland has come close to eclipsing that time in the subsequent meets. Siegel has bettered her mark on several occasions, including her best finish of 21:31.8 Saturday at the Ridgway Invitational.

Like McFarland, Siegel attributes her success this season as a sophomore to all the miles she logged in the offseason.

“I was probably out running almost every day,” Siegel said. “I enjoy running a lot, so it was just a good little outlet for me over the summer.”

Both the boys and girls cross country teams at North Clarion have enjoyed success this season with McFarland and Siegel leading the way.

McFarland said he and his teammates push each other in practice and during meets. He also said this is the most positive and close-knit team he’s been on with the Wolves.

Coach McFarland echoed that statement. She has been coaching since 2015 and said this is the most enjoyable season she has experienced.

Her son and Siegel have made sure of that.

“They are two great kids and great leaders on the team,” Coach McFarland said. “It’s definitely good to see their hard work paying off, and they’re getting themselves lined up where they need to be.”

Both have their eyes set on the District 9 meet at Ridgway later this month and, hopefully, the PIAA Cross Country Championships, which will be held Nov. 6 in Hershey.

“The scary thing always is for a cross country runner is how will they be on that race day,” Coach McFarland said. “It all comes down to that in districts. You may wake up not feeling well, or aren’t having the best day or the weather is bad. Hopefully everything lines up for them and they get themselves where the definitely should be.”

Both Kaine McFarland and Siegel have integrated running with other hobbies to keep themselves grounded.

McFarland likes to hunt and fish — and has added trapping to his list of outdoorsman pursuits. Siegel enjoys baking — and eating her creations — to decompress after piling up the mileage.

“My dad and my whole family’s always hunted,” McFarland said. “Since I was a little kid, I went out with them and got into fishing and hunting. As I grew up I just wanted to expand my outdoor time. I mean, in cross country, I’m always out in the woods running, and I do the same hunting.”

As far as trapping goes, that is more challenging to McFarland than any run.

“I saw some videos on TV on trapping and that got me into it,” he said. “There’s definitely challenges to it. Just beating the weather is tough enough and then there are some very smart critters.”

Siegel, meanwhile, makes a mean pumpkin bread.

Her recipe was featured here last year on ExploreClarion.com.

“Yeah, I like to bake,” she said, chuckling. “I just feel like with my running, I just need to relax and baking is a great way to do it. I feel like it goes pretty much hand-in-hand. Whatever I feel like eating after a race or a hard workout, I make it.”

When it comes to running, both hope to cook up even more success.

“I really want to get to states this year,” Siegel said.

“I’m hoping to break into the 17s,” McFarland said. “That’s my goal — and to hopefully make it to states as well.”


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