The Cardinal O'Hara girls picked up their fourth straight Delaware County (DELCO) team title over the weekend, led by a 1-2 finish by the Mancini twins, Eleanor and Elizabeth.
While Elizabeth Mancini was the top finisher at the Briarwood Invitational and at pre-states in Hershey, Eleanor Mancini flipped the script on her sister to win at Rose Tree Park on Saturday and win the county individual title. Those two look to be the state's best 1-2 punch.
O'Hara also got a sixth place finish from Katie Till, followed by a 16th place run from Christine Mancini and a 17th place performance from fifth runner Kaitlyn Durning. That gave the Lions a 42-89 win over closest DELCO rival Strath Haven.
The girls from O'Hara are, of course, the reigning PIAA Class AAA champions. It lost the top girl from that squad, Olivia Arizin (now at Georgetown University) along with the fifth girl from that team in Sara Hayes. O'Hara knew it had to fill in the gaps if it wanted a shot at a repeat.
From the looks of it, things are coming along nicely.
Elizabeth Mancini has rode the momentum of a breakthrough performance at the state meet last year, where she placed 19th, into this season. Eleanor, meanwhile, has been top three in every race this season so far. Christine, despite an off day at DELCOs has been a very solid third runner, and Till has made good strides since last year.
The story of Saturday's win at DELCOs, however, was Durning, who has gradually improved throughout the season. Durning was nearly two minutes faster than her season debut at Briarwood, going from a 23:37 5K to a 21:38 5K at Rose Tree. Durning's performance at the state meet will be crucial and her recent improvement signals that she could be a strong enough five to get the job done.
While the likes of Manheim Township and Fox Chapel Area, along with District 1 powers Owen J. Roberts and Central Bucks West will matchup well at the state meet (all of whom beat O'Hara at pre-states), O'Hara has put itself in a position to contend for the AAA crown.
Watch highlights from the DELCO Championships above and check out other meet coverage from Rose Tree: