Tina Capparell waited her turn.
The Marian Catholic senior entered Saturday's first race of the day---Class A---as a three-time state medalist taking 16th as a freshman, 18th as a sophomore, and a strong fifth as a junior. But the four-time District 11 champion was never fully healthy in throughout her career...until Saturday.
Capparell was stride-for-stride with impressive freshman Lauren Trapani of Warrior Run past the two-mile mark. But in the back loop on Hershey's Parkview Course, Capparell made a move on Trapani (who ran a faster time than Capparell at September's PIAA Foundation invitational on the same course) and the senior was able to pull away from the freshman in the final half mile.
Capparell clocked in at 19:01, her fastest time on the Hershey 5K. She attributed her ability to stay healthy and a competitive schedule this season that included races at Foundation and Paul Short. Ultimately, that senior poise likely helped, too.
Trapani wound up second in 19:09. For second straight season, New Brighton's Alyssa Campbell placed third, running a time of 19:10 on Saturday. Northern Potter's Danielle Potter was a surprise fourth place finisher. Perry ran a 5K PR of 19:17 for a place in the top five after placing 19th last season. Holy Cross senior Lexi Walsh was fifth in 19:18 after missing the end of last season with an illness.
Fairview knew it would be close. But coach Dino Montagna also knew that his squad would come to compete, despite its youth.
Led by a pair of freshmen, Maddison Hayes and Halle Myers, the Fairview squad pulled out the win in the first of many close team battles that went down in Hershey on Saturday. Going up against the two time defending champions from Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy, Fairview won 96-99 over the Wolves.
Hayes led the way, taking sixth in 19:19. Myers, the sister of Lilly Myers (who took sixth in the state as a Fairview senior last year), placed 11th in 19:50. Juliana Robinson was 35th in 20:44, Denise Zheng was 51st in 21:00 and Katie Sherwin was 76th in 21:27 to round out the scorers for the champs. The scariest part? All seven return next year for Fairview.
Saint Joseph's Catholic's bid for the three-peat fell short, but SJCA still ran well to take second. Sera Mazza, the 2016 Class A state champ was eighth in 19:26, and Julia Cusatis was 12th in 19:52 to lead the way. Vincentian Academy took third with 105 points, not far off first. Freshman Tara Lucot paced Vincentian with a ninth place finish. Marion Center Area was fourth, and Warrior Run was fifth in a close team race.