Ridgway Invitational - Meet Preview
The Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy girls will look for a strong showing at Ridgway, the site of the District 9 Championships later this month. SJCA, though, is a D6 school journeying up for what should be a good race.
Sera Mazza will lead SCJA, which has been without usual No. 2 runner Julia Cusatis the past few weeks. Mazza won at Foundation two weeks ago and placed 26th at Carlisle last week. Mazza's best two challenges will come from Saint Marys Area's Samantha Hayes and Clarion Area's Evelyn Lerch. Hayes was fourth in a stacked NEPA Invite last week, running sub-20 at Bloomsburg. Lerch, just a freshman, won at Bradford earlier this season.
The team race should be close between Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy and Saint Marys Area. Expect a close one between those two solid teams. Saint Marys is the top D9-AA entering the weekend and it will look to prove that against most of its intra-district foes this weekend.
Elk County Catholic's Ben Hoffman will look to keep up his great start to his junior season. Hoffman won at Bradford and most recently placed fourth at McQuaid in the A race. He'll be challenged by a solid contingent of entries, including the Smethport duo of Darion Gregory and Christian Tanner, the Saint Joseph's Catholic duo of Carter Kauffman and Josh Hershbine.
In the team race, we'll see a fight for mid-season District 9 supremacy. The heavy hitters are coming out Saturday on the district course, looking to gain an edge before the district meet in a few weeks.
In Class A, Elk County Catholic looks like it may be the team to beat, but Cranberry looked great at Foundation a few weeks ago, placing fourth. Clarion Area will hope to get redemption on Cranberry, though; Clarion was fifth at Foundation. Then there's Smethport Area, a team with a terrific top two. There are only two states spots allotted to D9-A, and Saturday will serve as a nice precursor to the district meet.