9th Annual Red, White & Blue Classic
Summary and Photos by Phil Grove
Before gray skies opened up and torrential rains threatened to swamp the final race of the morning, Shaler Area’s Brianna Schwartz and Kiski Area’s Brent Kennedy shined brightest during a wet but warm Red, White and Blue Invitational.
Both had sizable cushions when they hit the finish ribbon, leaving more than 900 runners in their wakes. Meanwhile, North Allegheny (PA#7) returned to the top of the boys’ standings with a 17-second spread from their scoring runners, and Morgantown (W.Va.) successfully defended their girls’ title in a tight finish with Mt. Lebanon (PA#7).
Focus on running sparks Shaler Area’s Schwartz.
Just a sophomore, Schwartz showed that the great promise she displayed in 2011 as a top 25 finisher at Hershey and a 1,600-meter state finalist in track might be just the tip of the iceberg. She powered away from the field in the final 1,000 meters, establishing a course record of 18:07 in the process.
“I was going out conservative today,” said the winner, who was fifth last year in 19:01 and the top returnee. “With about one mile to go, I took the lead, and I felt pretty confident with my kick at the end. I got a pretty good lead, and I just took it from there.”
Schwartz’s effort erased the old meet standard of 18:19 by Hampton’s Elaina Balouris in 2009. She also became the first underclassman to win the girls race at Red, White & Blue since then-frosh Natalie Bower of Greater Latrobe was first in 2005. Katie Grimm of Penn Hills also won as a sophomore in the inaugural event in 2003.
“Last year I played basketball so I did a lot of that during the summer so I wasn’t training as much,” the winner said of the difference in her preseason preparations as a high schooler. “This year I decided not to play (basketball) so I could focus more on cross country and track. I definitely did a lot more training and had a nice base going into the season.
“Basketball was a lot of fun last year. I’ve been playing it since I was real young. It was hard (quitting), especially not being able to see (my old team) every day, but it definitely was worth it.”
Junior Mary Malone of North Hills was the 2012 runner-up in 18:20, while Morgantown’s Brynn Harshbarger was third in 18:24, Mt. Lebanon’s Jillian Hunsberger fourth in 18:30 and Hampton’s Gina Alm fifth in 18:40.
Kiski Area standout best of top returnees.
Last year’s top finishers – including defending champion Dan Jaskowak of Grove City – quickly placed themselves at the top of the 500-plus-runner pack in the boys’ varsity race. Also in the lead bunch was Kiski Area’s Brent Kennedy, who was looking to put his summer of 50- to- 60-mile weeks to use in improving on a sixth in 2011.
At the midway point, Kennedy and Jaskowak were joined by Taylor Allderdice’s Ean Disilvio and Fox Chapel Area’s Ethan Martin, sharing the lead through a wooded segment of the course. With about six-tenths of a mile left, Kennedy and Disilvio were in front and had Martin and Jaskowak a few strides back.
“I like to race, I think it will help anyone,” Kennedy said of the benefits of having others to share pacing work. “If you are running by yourself, you can’t do as much.
“There are definitely a lot of people to race here. It’s a fun race. It’s a great way to start the season.”
One quick loop around the Schenley Oval had Kennedy running alone through the rain drops, with the junior reaching the line in 15:27 for an eight-second win over Martin. Jaskowak was next at 15:40, with Disilvio fourth at 15:55 and Ryan Archer (15:58) of Vincentian Academy the last under 16 minutes in fifth.
“Training went well (this summer),” the winner said. “We are all working together, and that’s a big part of what I’m doing with training, competing in practice.”
Tigers back on top; Morgantown defends title
There was little that John Neff’s North Allegheny boys’ team did not accomplish in finishing atop the Red, White & Blue standings after a year’s absence. The Tigers had a top 10 finisher, a 1-5 gap of less than 20 seconds and all of their scoring runners in the top 26 spots.
“I thought our kids ran well today, not exceedingly well, but well,” Neff said. “I think we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be at the end of the season.”
North Allegheny had more than enough for the field in Schenley Park. The Tigers put up 76 points to avenge last year’s runner-up finish to Mt. Lebanon (PA#5), which was second with 132. Grove City (PA AA #2) grabbed third in the combined standings with 195 points.
“I would put this team up against any of the teams that we’ve had in recent years,” Neff said. “I do think that the times would have been pretty comparable today especially for the varsity races. That really hard rain didn’t start until the JV races so I don’t think that the course was running that slow during the varsity. I was definitely pleased with our times today.”
Senior Josh Zemet was the first Tiger in ninth in 16:07, with junior Cordon Luoco (11th, 16:08) and sophomores Scott Seel (15th, 16:13), Matt McGoey (20th, 16:20) and Seamus Love (26th, 16:24) very close behind.
“This shows we have put in the time in the summer, and that we can set our goals high,” the North Allegheny coach said of his team’s winning performance. “At the same time, we won here today but we didn’t have a head-and-shoulders performance above everybody else.
“We are in a good spot, but we have to keep improving for sure. If we don’t, there are going to be a bunch of teams taking us down in the next couple of weeks. The guys are pumped about it, but at the same time they know they have work to do. As a coach, that’s exactly what you want.”
In the girls’ race, Morgantown’s path back to the winner’s circle was a little tougher. Mike Ryan’s Mohigans slipped past Mt. Lebanon, 79-88, as the No. 5 runners proved to be the margin of victory.
“Mt. Lebanon ran great up front, their top four runners I was a little worried when I saw those come through there,” Ryan said. “I had a feeling that our strength was going to be in our depth, coming through our 5 and 6. That was really what pulled us through in the end, the difference between our fifth and their fifth because their girls up front looked strong.”
In winning last year’s West Virginia Class AAA title, Morgantown had a trio each of freshmen and sophomores and a junior. Ryan’s squad is about as young and talented this year, with one senior and two each from the younger three classes.
“The freshmen ran great, Hannah Pineault really had a very strong race today in her first high school 5K,” Ryan said. “I am very pleased with that. It just kind of fits in there. We had a little injury with one of our top 5 over the last week, and she came out and just ran hard today.
“We are still young with only one senior. Brynn (Harshbarger) has put in so many miles and so much work over the past 12 to 18 months. I think this is a big reward for her to come out and run this, about a 30-second PR for 5K.”
In finishing second, Mt. Lebanon had two additional top 10 finishers, with senior Julie Kocjancic sixth in 18:47 and senior Audrey Gordon 10th in 19:04. Hampton finished a distant third with 232 points.
Flash Summary by Lex Mercado: North Allegheny boys placed five in the top 25 in a field of 500 and had a 1-5 spread of 17 seconds to win the team championship in impressive fashion. Their score of 76 points was almost 60 points better than 2nd place Mount Lebanon, who were last year's winners. Grove City finished 3rd overall with 195 points. Individually, like last year, a new name surfaced at the top. Brent Kennedy of Kiski Area earned a major victory, running 15:27 to win by 8 seconds over Ethan Martin of Fox Chapel. 2011 winner Dan Jaskowak of Grove City ran 15:40 to finish 3rd, Ean Disilvio of Taylor Allderdice ran 15:55 for 4th and Ryan Archer of Vincentian Academy ran 15:58 to finish 5th.
For the girls, Mount Lebanon were the best PA team on the day, finishing 2nd with a score of 88 points, 9 points behind West Virginia's Morgantown. Jillian Hunsburger led the way with a 4th place finish and Mount Lebanon placed three in the top ten. Hampton finished 3rd, North Allegheny finished 4th and Hempfield Area rounded out the top five. Individual gold medal honors went to Brianna Schwartz of Shaler Area. Her time of 18:07 was 13 seconds better than Mary Malone of North Hills. Gina Alm of Hampton rounded out the top five individuals in 18:40.
Photo Gallery by Phil Grove
Photo Gallery by Derrik Cleveland
Brianna Schwartz, Varsity Girls Champ
Morgantown WV Coach Mike Ryan
PTXC 4 - Presented by New Balance
All photos by Don Rich and Patty Morgan
Varsity Girls Gold (seeded) Race
By Cory Mull
Around the two-mile mark during the high school girls’ gold race, Elk County Catholic junior Kennedy Weisner made the slightest move to take control and establish her presence.
The only thing that was surprising, at least for Weisner, was that her move was so dominant that it floored away the rest of her competitors. The 2011 PIAA Class AA cross country runner-up captured her first PTXC championship race, winning in 18:24.87 behind an average mile of 5:55.7.
“I was just planning on going out with the lead group and seeing where it went from there,” Weisner said afterward.
The junior, looking quite a bit stronger than her sophomore campaign, was a smooth operator during the sometimes hilly Kutztown University layout as she shod second-place Greta Lindsley of Penn Manor (18:34.21) and third-place Regan Rome of Dalls (18:46.08). Lindsley and Rome are also both juniors.
“I built up my mileage over the summer, getting to about 50 miles,” said Weisner. “I was just trying to get a base and work on hills.”
What also seemed to complement Weisner, however, was some added muscle. The junior added a strength training piece to her regiment over the summer, she said, as heralded advice alongside her mother, who watched over all matters of her training.
“I think more than just running, I used more strength training,” Weisner said. “My mother, who also coaches me, helped me schedule things and train.”
Meanwhile, last year’s Lancaster-Lebanon and District 3 Class AAA champion, Lindsley, also looked very strong, displaying a final kick that warded off Rome, a 5th-place finisher last year at states.
Lindsley, who was eighth in the same race, trained in high altitude in Colorado during a summer camp, which contributed to her strength on the hills. The offseason work seemed to pay off, Lindsley said, as the Penn Manor junior secured an impressive finish early in the season.
“That really helped,” Lindsley said of the camp. “I ran with an elite athlete up there and we put together a 70 mile week.”
It seemed to be enough to outstretch Rome, who ran a measured race from start to finish. The Dallas junior made a concerted effort to run consistently from the first to last mile, she said.
“I made sure I didn’t go out too fast,” Rome said. “I worked up to the leaders and went from there. I don’t like going out too fast, because honestly it hurts. I did that last week.”
Rome seems to be in good position, though, as her time, which translates to a 6:02.5 mile, puts her in position to eclipse the 6-minute barrier. She and Lindsley held strong with Weisner before the Elk County junior began to jumpstart the pace.
“I was hoping to make a move at the two mile,” Rome said. “That’s when Greta and I made our move and went together. We pulled away from the field at that point.”
Overall Results: Cumberland Valley freshman Mady Clahane took the honor as most impressive freshman, finishing in fourth in 18:57.84. The former soccer player kept tough with the lead runners before they took off at the two-mile mark.
Saucon Valley junior Liz Chikotas was fifth in 18:58.40, while Holy Redeemer seniors Rachel Sowinksi (19:33.26) and Marissa Durako (19:46.55) took seventh and eighth, respectively. Central’s Lucy Van Kleunen was ninth in 19:46.91, while Cumberland Valley senior Carol Strock claimed 10th in 19:47.81.
Dallas captured the team title by placing five in the top 31. All top teams were missing an athlete or two because of SAT's.
Varsity Boys Gold (seeded Race)
By Cory Mull
Perhaps Northeast Bradford senior Sam Williams had something to prove. Or maybe he’s just that good.
Whatever came over Williams, a fourth-place finisher in last year’s PIAA Class AA race, it seemed to show Saturday during the high school boys’ gold race as Williams’ finishing kick burned through a crowded field en route to a 16:04.18 win at the 4th annual PennTrackXC cross country Invitational at Kutztown University.
Williams, perhaps overshadowed a bit entering a field that included Class AAA champ Conner Quinn of Hatboro-Horsham (6th, 16:33.66) and Class AA champ Brendan Shearn of North Schuylkill (7th, 16:35.02), annihilated the final 400-meters to claim victory.
Better yet, he was very aware of the field and its participants. Part of that motivated him, actually.
“I’m pretty happy with the finish,” Williams said. “I knew the field was outstanding, with guys like Brendan and Conner, who were the two best at states last year. To be with them in the end and to be able to finish like I did, I’m just thankful.”
The field stuck firm through two-miles at Kutztown, as a gentle downhill descent urged runners to make their final moves. Quinn led most of the race, but as the downhill came, Williams and a few others had some extra pop in their legs.
“Today was my first race back,” Quinn said of his initial race of the 2012 season. “It felt really fast in the first mile and by the final 2,000-meters, a few of the guys took off and I didn’t have the pop left in my legs. I have to give it to them, those guys were better than me today.”
Dallas junior Dom DeLuca, who finished second in 16:07.07, actually took the lead for a stretch in the final meters as the race turned to a sprint. He, along with Baltimore-based Michael Wegner (16:08.38) and Lower Dauphin’s Jeff Groh (16:09.81), all pushed toward a frenzied finish.
But it was Williams’ strength on the final hill that gave him the final advantage.
“That was the biggest move,” Williams said. “It seems that’s when everyone said to themselves, ‘Let’s go.’ I felt confident in the final stretch, though.”
DeLuca may have been the most impressive finish, though. He was second in the District 2 field last year and followed with a 48th-place finish at the PIAA Class AAA championships.
A heavy dose of hill workouts over the offseason contributed to his strong performance early.
“Hills, hills, hills,” DeLuca said of the Dallas area. “There are no flat runs in my area. So working with those really benefited me in this race.”
As for Shearn, he’s learning from the experience and moving on. The senior, running on a heavy cold, was bleeding from his toes after the race, which he said may have been caused by a cleat late in the race.
“I just tried to fight it out,” he said. “I tried to hold on as much as I could, but I just didn’t have it. Sam killed it.”
Overall results: Northeast Bradford senior Curt Jewett was fifth in 16:23.34, while Lower Dauphin junior Cole Nissley was eighth in 16:39.47. Cumberland Valley senior Alec Kunzweiler was ninth in 16:41.69 while Hershey’s Nate Hamilton rounded out the top 10 in 16:46.32.
Lower Dauphin took the team title, scoring 94 points, which was five points better than Hershey’s 99. Cumberland Valley bookended a strong opening for the Mid-Penn competitors, coming in at third with 99 points.
Varsity Girls Blue Race
By Cory Mull
The Lower Dauphin girls’ varsity cross country team graduated a slate of veteran upperclassmen in 2011.
That’s one reason why Falcon’s head coach John Butler and assistant coaches Maureen Butler and Mary Dell elected the girls’ team to feature in the girls’ varsity blue race instead of the gold.
However, if pushed, the Falcons may have competed all the same at the 4th annual PennTrackXC cross country Invitational at Kutztown University.
Lower Dauphin junior DeeDee Shea, displaying the same form that made her standout as a freshman, breezed through the field en route to a first-place finish of 19:12.
“She had a great track season,” Maureen Butler said of Shea. “She was a state qualifier and I think she used that performance as a means to start this season.”
Lower Dauphin, meanwhile, was fourth in the girls’ field, scoring 138 points. It was a solid finish, just behind winners Red Land (117), Wyomissing (118) and William Tennent (137 points).
Individually, Shea was leaps and bounds ahead of the field in the blue race, taking the lead from the gun and maintaining it throughout. Her progression as a veteran runner was evident.
However, she wasn’t challenged in the varsity blue race.
“I just like to have fun,” Shea said. “I don’t worry about times or places.”
Wyomissing junior Devi Jagadesan, sporting pink calve impression sleeves, was second in 20:02.
Jagadesan was also in control of her position, nearly 300-meters in front of the next fastest competitor.
“Since this is my first full season, I would like to continue to improve,” she said. “We won districts last year, so I would like to help my team as much as possible this year.”
Jagadesan is on the right path. Needing just two seconds to break 20-minutes for the first time in her career, she seems poised to improve on a larger scale.
Overall, Trinity junior Emily Dethlefs was third, Bishop McDevitt senior Sara Miller was fourth and Lampeter Strasburg senior Joslin Sellers was fifth.
Kutztown junior Madeline Short was sixth, while William Tennent sophomore Karlie Brasch was seventh and Lower Dauphin freshman Ella Breidenstine was eighth.
Altoona Area junior Hayley Weaver was ninth, while Lower Merion junior Duranya Freeman rounded out the top 10.
Varsity Boys Blue Race
By Cory Mull
Paul VI High School cross country head coach Breton Bonnette made a tough decision recently.
Factoring in morning bus schedules and wakeup calls, was his team to run in the boys’ gold or blue races during the 4th annual PennTrackXC Invitational at Kutztown University?
With a 80-mile trip in store from Haddonfield, N.J., Bonnette made the decision to schedule his team to run in the blue race.
And to reward Bonnette for his decision-making skills, his team proceeded to win that division with 83 points on Saturday. New Jersey rival Morris Hills was second with 87 points, while Red Land was third with 111 points.
“We’re part of a really tough parochial division in New Jersey, against heavyweights like Pope John and Don Boscoe,” Bonnette said. “We like to get out of state when we can and see some of these rolling hill courses of Pennsylvania.”
“The start time for the gold race was a little early for us,” Bonnette said. “So we made the decision to run in the blue race.”
Senior Neil MacFarlane finished second overall in 17:04.56, clocking an average mile of 5:29.8. He was six seconds behind the eventual winner, Osbourn Park (Va.) senior Jon Lopacki, who finished in 16:58.33.
The muscular Lopacki maintained control for most of the way, logging a mile of 5:27.8.
“I was familiar with this course from last year,” Lopacki said. “I took it out early and worked toward the first mile, when my dad showed me my time [5 minutes].”
The top 10 was crowded with a number of finishers from different schools, though Paul VI junior George Balzer managed to give his team the highest two-finisher result in the top 10. Lampeter Strasburg’s Evan Pugh (17:36.08) and Joe Long (17:41.51) finished ninth and 10th, respectively.
For Paul VI, Adam Verna’s 17:56.56 made it three finishers within the top 12.
Red Land junior Aaron Lauer was third in 17:17.94, Morris Hills senior Robert Biro was fourth in 17:22.97 and Wyomissing’s Kyle Shinn was fifth in 17:29.88.
Trinity senior William Edwards was sixth in 17:31, while Southern Columbia’s Andrew Steely was eighth in 17:35.14.
Junior Varsity Girls Race
By Cory Mull
Placing five runners in the top 11, the Central Bucks West girls’ jayvee cross country team scored an overwhelming victory in the race during the PennTrackXC Invitational at Kutztown University on Saturday.
Senior Olivia DeTorre, who was looking to inch closer to varsity competition, won the race in 22:29.40.
“I was injured in the late part of last season,” DeTorre said. “But I was on varsity earlier and I’m looking to get back on the team.”
Sophomore jayvee teammate Sophie Pyrz was second in 22:46.68, while junior Katie Vaughn came across the finish in eighth in 23:36.08.
Freshmen Jillian Keyte (23:41.61) and Cecilia Davies (23:52.80) rounded out the point-scorers for Central Bucks West.
Meanwhile, the Chambersburg girls’ team placed three finishers in the top 10 and five within the top 26.
The sophomore trio of Jennifer Maxwell (23:18.71), Deanna Frey (23:21.01) and Molly Foreman (23:26.86) went four, five and six for the Trojans.
Junior Varsity Boys Race
By Cory Mull
In the boys’ jayvee race, Cumberland Valley freshman Owen Seeber made an impressive first showing with a winning time of 18:22.45. The freshman has high hopes of making varsity later in the season, and seems poised to achieve that task.
“This is the first race, of any kind that I’ve won,” Seeber said.
“Over the offseason we practiced three times a week and we ran close to 40 miles a week,” he continued. “I think that helped me prepare for the season.
Senior teammate Alley Soliman, who was an alternate on the Eagles’ state 4 x 800-meter team in track, was second in 18:40.32.
“I knew I had to start off fast,” Soliman said, “so I just tried to maintain as much as I could. I typically run a fast first mile.”
Altoona Area had three finishers place within the top 10.
Sophomore Jerrod Sunderland was third in 18:43.52, junior Khristian Delozier was fourth in 18:51.61 and sophomore Dominic Stroh was sixth in 18:59.15.
Sophomore teammates at Lower Dauphin, Drew Flickinger (19:09.30) and John Dahmus (19:10.70) were eighth and ninth, respectively.
Cumberland Valley junior Jazz Ritter was 10th in 19:10.94, while Emmaus freshman was Luke Pukanecz was ninth in 18:54.32.
Cumberland Valley claimed the boys’ jayvee title with 39 points, while Altoona was second with 65 points and Lower Dauphin was third with 127 points.
Middle School Girls Race
By Cory Mull
In the girls’ field, Kayla Connelly of Quakertown, finished first in the field in 10:07.73.
Competing in cross country for the first time, Connelly struck a deal with her head coach, Matt Connelly -- also her father. The younger Connelly previously attempted to jumpstart her running career in the fourth grade, she said, before a bad experience halted her until Saturday.
“I made a deal with her,” Matt Connelly said. “If she ran this year, I would take her out for donuts afterward.”
A strong soccer player in the spring, Connelly showed glimpses of her potential over the CYO track season when she clocked a 5:22 mile, first in her class.
“We would like her to get down to 5:10 by the track season,” he said, “so this cross country season will give her a good base to work from.”
In the girls’ field, Saucon Valley scored its second win, totaling 18 points, while Oley Valley followed in second with 38 points. Meera Jagadesan was second overall in the individual race, clocking a 10:28.84, while Saucon Valley’s Katherine Ross followed in third in 10:47.59.
Middle School Boys Race
By Cory Mull
Northeast Bradford’s Austin Senn-Bishop and Garrett Smith secured first and second place in the middle-school boys’ and girls’ race as the 4th annual PennTrackXC Invitational began at Kutztown University on Saturday.
Senn-Bishop crossed the finish line in 9 minutes, 12.74 seconds and Smith in 9:13.30, as the pair, friends since elementary school and teammates for the first time in cross country, flew through the abbreviated 2,500-meter course.
“It’s exciting because, and I know this is weird to say, but the middle school race helps us set the tone for the varsity runners,” Northeast Bradford head junior high and varsity coach Mike Murphy said. “They look at this as our middle school boys did well, so we need to continue on the right note. It snowballs from there.”
Senn-Bishop established his lead early, rolling through a hilly course in good form before Smith, a first-year runner and basketball teammate, caught up late.
“He caught me toward the end,” Senn-Bishop said, “but it helped me compete more in the end.”
The pair finished 1-2 in their last meet, which may have paved the way for their similar finish Saturday, Murphy indicated. Senn-Bishop also believed his team’s preseason work on Northeast Bradford hills prepared him for it somewhat.
“Our school works on hills a lot during the preseason, so we were ready for it,” Senn-Bishop said. “We have a decent course to practice with.”
Third-place Ethan Bernstein from Saucon Valley also finished strong, crossing the finish line in 9:27.25. Saucon Valley head coach Ed Kolosky thought the large middle school field contributed to the strong race from Bernstein.
“I think it’s a very important race, “ Kolosky said. “The more exposure you have in a big field, it helps the kids improve and set new goals.”
Overall Results: In the boys’ field, Saucon Valley and Oley Valley finished tied first in team results, scoring 28 point overall, with Saucon Valley taking the team title on the tie-breaker. Mahanoy Area came in third with 76 points.
Flash Summary by Lex Mercado
Sam Williams of Northeast Bradford broke away from an eight person lead pack to win the individual gold medal in 16:04. Dominic Deluca of Dallas finished 2nd while Michael Wenger finished 3rd. Lower Dauphin edged out Hershey and Cumberland Valley 94-99-99 to win the team title. For the blue race, Aaron Lauer of Red Land was the top PA finished, running 17:17 to finish 3rd and his team were also the top PA squad with a 3rd place finish of 111 points. For the girls, Kennedy Weisner of Elk County Catholic ran 18:24 to win by 10 seconds over Greta Lindsley of Penn Manor. Regan Rome of Dallas ran 18:46 to finish 3rd. Team honors went to Dallas with a score of 80 points, 34 points better than Cumberland Valley. In the blue race, PTXC 2 bronze medalist DeeDee Shea of Lower Dauphin cruised to the team title by nearly 90 seconds with a winning time of 19:17. Her performance led her team to a 3rd place finish behind 2nd place William Tennent and champions Red Land.
Preview by Lex Mercado
The boys Gold race will feature debut races for last year's state champions. 2011 AAA champion Conner Quinn of Hatboro Horsham and 2011 AA champion and PTXC 3 winner Brendan Shearn of North Schuylkill will be going head to head to start their seasons. Kutztown will be the first step towards their chance of achieving the rare feat of repeating as state champion. The Northeast Bradford duo of Sam Williams and Curt Jewett will challenge the two champions and look to earn their first wins of the season.
A new champion will be crowned in this year's race. Chambersburg finished 2nd in last year's race, and they will face stiff competition from Cumberland Valley and PTXC 2 champions Altoona, who were 5th a year ago. Northeast Bradford could also be in the mix with their two frontrunners, while Hatboro Horsham will look to impress with Conner Quinn leading the way. Osbourne Park (VA) return for the 3rd straight years and the boys finished 3rd in last year's race. Lower Dauphin were 4th a year ago.
The girls race has brought high quality fields each and every season, and this year is no different. Some of the individuals that will be challenging the field include PTXC 3 6th place finisher Kennedy Weisner of Elk County Catholic, Regan Rome of Dallas, 2010 AAA runner up Paige Stoner of Pottsville, PTXC 3 7th place finisher Kathryn Skinner of Penn Charter, Elizabeth Chikotas of Saucon Valley, and Greta Lindsley of Penn Manor. Weisner earned a very comfortable early season victory last week at the Big Valley Invitational and will be favorite on Saturday after her huge spring season. Chikotas (Lions Invitational) and Rome (Cliff Robbins) won gold medals in their debut races last season. Chikotas will be a contender for the district 1 crown come October and Rome will be one of the favorites for the AA state gold medal.
Downingtown East make their season debut as one of the contenders to win the AAA crown come November. The district 1 powerhouse had several close finishes last season and will look to start the season on the right foot. The team will be led by Katelyn Callaghan and Anja Weiler. Conrad Weiser, Chambersburg, and Lower Dauphin finished in the top five last season and will look to better those performances. Academy of Notre Dame will look to improve on their 7th place performance last year.
The course records for this meet were run in very muddy conditions. Saturday should be a nice day with mostly dry conditions, giving competitors a chance at breaking the new records. Angel Piccirillo ran 18:39 to win last year and defending champion Brendan Shearn ran 16:24 to win gold.
Photo Gallery by Don Rich
Photo Gallery by Patty Morgan
(our apologies, camera battery died just prior to JV races)
Varsity Girls Gold (seeded)
Varsity Boys Gold (seeded)
Varsity Girls Blue
Varsity Boys Blue
Middle School (mixed)
Kennedy Weisner, Elk County Catholic (1st V Gold)
Greta Lindsley, Penn Manor (2nd V Gold)
Regan Rome, Dallas (3rd V Gold)
Mady Clahane, Cumberland Valley (4th V Gold - freshman)
Sam Williams, Northeast Bradford (1st V Gold)
Dominic DeLuca, Dallas (2nd V Gold)
Michael Wegner, Loyola-Blakefield, MD (3rd V Gold)
VInce McNally - Conestoga Valley and PSU grad who was on the WR 1000 mile relay to benefit the Kevin Dare Foundation.