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Bethany Walker wins at Sharpsville
WEEK #4 SUMMARY: 9/23 WKND: (All meets 9/23)
Ryan Comstock reports that the Radnor girls cleaned up at the BULLDOG INV @ ROSE TREE PARK, going 1-3-4-5-6 in the Small Schools race. Conestoga's #1 girl, Hannah Kligman, went 18:14 to win the Large School race with splits of 5:23 at the mile, and 11:32 at the 2 mile, winning by 45 seconds. At the SHARPSVILLE BLUE DEVIL INV @ BUHL PARK, another Walker of Ellwood City takes center states as junior Bethany goes 19:39.4 for the win. Ben Hahn ran 15:55.9 in a strategic race to take the varsity 3.1. North East was 31 better than Cathedral Prep in the boys team chase, while Union City was 28 better than Meadville for the girls title. At the SPIKED SHOE INV @ PENN STATE UNIVERSITY, The Abington Heights boys took 2nd with a 24-second spread from 19th to 45th. The Liberty boys were 3rd behind Colts Neck NJ with Trevor Vanackeren going 16:00.0 for 2nd overall. Craig Forys, Colts Neck, ran 15:20.6 for the win. Harbor Creek's Lauren Zarger was a strong 3rd in the loaded girls race, running 18:41.3. Saratoga Springs NY was a dominant team champ behind Hannah Davidson's 17:24.1. They tallied just 32 team points. Governor Mifflin was the top PA team in 4th with Lindsay Topper running 19:45.1. In the girls' Race of Champions at the GREAT AMERICAN XC FESTIVAL IN ALABAMA, Neshannock's Kacey Gibson was 5th in 18:52.4. At the 4th PENN STATE-ALTOONA LION INV, Central Cambria's Carly Seymour again led her team to victory, going 18:18, a meet record. In Virginia at the WILLIAM & MARY HS INV, it was Gettysburg's Bryan Beegle taking the Varsity B Race with the fastest time of the three Varsity races, a 15:39. The Mount Lebanon girls won the NORTHERN INV easily, while the boys of Lebo were four points short of Seneca Valley. Bradford dominated the team competiton at their home BRADFORD INVITATIONAL. Sarah Lonzi defended her home mud in a course record-tying 19:10. The Boyertown boys team took the top two spots at the CONRAD WEISER INVITATIONAL, with Boyertown senior Jason Weller leading the way in 16:05. But Owen J Roberts squeaked by in the team scores with a solid pack. On the girls side, Jennifer Schofield of North Penn won the day in 20:45 to lead her team to the title. Mark Bucklaw and teammate Kyle Pepson went 1-2, separated by less than a second, but Bishop O'Hara took the next three spots and held on for the team win at the LACKAWANNA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' INV. In the girls' race, Kourtney Brussell led her Honesdale team to the title with a 4th place. Hanover Area's Alyssa Namey took the individual title.
(More detailed summaries are below. Links to meet results and photo galleries are to the right)
3rd Annual Bradford Invitational @ Bradford HS
Bradford dominated their home meet in muddy conditions, holding off Oswayo Valley NY in the boys' race 38-70, and PA's Elk County by six more points... while the girls were 38 better than Elk County behind the course record-tying 19:10 by Sarah Lonzi. Elk County's Tyler Prokop was the top PA finisher at 2nd in 17:15, while Bradford's Jared Feura was 3rd, 23 seconds back. Chris Bogenschultz of Oswayo Valley on in 17:09.
Liberty's Trevor Vanackeren took 2nd at Spiked Shoe in 16:00.0.
(Photo by Karen Ward/PennTrackXC.com)
13th Lackawanna County Commissioners Inv. @ Scranton's McDade Park
Mark Bucklaw and teammate Kyle Pepson went 1-2, separated by less than a second, Bucklaw credited with a 16:10.3, and Pepson at 16:10.7. But Bishop O'Hara took the next three spots and held on for the team win with 126 points, 25 up on Wyalusing. O'Hara's top three included Michael May in 16:12, Eddie Penetar in 16:15, and Chris Wasnetsky in 16:46. Kourtney Brussell led her Honesdale team to the title with her 4th place 20:25. Hanover Area's Alyssa Namey took the individual title with a 19:51. Alex Hacket was the only other girl under 20 minutes, clocking a 19:59.
4th Annual Penn State Altoona Lion Invitational @ Fort Roberdeau Historic Site
Carly Seymour is just runnin' and winnin' and this week she set a meet record, going 18:18. Her team is also running well, and scored just 41 points. In the boys' race, Westmont Hilltop's Travis Dean ran 16:56.1 to hold off Canon-McMillan's Kyle Gison by almost seven seconds. Baldwin placed three in the top ten from 7-9 and was 2nd in the team chase by just two points to Virginia's Sherando.
A.J. Everhart Invitational at Penn State-Fayette
Now that is a pack. Radnor does 28-sec compression to dominate at Rose Tree Park
(Photo by Ryan Comstock for PennTrackXC.com)
Bulldog Invitational @ Rose Tree Park
If there was any doubt that the Radnor girls have a nice front-running pack this year, those questions were largely put to rest Saturday with a 28-second compression behind a winning 18:35 by their emerging frosh phenom Keyln Freedman. Only Padua DE's Sarah Bowden broke up the five-pack with a 2nd place 18:36. Freedman was followed across the line by senior Liz Milewski in 3rd at 18:49, sophomore Katie Lally in 4th at 18:52, senior Hannah Granger in 5th in 18:56, and senior Shannon Holms in 6th in 19:03. Count'em... 28 seconds. They get their real test of the season next week at Warwick Valley NY against the #1 team in the US, Hilton NY, and other top talent. That was the small school race. In the large school race, Conestoga's Hannah Kligman continued to amaze, this time running an 18:14 to win by a ton. West Chester Henderson's girls won the team title by placing five in the top 20 behind Jackie Merrick's 19:16 5th place. The West Chester East boys tightened up their pack with a 33-second spread behind John LaColla's winning 15:44 in the small school race. Cardinal O'Hara was the top boys' team in the large school race after Ed Buck got them off to a great start with the fastest time of the day, a 15:37. Salesianum DE won the team title by 23 points.
Bulldog Invitational Photo Galleries by Ryan Comstock
Hannah Kligman ran alone to
an 18:14 at Bulldog in the Large Schools race.
(Photo by Ryan Comstock).
Conrad Weiser Inviational
By Nick Hilton, Exeter
The Boyertown boys team took the top two spots at the Conrad Weiser Invitational this weekend. Boyertown senior Jason Weller toured the tough course in 16:05 for first place while Mark Dennin, also of Boyertown took second in 16:58. Even with Boyertown taking the top two spots, Owen J Roberts squeaked by in the team scores with a solid pack between Boyertown's runners. Owen J Roberts won the race with 48 points, only seven points ahead of #2 Boyertown who finished with 55. Host team Conrad Weiser took 3rd. On the girls side, Jennifer Schofield of North Penn won the day in 20:45 beating a strong chase pack led by Oley Valley's Rachel Suydam (2nd in 21:09) and Boyertown's Melinda Liptak (3rd in 21:11). North Penn took the team race with 70 points, 10 points ahead of second place team, Oley Valley who had 80. Conrad Weiser took 3rd with 104 which finished off a bronze kind of day for the host team.
Great American Cross Country Festival, Hoover AL
Neshannock's Kacey Gibson travelled to Alabama to face the top runners in the Race of Champions, and came away with a 5th place 18:52.4. In the Girls Blue Race, Archbishop Carroll's Amanda Bascelli won in 20:34.8 to lead her team to the title with 23 points. The Carroll boys were 5th in their race. Ben Roy was their top runner with a 6th place 18:37.6.
Lakeview InvitationalRESULTS POSTED
Northern Invitational @ Hartwood Acres
The Mount Lebanon girls continued their winning ways, scoring 47 points by placing five in the top 14 with a 1:08 spread. Melissa Shaw led the surge with a 5th place 20:22. The Seneca Valley boys beat Mount Lebanon by a mere four points, 46-50 thanks to placing three in the top seven behind the 17:05 win by Chris Cipro. Lebo's Ryan Bell was 3rd in 17:14.
Sharpsville Blue Devil Invitational @ Buhl Park
We're only going to say this once. Yes, Elwood City's Bethany Walker is Jake's sister. And with Jake running D1 at Notre Dame... the bubbly, but very serious high school junior has started to come into her own this season. She won the smaller school division at the 9/9 Big Red Invitational for her first big meet title. At Slippery Rock last week, she finished 4th in the AA race. But this week, she took another big step in her trek toward becoming one of the top runners in PA. She followed her brother's advice to visualize her race and plan her moves. That, coupled with a growing confidence and support from coaches, family and her big bro, helped her notch her second invitational win of the year. It was also her first 5K under 20 minutes. At 19:39.4, it was a big PR.
Ben Hahn, Smethport, wins at Sharpsville,
beating Zac Ross of Meadville in a strategic race.
Walker said she felt a little tired heading up the first hill, but knows that you can't judge your race on the first half mile. She had planned to pace off of the top two Mercer girls, and settled in a position near the front. But by the mile, she decided the pace just wasn't fast enough, so she did a pick-up. "I was feeling tired, but I pushed through the pain and it went away." And so did the girls from Mercer along with everyone else, allowing Walker to extend her lead to it's final 16-second advantage. She is now thinking a lot more like Jake..."I just wanted to break 20 this year, but this may change my expectations."
The Union City girls were team winners behind the 7th place 20:35.7 by Vicky Bem. Meadville was 2nd by 28 points. Mercer's Melissa Smith and teammate Mary Kate Breese finished 2nd and 3rd in 19:55.7 and 19:56.8, respectively.
"Who are the Hubs?" was a question making the rounds at the finish of the boys' varsity race as the runners started their final loop of the fast and spectator-friendly Buhl Park 5K course. A 'Hubs' runner had taken the lead and had the race firmly in control over the last mile. Finally someone who overhead the conversation blurted out.... "Oh that's Smethport, they're from District 9." At that point, everyone knew immediately... it was Ben Hahn. The senior has been a very good runner much of his career. But now that it's getting toward decision-time for college, he is giving his running a little more focus.
Hahn will wrestle one more year before hanging up his....ahh, wrestling gear... but a 4:20 mile last spring... coming off a non-running winter spent wrestling, gave him some good confidence coming into this season. Usually a "go as hard as I can" kind of racer, he is experimenting with different tactics this year. The change in thinking was motivated in part by an early season loss to Mercyhurst Prep's Mike Stolar. Stolar had outkicked Hahn after Hahn had led the entire race. It was different on Saturday. "Today, I pushed it in spots, and then would settle in and let him (Meadville's Zac Ross) take the wind. Then on the final time up the hill I pushed it before gapping him on the final downhill. I'm a pretty good downhill runner." His 15:55.9 was good for an 18 second win.
Hahn has impressive, but achievable goals for States and Foot Lockers, and is anxious to narrow his college choices down from a list that includes Iona, Louisville, Nebraska, Kent State, the Naval Academy, and the PSAC's Edinboro.
As for wresting? "After this year, I'm all runner."
But a note of caution for his XC competitors – keep his other sport in mind when you give him a bump going around a corner.
In the race for team honors, North East placed two runners in the top five and survived Cathedral Prep thanks to a nice pack in the 20's. They were led by Garrett Gray, 4th in 16:53.7, and John Thetford, 5th in 16:57.9. Meadville's Ross was 2nd in 16:12.3, following by teammate Andrew Geist in 3rd at 16:46.5.
Sharpsville Blue Devil Invitational Photo Galleries by Don Rich
Archbishop Carroll won the
'Blue Race' at Great American behind the
1st place by Amanda Bascelli in 20:34.8
(Photo by Open Photo/Dyestat.com)
Sharpsville Blue Devil Invitational Photo Galleries by Carl Strub
Spiked Shoe Invitational @ Penn State University
Harbor Creek's Lauren Zarger went looking for a good race, and she found it against some of the best in the country. Her 3rd place 18:41.3 should be a big confidence boost coming against Saratoga Spring's Hannah Davidson, who won in an eye-popping 17:24.1. Colt's Neck star Ashley Higginson was 2nd 25 second back. Governor Mifflin, behind the 16th place 19:45.1 by Lindsay Topper, was 3rd in the team competition. Colts Neck NJ's boys won behind the 1st place 15:20.6 by Craig Forys. Abington Heights took 2nd by just 28 points thanks to a great pack of five from 19th to 45th. Dan Police ran 17:20.0 to set up the 24-second gap. Liberty was 3rd with 159 points following a 2nd place 16:00.0 by Trevor Vanackeren.
Spiked Shoe Invitational Photo Galleries by Karen Ward and Sandy Wigfield
Spiked Shoe Invitational Photo Galleries by James K. Wood to come
William & Mary Invitational, Williamsburg VA
Gettysburg senior Bryan Beegle posted the fastest time of three varsity races, going 15:39 to win the Men's B race. His team would finish 8th with 273 points. Teammate Katherine Buxton took 14th in the Women's B race, going 20:37. Her team was 4th. In the Women's A race, Hershey's Emma Shank was 7th in 18:59 to lead her team to a 6th place finish. Bishop McDevitt's (Harrisburg) Joe Beveridge was 2nd in the Men's C race in 16:35. teammate Amy Miller was 14th in the Women's C race in 21:17.
WEEK #4 PREVIEW: 9/23 WKND:
Two top Northeast teams come to Penn State for the Spiked Shoe Invitational. North East and General McLane face off at the Sharpsville Blue Devil Invitational. PA runners try the competition and new course at Great American in Alabama. Radnor races in Media. PA visits VA in the William & Mary Inv... and much more. I will be at Sharpsville this Saturday along with Carl Strub... and Karen Ward and James. K. Wood will provide photo coverage of the Spiked Shoe Invitational. And Ryan Comstock will have some pix from the Bulldog Inv at Rose Tree Park (hopefully, minus the ditch). Team lists are posted on the meet pages for both Sharpsville and Spiked Shoe. Race well.