Paul Short Recap
A rainy, cold, windy and messy day greeted the runners on the first Friday of October at the annual Paul Short Run. As meet director and Lehigh Men's cross country head coach Todd Etters said, "This meet never gets good weather." And this year they certainly didn't.
However, the weather did very little to slow down the competitors in their quest for glory and personal bests.
It also didn't stop the AAA girls champions from winning again. The Pennsbury girls continue to run away from all challengers to their state championship, and in the Girls Brown race, they not only won the race, they ran away from one of their preseason challengers. Pennsbury had their top seven in the top 40 out of 366 runners to score 67 points to defeat a restocked Cardinal O'Hara team by 132 points. Perkiomen Valley finished 3rd with 205 points to record their 3rd top 3 finish of the season. Easton was 5th with 216 points in their first invitational since their PTXC 7 win. Villa Joseph Marie were the top AA team, finishing an impressive 9th with 324 points. Holy Cross was the top Class A squad, finishing 10th with 377 points.
In the chase for individual gold, Olivia Sargent of Pennsbury came very close to getting the win. She led at the 2 mile mark, only to get passed by Padua (DE) super sophomore Lydia Olivere in the final quarter mile. Olivere ran 17:49 to hold off Sargent by 2 seconds. Sargent's 17:51 is a 2 second improvement on her state best from 2 weeks ago. Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley finished 3rd in a big meet for the 2nd time this week, running a PA#2 18:02. Alison Willingmyre of Wilson (3) ran a 40 second personal best to finish 4th in a PA#4 18:08, edging out Abbe Goldstein of Germantown Academy.
In the boys brown race, Griffin Mackey of Sewickley Academy dueled from the opening gun with Charter School of Wilmington's Kevin Murray. But the 5 ½ hour trip to Lehigh University ended in a bronze medal behind winner Murray (15:29) and runner up Matt Kravitz of North Pocono. Kravitz ran a PA#2 15:36 to hold off PA#3 Mackey by 2 seconds (15:38). Zach Lefever of Ephrata had a monster performance, running 15:46 to finish 4th and break his personal best by 33 seconds. Sean McGinnis of Phoenixville ran a 40 second personal best for 5th place in 15:48!
The team crown went to Hempfield from District 3. They scored 164 points to defeat Spring-Ford by 58 points. Despite the gap, Spring-Ford performance was big and was good enough to beat previously ranked Parkland, who edged out Owen J Roberts for 3rd on tiebreaker rules. Hempfield had 1-5 spread of 38 seconds, the best out of the top five teams in the field.
In the boys White race, PA's lone individual champion was crowned. 2014 White race winner Gabe Allgayer of Mercersburg Academy went to straight to the front of the pack from the opening gun and fought off a pack of runners to retain his title with a time of 16:11. It was his 2nd win on the course and he's run two of his fastest career times on the course. Liam Galligan of Springfield Delco was the closest chaser to the champion, finishing 2nd in 16:15. Colin Wills of Malvern Prep was 3rd in 16:17, William Tennent's Sean Rahill ran 16:29 for 4th, and Rahi Shah of Bensalem was 5th in 16:31.
Bishop Shanahan placed three in the top 20 to avoid a repeat of last season's midseason slump and win the team title with 112 points, 54 points better than runners up William Tennent. Twin Valley finished 4th with 170 points.
In the girls white race, Kiele Riefenstahl of Saucon Valley continued her impressive freshman campaign with a runner up finish with a time of 19:07. Alyssa Lafave of Wallenpaupack finished 3rd in 19:11, Stephanie Garland of Garden City was 4th in 19:13, and Kerry Kovacs of Lower Morelan was 5th in 19:15.
Stroudsburg were victorious in the team standing, placing three in the top 13 to score 103 points to win by 54 points over Bishop Shanahan. Christopher Dock finished 3rd with 170 points.