Girls' Championship Race - Recap
South Lake's Olivia Beckner maybe wasn't anticipating Saturday's heat, or the hills the awaited her in the woods of Belmont Plateau.
But the talented senior dealt with the conditions and the terrain en route to a dominant win in the Championship Race. Beckner, who has some impressive PRs on the track, will head back to Virginia a winner. Her winning time was 18:40. It also matches the fastest time at Briarwood since Briana Gess (Haddonfield, NJ) ran the same time in 2014.
The action behind Beckner was fierce. The next two spots went to Cardinal O'Hara's Elizabeth Mancini and Eleanor Mancini, who each ran strong race. Liz came across second in 18:49, while Eleanor was third in 19:13. Christine Mancini added a seventh place finish in 20:33. The defending AAA PA state champs from O'Hara took the team title by five points over South Lakes.
Three newcomers make up the back part of O'Hara's varsity team. But the front of O'Hara's squad, led by the Mancini sisters, proves that the reigning state champs will be factor once again this season.
Corinne Barney of Indian Hills (NJ) was fourth, and Conestoga's Dominique Shultz, who took out the race more conservatively, ended up a solid fifth place in 19:23. North Penn's Ariana Gardizy, the defending champion, was sixth in 20:22.
In the team race after the top two, Indian Hills (NJ) was third with 109 points. Conestoga was fourth with 115 points and West Chester Henderson took fifth with 131 points (still minus usual top runner Courtney Kitchen).
Watch an interview with Beckner after the race: