Starliper Debuts, NA Impresses: PIAA Foundation Recap

Girls' Gold Race Recap - PIAA Foundation Invitational

Hershey has a way of taking it to even the most seasoned of cross country runners. But Grace Forbes didn't seem too affected but the course. The Strath Haven junior, midway through her first XC season, handled the course well and ran to her first career invitational win in a time of 18:53, the second fastest time of the day, behind only Marlee Starliper.

Forbes has made plenty of noise on the track, but she has proven in the first month of this season that she can contend for a state title in AAA.

The North Allegheny girls put forth a dominating team performance, further solidifying their PA#1 ranking, which they already had entering the weekend. NA's Hannah Lindgren battled with Forbes for the individual title, ultimately taking second in 19:17.

The Tigers showed off their depth after Lindgren's lowstick, though. Three others placed inside the top 15: Keeley Misutka (11th), Rachel Hockenberry (14th), and Caroline Daggett (15th). Ally Christy was a solid 28th place, rounding out a great top five for NA, which scored just 66 points to beat PA#2 Central Bucks West by 46 points. NA's 1 through 5 gap was just 1:16.

CB West looked strong on Saturday, taking second overall with 112 points. Julia Flood paced the Lady Bucks with a seventh place finish in 19:47. Piper Wilson (22nd), Grace Kolbe (20:32), Emmi Simon (30th), and Darby Roth (31st) were separated by just 15 seconds for West. Fox Chapel Area took third with 126 points. Sarena Seeger ran a great race, keeping up her great start to the season. Seeger placed third in 19:27, followed closely by Grace Sisson's fourth place finish in 19:35.

State College Area was fourth as a team with 182 points and a one minute 1-5 gap. Strath Haven, led by Forbes, was fifth with 224 points, and Seneca Valley was sixth with 239 points.

Individually, one of the surprises of the day came from Pottsgrove's Naomi Hillen. The sophomore was fifth overall in 19:41. Woodgrove (VA)'s Sophie Hudak was sixth, followed by Flood, and then Moon Area freshman Mia Cochran was eighth in 19:51.

One interesting note from the Gold Race: Pine Grove Area's Christina DiFalco (a top AA contender competing in the AAA race) was on her second meet of the day at Hershey. The senior competed at her home invite, the Cardinal Clash, which she won, and then came to Hershey in time for the Gold Race, where she placed tenth in 19:52.