UNIVERSITY PARK, PA -- The hometown team came away with a pair of statement wins at Friday's Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational.
The State College Area girls and boys ran to team titles at the Penn State University-hosted meet on a great day for running in Central PA. University High from West Virginia swept the individual title.
In the girls' race, Caroline Kirby of University broke away early on continued to extend her lead en route to the victory in 18:21, a sizable improvement on her time from a year ago at Spiked Shoe when she took third.
Carlisle's Sophia Toti made some moves in the second half of the race and clocked a 5K XC PR in 18:45 to take second place. Kirby's teammate Zoe Shetty placed third in 18:57 on a quick day on the course.
State College took the next two spots with freshman Marlee Kwasnica placing fourth in 19:01. Junior Jordan Reed came across fifth in 19:09. The Little Lions (PA No. 3) proved to have the best depth, scoring 45 points to earn the team title. University was second with 61 points and Ursuline Academy (DE) was third with 83 points. Next up for State College is a look at state course with the PIAA Foundation Invitational.
Larry Josh Edwards of University won the boys' race. After a blistering early pace going through the mile mark in 4:40, Edwards gained an advantage on the field and pulled away to win in 15:24, an XC 5K PR for the impressive sophomore, who was one of the nation's top freshman last year.
The Penns Valley Area duo of Brendan Colwell and Colton Sands took second and third, respectively. Colwell went 15:29, a huge PR, while Sands ran 15:43 for third. Westmont Hilltop's Nick Fetzer continued his hot start to his senior, taking fourth in 15:49.
The State College Area boys (PA No.6) ran away with the team title, scoring 45 points, 51 ahead of second place University. Ben St. Pierre placed fifth to lead the Little Lions in a time of 15:50. Five others for SC placed inside the top 20, and seven boys dipped under 17 minutes on Friday. Like the girls squad, State College, along with Penns Valley is back in action next Saturday at Foundation.