State College's Marlee Kwasnica and Penns Valley's Colton Sands claimed wins at the Temple 2 Mile Tune-Up in Philadelphia on Saturday. On a chilly afternoon, the victors battled the conditions to come away with strong wins as good prep for regionals.
Kwasnica won a close on in the girls race. Arielle Breuninger of J.P. McCaskey took out the pace early on. She was met by Cheltenham's Janelle Williams a bit later and the pair had a gap on the field. But the chase pack was coming.
With a lap and a half to go, that chase pack led by Kwasnica caught Breuninger and with a lap to go Kwasnica made a move to the lead. The SC freshman put down an impressive long drive to run to the win in 11:23. Mechanicsburg Area's Hope McKenney also closed well to take second in 11:24. State College's Lizzie Gilpatrick was third in 11:25, followed by fourth place Breuninger and fifth place Willams.
In the boys' race, Sands picked up where he left off a few weeks ago at the PIAA State Championships. The Class A state champ took the lead early on and ran to the win in 9:07 for a full two miles.
Sands worked with his Penns Valley teammate Brendan Colwell during the race, exchanging the lead a few times in the windy conditions. With about two laps to go, Sands opened up a gap and ran to the win. Colwell placed second in 9:16, an impressive PR.
Sands' 9:07 is a big PR. In the spring, he went 9:24 for 3,200 meters to win the Class AA state crown on the track. Both Sands and Colwell will be factors for top ten spots at Foot Locker Northeast in two weeks time.
Owen Mahadeo of Montrose won the first heat in 9:53 and placed sixth overall.
Check out an interview with Sands from after the race below.