Paul Short Run
Summary by Lex Mercado
West Chester East earned a big team victory in a 40 team field! After dominating some smaller invitationals, West Chester East improved their title credentials with a big invitational performance. A spread of 33 seconds was key to their victory as it was enough to hold off 27 second spread from the squad from James Robinson VA 152-173. Leading the way was sophomore Eric Diestelow, who ran a solid 16:23. The top five all finished under 17 minutes and inside the top fifty overall.
Individually, Rico Galassi of Holy Cross came away as the winner through the muddy course, running 15:44 to hold off Ben Ritz of Germantown Academy (15:52). Galassi's performance came as no surprise to the champion, as he has been running well all season long and this performance will improve his chances of becoming the first ever class A champion. As for runner-up Ritz, he and his brother Sam (5th) looked at this race as one of the two biggest of the season. "We want to peak for nationals, so this race was a great way to see where we were," said Ben Ritz.
The girls Brown race provided the fans with an introduction to one of the bright young freshmen of the season. For those who attended PTXC 4, Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley should be no surprise to them. Her 4th place finish at that meet was an impressive performance. What she did today, however, topped that. Entering the final mile, Clahane was able to make her move and surge on the downhill to take home the gold in a time of 18:10. Kara Steinke of Methacton finished 4th in 18:28, marking her 5th top ten finish of the season. Stephanie Aldrich of West Chester Henderson ran an equal 18:28 to Steinke to crack the top five. In the team standings, Clahane's performance was good enough to lead her team to a 3rd place finish and top PA honors with a score of 250 points, 25 points better than district rivals Governor Mifflin. US#10 Voorhees (NJ) dominated the 43 team field with a strong score of 104 points with a 47 second spread and six in the top 40 overall.
The boys white race had Central Dauphin earn the team title with ease, scoring 77 points with five in the top 31 led by a 3rd place finish from senior James Wood. Class A #3 Penn Charter finished a distant second with 182 points, with sophomore Ben Szuhaj finishing 5th in 16:32. Ryan Hertzog of South Western was the top PA finisher, earning 2nd place in 16:20, six seconds behind Bethesda's (MD) Peter Horton.
In the girls white race, Veronica Wheeler of Nazareth Academy came away as the individual champion, leading for the entire 2nd half of the race to finish in 19:41, nine seconds better than Meridith Twomey of Villa Joseph Marie. Even though she had to settle for 2nd, Twomey's performance was enough to lead her team to a narrow team championship win over North Stafford VA 167-195. Villa Joseph Marie was powered to the title with three inside of the top eleven overall.
PAUL SHORT GIRLS BROWN PREVIEW
by Bill Coren(STRATH HAVEN)
43 teams will be running at Lehigh in the top-seeded “BROWN” race! Only TWO of the PA TOP 10 teams are entered in this meet leaving the door open for a number of other quality teams. 11 of these teams are likely to be in the mix.
Teams who will have to fight really hard to be in the TOP 5 are BOYERTOWN(10th PIAA FOUND. GOLD), OHARA(14th PIAA FOUND. GOLD--2nd Large BRIARWOOD)--GREAT VALLEY(3rd Large BRIARWOOD, 3rd ABINGTON)--STRATH HAVEN(2nd Large BULL RUN, 4th Large BRIARWOOD, 5th ABINGTON)--HAVERFORD(Lost close dual meet to SH on Weds)--and WEST CHESTER RUSTIN(13th PIAA FOUND.GOLD). There are 5 teams who have a legitimate shot of claiming the PAUL SHORT team title. BETHESDA-CHEVY CHASE(MD)(2nd at OATLANDS) expects to compete with all of the entered PA teams. MOUNT ST JOSEPH(1st Large BRIARWOOD, 2nd ABINGTON) has 2 very strong (likely TOP 15) runners and the amount of runners on their team make even practices very competitive. HOLY REDEEMER(2nd Blue PIAA(would have been 6th Gold)) is a small school, but will challenge the larger schools here. They also have 2 strong runners(likely TOP 15). CUMBERLAND VALLEY(2nd PTXC4--beat HOLY REDEEMER by 22) is always a strong program and have a VERY good chance of winning the team title. The favorite is GOVERNOR MIFFLIN(1st SPIKED SHOE). They were/are ranked #6 in PA and appear ready to take home a number of LEHIGH shirts!!
There will be around 400+ runners at the starting line on Friday(Teams are allowed to enter 10 girls(usually only 7 are allowed in Big Meets)) so that’s the reason for the larger field than in most meets. Only 6 of these girls have a real shot at being #1. It’s great to see that 5 of them are SENIORS!!! The only underclassman with a chance is also likely the favorite. Steinke(METH 11)(2nd Gold PIAA FOUND., 1st Large BRIARWOOD, 1st ABINGTON, 2nd SHARP) is running awesome! Only Sheva(PENNR 10) and Smith(UNV 11) have beaten her. Aldrich(WCH 12)(3rd HS Champ ADIDAS in NC) has only run one week-end 5K so far, but her time and her 800M speed show she will be ready for the flat Lehigh course. She may end up winning the entire race. 4 other girls should battle it out for the next spots---Mundell(GOV M 12)(3rd SPIKED SHOE)--Skinner(PENNCH 12)(1st GEORGE, 2nd Small BRIARWOOD)--RUDAWSKY(GAR V 12)(1st Large BRIARWOOD, 2nd ABINGTON)--and MEEHAN(HAV 12)(3rd Large BRIARWOOD).
PHOTO GALLERIES COMPLETE
Photo Gallery by Don Rich
Photo Gallery by Patty Morgan
Photo Gallery by Gayle Rich
Ben and Sam Ritz go 2 and 5 in the seeded race for Germantown Academy
Rico Galassi of Holy Cross win the boys seeded race in 15:44
Mady Clahane, a Cumberland Valley freshman, wins her first big invitational
Bethesda-Chevy Chase teammates go 1-6 in boys whtie race
Veronica Wheeler, Nazareth Academy, winner girls white race
20th Carlisle High School Invitational
Race Summaries by Cory Mull
Varsity Boys Puma Challenge
Vinny Todaro has had good races for Big Spring this fall, like that dominant win at the Bulldog Invitational two weeks ago, but this one was undoubtedly his best yet.
The senior, capping off a thrilling finish in the boy’s PUMA Challenge race at the 20th Annual Carlisle Invitational, charged past the finish line in 15 minutes, 31.11 seconds, setting a personal record by over 30 seconds.
He was paced by Kiski Area’s Brent Kennedy, who finished second in 15:33.15 and went stride for stride in the race’s final meters along with Todaro.
Everything seemed to come together at once for the Big Spring runner, who seemed to also make a big statement with the winning time, his first crack under 16 minutes.
“I didn’t know if I could break 15:30,” Todaro said. “In my mind, I would have been happy in the 15:50s.”
After going through the first mile in 4:51, which presented the race’s only significant hill, Todaro was in line for a good showing. He powered through the flat terrain and used the course’s quick layout to his advantage. At the two-mile mark, he controlled the lead.
He finished with an average 4:59 mile.
“My strategy was to hang on as long as I could and keep up,” he said. “But honestly, nobody knew who I was coming into this race. Brent [Kennedy] asked if I was in AAA, and I said I was in AA. I didn’t let anyone get ahead.”
Overall, six runners dipped below the 16-minute barrier. West Chester Henderson junior Reiny Barchet was third in 15:50.32, Don Bosco Prep junior Kyle Levermore was fourth in 15:51.96, Upper Dublin senior Francis Ferruzzi was fifth in 15:52.42 and Toms S. Wo senior Joshua Trzeciak was sixth in 15:59.85.
In the team standings, West Chester Henderson put together an impressive showing, finishing its first five point-scorers in the top 21 positions to score 60 points.
The team featured a spread of just 45 seconds between Barchet and fifth-place finisher Seamus Collins, who secured a time of 16:35.13.
Don Bosco Prep was second in the team standings, placing its first four runners in the top 20 spots and its fifth in the 28th position to score 73 points. Saint Anthony’s was third with 97 points. Don Bosco Prep junior Michael Higgins was the second runner within the top 10, finishing seventh in 16:01.49.
Todaro’s impressive performance highlighted a strong field at Carlisle, with 169 runners featured in the PUMA Challenge. The senior, who secured a win at his home course’s Bulldog Invitational on September 15 with a time of 16:09.58 -- which was a full minute ahead of the second-place finisher -- thought a good race was in store.
But perhaps not like this, he admitted. After finishing fifth at the District 3 meet a year ago and 26th in states; one spot from a medal;, both less than stellar outcomes, he said, Todaro hopes to take one more crack at the top postseason races.
“I want to be at the top,” Todaro said. “The more I work, the more it’ll pay off.”
Varsity Girls Puma Challenge
The strategy was to pick a moment, a decisive point in the race, to make a move.
For Penn Manor junior Greta Lindsley, that came a half-mile into the race in Carlisle, just moments before tackling the course’s most significant hill.
Using the incline to her advantage, Lindsley powered up the ascent, took the lead and never let it go as she went on to win the girls’ PUMA Challenge race at the 20th annual Carlisle Invitational in a time of 18:13.92, a personal record by 21 seconds, and second only to Shippensburg star Neely Spence in the last 11 years.
“I’m extremely happy with the time,” Lindsley said. “My former best was 18:44, so this was definitely a great showing compared to that. I’m definitely getting better as a junior, and I can see it now.”
This marked her biggest win of the season after a second-place showing at PTXC4. Lindsley, the District 3 Champion in 2011, contributes her progressive form to speed workouts she said she performs with the boy’s team over the week in training.
“After I get done with my runs with the girls’ team, I start to train with the boys,” Lindsley said. “We work on 400s on the track and sometimes we do striders after workouts. It has helped my speed.”
Lindsley was followed by University High (W.V.) junior Amelia Paladino, who finished in 18:24.72. Paladino was fourth a year ago at the same meet.
“I came out here and my goal was to run strong enough to win,” she said. “If it was there, I was going to go for it.”
From there, it was a dominating performance by PA#2 Pennsbury, who packed a comprehensive group toward the finish and secured the race’s next six places to earn the team title with an incredible 20 points.
Pennsbury, which moved down in the state rankings recently, made a statement on Saturday. The Falcons secured a 42 second compression between its first and fifth-point scorers.
Freshman Maddie Sauer was third (18:40.77) (Pictured at finish), senior Sara Sargent was fourth (18:50.68), freshman Hannah Molloy was fifth (19:03.21), freshman Olivia Sargent was sixth (19:11.52) and senior Elizabeth Wedekind was seventh in 19:22.90.
For good measure, the team’s seventh runner, Bailey Balmer, was 14th in 19:41.47.
It was an absolute dominating performance from the two-time defending PIAA AAA champions, and to head coach Don Little, it showed just how strong his team was running at this point in the season.
"From top to bottom, one through ten, we are better and deeper than we have ever been,” Little said. “This is the best team I have had at Pennsbury."
He added, "The girls executed the strategy today, and it showed. I am very pleased with where we are at this point."
Palmrya, PA#3, was second in the team standings with 83 points. Leading the way was sophomore Maria Tukis, who was 10th in 19:28.64
Varsity Boys Champions Race
He had heard that someone of the same name from Pennsylvania was an accomplished runner, just like him.
But this Connor Quinn made sure to state that he is from New York, not from Pennsylvania, and that should have been enough.
All mis-identifications aside, Quinn, a Washingtonville (N.Y.) senior, won the Champions Race at the 20th annual Carlisle Invitational in a time of 16:24.2.
It was the second time in three years that a Washingtonville runner had secured a win at Carlisle, with Martin Hehir taking the challenge title in 2010 with a time of 15:40.4.
“This was a good race for me because I took a different approach,” Quinn said. “I have taken a lot of races too seriously this year and I haven’t had the kinds of finishes I would have liked.”
“Today, I let out some laughs and just ran relaxed. It seemed to work.”
Quinn certainly had a good race, out-kicking Garden Spot senior James Martin by seconds in the end. Martin was second overall in a time of 16:25.3, while Bonner-Prendie senior Will McDermott was third in 16:31.5.
“Our league in New York, Section 9, has some pretty fast teams we compete against,” Quinn said. “So it’s been tough this season, but this was a good race against some good competition.”
“I heard people talking about how this was a fast course, so I just tried to go out from the start.”
Quinn ran off to a 4:59 first mile, gaining the lead. He maintained it most of the way before he was challenged by Martin.
“This course is a little longer and not as many downhills, but it made it fast,” Quinn said.
In the final team standings, Radnor secured the first place prize, piecing together three finishers within the top 10 and its fourth and fifth within the top 50 to earn 102 points.
Sophomore Connor Holm and junior Watson Hanson finished back-to-back in fifth and sixth, scoring times of 16:45.52 and 16:46.54 to pace Radnor.
They were followed by senior Declan Evans, who was 10th in 16:50.99.
The placements proved to be significant, since Bonner-Prendie, which placed only one runner in the top ten, scored its next three in the top 25, with its fifth coming in 56th.
Bonner-Prendke scored 122 points for second-place, while Garden Spot rounded out the top three with 142 points.
Calvin Conrad-Kline was fourth overall for Palmyra, securing a time of 16:32.6, while Biglerville sophomore Brady Wilt scored a seventh-place finish and a time of 16:47.5.
Rounding out the top 10 were Caravel Academy senior Connor Szwetkowski (16:48.9), Washingtonville senior Jeremy White (16:51) and Evans of Radnor.
Varsity Girls Champions Race
Woodgrove (Va.) freshman Emma Gillies is relatively new to the sport of cross country, but she’s learning the ropes quickly.
She won the Champions Race at the 20th annual Carlisle Invitational on Saturday, hitting a final time of 18:57.
“I’m very happy with the race today,” said Gillies, who moved to her Virginia-based school from Michigan a year ago. “It was a very fast time and it’s my best so far.”
Almost from the gun, it was a race between Gillies and Radnor senior Ariane Abadi, who separated by the first mile and were in a tandem by the two-mile mark.
Abadi finished second overall, securing a time of 19:02.
“We were together in the last straightaway and she really helped me push toward the finish,” Gillies said.
Boiling Springs senior Lillie Brown, the District 3 champion in AA a year ago, said she had her best race of the season with a third-place finish in 19:30.8.
“I think it’s coming together,” said Brown, who chipped off vital seconds of her season’s personal record. “I think I’ll be ready by the postseason.”
York Suburban captured the team title with 58 points, scoring three runners in the top 10 placements, and five in the top 30.
The freshmen duo of Emma Leik (19:32.82) and Olivia Gettle (19:34.82) led the way for the Trojans, who compiled a 69 second spread between its first and fifth finishers.
Led by sixth-place finisher Katie Ross, who finished in 19:37.78, Garden Spot finished second in the team standings with 94 points.
Ephrata, led by sophomore Andrea Castillo with a time of 20:16.4, which was good for 15th place, was third in the team standings with 153 points
In a deep field that included 260 runners, Gillies stood out like a veteran, even though she was just a few months into his first cross country season.
Featured in shorter mid-distance races in middle school like the 400 and 800, Gillies made the jump to the 5,000-meter race and has started to make her mark. Her finish Saturday, four seconds below 19 minutes, was her best of the season.
“I do like running,” she said. “I would consider this my top sport now. I am a very competitive person.”
Photo Gallery by Don Rich
Photo Gallery by Gayle Rich
Photo Gallery by Megan Zeller
Greta Lindsley: Girls PUMA Champion
Greta won the Challenge race with a time of 18:14.
Vinny Todaro: Boys PUMA Champion
Vinny won the Challenge race with a time of 15:31.
Emma Gillies: Girls Varsity Champion
Emma won the girls championship race with a time of 18:57.
Connor Quinn: Boys Varsity Champion
Connor won the championship race with a time of 16:24.
Girls PUMA Challenge
Girls PUMA Challenge race won by Greta Lindsley, Penn Manor, in 18:13.
Boys PUMA Challenge
Vinny Todaro won with a time of 15:31.
Boys Champions Race
Boys Champions race highlights, won by Connor Quinn in 16:24.19.
Girls Champions Race
Emma Gillies won with a time of 18:57.03.