Meadville Tribune

November 3, 2012

CROSS COUNTRY: Local harriers aim for gold at PIAA state championships in Hershey

Meadville Tribune
The Meadville Tribune

November 3, 2012 7:00 a.m. MEADVILLE — Upwards of 10,000 people are expected to gather at the challenging Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey to witness the 2012 PIAA Championship meet, which gets underway today at 9:30 a.m. with the Class A girls race.

A group of local runners will be taking part following some strong showings in the District 10 championship meet, which took place Oct. 27 at Buhl Farm Park in Sharpsville.

The day is set to open with the girls’ Class A meet. Among the competitors will be Cambridge Springs junior Olivia Mamula, who won last week’s District 10 Class A race, finishing the Buhl Park course in 20:40, just a couple steps in front of West Middlesex’s Kristen White.

Mamula will also be joined by sophomore teammate Reilly Walsh, who was fourth in last week’s race (20:50). Also competing locally will be Maplewood’s Savannah Phillips, who became the first freshman girl from Maplewood to qualify for states after finishing 14th at the D-10 meet in 21:51.

Representing District 10 as a team will be 2012 champ West Middlesex and runner-up Wilmington.

The Class AA girls race is set to follow at 10:15 a.m. That will feature Meadville junior Libby Volna appearing in her third straight state meet. She was 19th at last week’s D-10 meet with a time of 21:34. Other area competitors will be General McLane sophomore Morgan Price (4th, 20:17) and freshman Bethany Evankovich (20th, 21:35).

Double-A team representatives from District 10 include Villa Maria and Hickory. The district’s individual title holder is Villa Maria’s Bernadette Prichard (19:36).

The Class AAA girls race is then slated for an 11 a.m. start and will feature D-10 team champion McDowell. Individual champion was McDowell’s Melissa Perseo (20:18).

Action continues at 11:45 a.m. with the Class A boys race. Local headliners in the competition include D-10 champion Jeremy Parsons (17:27) and his brother Jake Parsons (17:37), who was second in last week’s race. The two Maplewood  juniors will be joined by fellow Tiger Hans Wentz, a sophomore, who qualified with an eighth-place finish (17:57) at the D-10 meet.

Class A boys will also include Saegertown, which claimed the school’s first D-10 cross country team title last week. Team members include Hunter Johnston, Brendon Barclay, Morgan Schenberg, Wyatt Fleischer, Matt Schenberg, Garrett Johnston, Chris Guy and Dan Kozubal.

Hunter Johnston, a senior, was the top finisher for the Panthers last week with a 14th-place time of 18:04. He was followed across the finish line by sophomore Barclay (15th, 18:09), junior Morgan Schenberg (18:11), freshman Fleischer (23rd, 18:20) and junior Matt Schenberg (28th, 18:44).

Cochranton, meanwhile, sends a pair of representatives to the Class A race. Senior Ryan Northcott was 17th at the D-10 meet in 18:13. And sophomore Nathan Kline was 19th in 18:14.

Union City is also sending a pair after senior Ben Luce finished the D-10 meet in 12th (18:04) and senior Isaiah Gardner was 22nd (18:19).

Other teams in the Class A race will be runner-up West Middlesex and third-place finisher Mercyhurst Prep.

After Class A, the Class AA boys race is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. Featured in that race will be Meadville sophomore Kyle Rose, who was 14th in the D-10 meet with a time of 18:19.

Titusville’s lone representative will be senior Jared Hazen, who was ninth in 18:04.

And General McLane qualified as a team, finishing second in the team standings. Team members include Lukas Hallett, Joe Zukowski, Grant Shields, Ian Parker, Ryan Goff, Nolan Marcinko, Sam Reagan and Hunter Hendricks.

The District 10 Class AA champion is Grove City, which will be led by individual champion Daniel Jaskowak (16:23).

The final race of the day will be the Class AAA boys at 1:15 p.m. Cathedral Prep will try to turn its District 10 gold into state gold. And also featured will be D-10 individual champion Austin Pondel of Corry, who was tops in triple-A last week with a time of 16:23.

The event concludes with the award ceremony at 2 p.m.