By Pete Chiodo
With two of four Region 3 tri-meets in the books, the Saegertown cross country team is halfway through its sixth consecutive season without dropping a conference dual.
On Tuesday, the Panther boys cleared one of its key hurdles, besting Cochranton 18-43 while sweeping Titusville 15-50.
In girls action, Titusville fielded the only full squad and was awarded a pair of victories.
The top time of the day belonged to Saegertown’s Morgan Schenberg, who completed the 5K loop around Cochranton Elementary School in a speedy 16:39.
“That’s fast for him, and he didn’t feel well (Tuesday),” said Panthers head coach Bill Hetrick. “I like that, when they can win a race and not feel well. And he did pretty well.”
Schenberg was followed by teammate Brendon Barclay in 16:58.
The rest of Saegertown’s top seven finished among the top nine spots in the event. Matt Schenberg was fourth in 17:30, Brad Amy was fifth in 17:43, Alex Barclay was sixth in 17:43, Garrett Johnston was eighth in 18:00 and Wyatt Fleischer was ninth in 18:07.
“We’ve got a nice pack going this year,” said Brendon Barclay. “We’re all trying to stay together and push each other. Our one and two, we’re pretty consistent. But from there on everybody is right with each other, passing each other. So it helps, having everybody right next to each other and pushing each other.”
Hetrick was also impressed with how his top seven have been jockeying for position this season. Matt Schenberg, for instance, was fourth for Saegertown last week at Rocky Grove and bumped up to third for the team yesterday. And Amy rounded out the top seven last week and was the fourth finisher for the Panthers this week.
“The order is changing,” said Hetrick. “That’s the nice thing about our team. Other than the one-two, which we’re pretty confident with — but Brendon has beaten Morgan one time — the other ones are all over the place. But they’re always in the top. I like it very much.”
He added, “It really is a team effort, having seven great guys. I’ve never had a team like this.”
The Cochranton boys were led by Nate Kline, who grabbed the third spot in 17:26. Logan Herzberger finished seventh in 17:57 and Nathan Lindeman was 10th in 18:36.
“(Saegertown’s) tough,” said Cochranton head coach Mark Roche. “We should have ran a little bit better in the middle. Our guys are better than what we showed (Tuesday). That will come. We got out maybe a little slower than we could. We’ve been seeing other teams that aren’t going out quite as fast. We’ll make that adjustment. Being mid-season, that’s what you do. You make adjustments and you learn from it.”
In the girls race, Titusville’s Sarah Jones led the way with a time of 23:03. She was joined near the front by teammates Taylor Walters in fourth (24:28) and Cheyenne Harger in sixth (25:56).
Saegertown’s Breanna Ferguson was second in 23:36.
For Cochranton, Brittany Jackson was third in 23:59 and Amber Griffith took fifth in 25:53.