HERSHEY — A couple Crawford County cross country runners ended their high school careers on a high note during the PIAA championship meet, held Saturday at Hershey’s Parkview Cross Country Course.
Meadville senior Patrick Stevens and Cochranton senior Noah Bernarding both had best-ever showings at the big race.
Meanwhile, Saegertown freshman Sam Hetrick got his state career off to a strong start. And a few female runners from the area — like Conneaut’s Meaera Shannon, Cambridge Springs’ Elizabeth Kline and Saegertown’s Paige Fuller — continued to polish their already sparkling careers.
Here’s a look at where the local runners finished yesterday:
Class AA Boys
Meadville senior Patrick Stevens saved the best for last, flying to a fourth-place finish in the PIAA Class AA boys race yesterday.
Stevens finished in a time of 16:16.7. That was nearly a minute faster than his finish at states a year ago, and it propelled him up 11 spots in this year’s finishing order.
Fellow Meadville runner Matt Pulieo also had a strong day in his first-ever state competition. He finished 42nd in a time of 17:07.9.
General McLane junior Dylan Throop — coming off an impressive performance at the D-10 championships — claimed the Class AA individual title, finishing the course in 15:57.1. He beat second-place Ben Kuhn of Wyomissing by 11 seconds.
Lewisburg was the team champion, beating out York Suburban via a tiebreaker.
District 10 runner-up North East finished in ninth place with 228 points, edging out District 10 champion Grove City, which was 10th with 234.
Class A Boys
Cochranton and Cambridge Springs chased each other around all season long. So it makes sense that the two teams did it once again at the state race.
Cochranton kept its narrow edge over Cambridge, finishing in seventh place with 218 points, while the Spa was eighth with 222.
They both out-paced West Middlesex, which was 10th with 246.
Cochranton was led by senior Noah Bernarding, who wrapped up his career with a terrific run, finishing ninth in 16:45. He beat his time from last year by more than a minute and a half, and jumped up a whopping 50 spots in the finishing order.
Bernarding also finished three spots ahead of Reynolds’ Troy Hart, making the Cardinal the top District 10 finisher in 1A. Hart had beaten Bernarding to the finish line at the D-10 meet last weekend.
Other finishers for Cochranton included Franklin Morris in 41st (17:38); Chase Miller in 60th (17:54); Alex Jackson in 95th (18:16); Anthony Freer in 163rd (19:07); Landon Homa in 188th (19:48); and Lance Axton in 192nd (19:48).
Cambridge Springs’ top runner was Christian Kline, who finished 40th in 17:38. Elijah Mamula followed in 63rd (17:57); Alec Bidwell in 88th (18:12); Bobby Moats in 89th (18:12); Hunter Spaid in 103rd (18:22); Corbin Lehner in 161st (19:06); and Adrian Peterman in 178th (19:27).
Elsewhere in Class 1A boys, Saegertown freshman Sam Hetrick brought home a medal from his first trip to the state meet. He finished 22nd in a time of 16:59.
Lakeview freshman Colson Jenkins was 53rd in 17:49. And Union City sophomore Landon Myer came in 74th in 18:02.
The Class A race was won by Penns Valley junior Colton Sands in 15:56. Fellow Penns Valley junior Brendan Colwell was second in 16:05.
Winchester Thurston won the team title with 113 points.
Class AA girls
Conneaut Area junior Meaera Shannon made it three straight trips to the state championships with a medal around her neck.
She picked up her latest piece of hardware with an 11th place finish yesterday, crossing the line in 19:21.
Although Shannon was one place back of where she finished a year ago (10th), she did drop more than half a minute from her 2018 run (19:53).
Northern senior Marlee Starliper was the Class AA champion with a time of 17:11.
District 10’s top finisher was Fairview junior Maddison Hayes, who was sixth in 18:51, beating out her D-10 rival Gianna Labbiento, who was seventh in 18:53.
South Fayette won the AA team championship with 62 points. D-10 champion Harbor Creek was seventh (202 points). General McLane was 13th (295).
Class A girls
Cambridge Springs sophomore Elizabeth Kline added to her state medal collection, bumping up from 25th as a freshman in 2018 to 20th as a sophomore, concluding yesterday’s Class A race in 20:24.6.
Saegertown sophomore Paige Fuller trimmed a few seconds off her state time from last season to finish 70th yesterday in 21:38.7.
District 10 runner-up Lakeview was 18th as a team. Carly Amon led the Lady Sailors in 128th place (22:43.1), followed by Mikayla Montgomer in 139th (22:53.2); Claire Oliver in 158th (23:25.2); Abby Mellon in 159th (23:25.8); Aubrey Hogue in 160th (23:28.1); Lydia Barnard in 176th (24:10.4) and Bailey Kasbee in 186th (25:14.6).
The top runner in Class A was Our Lady of Sacred Heart senior Haley Hamilton in 19:19.9.
Wilmington junior and D-10 champion Grace Mason was second in 19:37.9.
St. Josephs Catholic led the team race with 93 points.
D-10 champ Wilmington was fourth with 149 points.