Wheeler sis­ters fin­ish 1-2 to lead Tigers to XC crown

Per­ryville edges Elkton on tiebreaker in boys’ race

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN


— The Wheeler sis­ters dis­tanced them­selves from the pack early.

The race for first place in Tues­day’s Susque­hanna Divi­sion Cross Coun­try meet at Per­ryville Com­mu­nity Park quickly be­came a con­test be­tween the twins from Ris­ing Sun.

Emma Wheeler cap­tured first with a time of 20:44.27. Ari­anna, the younger by 12 min­utes, came in just over a sec­ond later at 20:45.52.

“Ari­anna was there to re­ally help push the pace,” Emma said. “It def­i­nitely mo­ti­vated me to go faster.”

The times were per­sonal records for both girls, they said.

“My goal was to stick with her, be­cause she al­ways comes in front of me. I wanted to stay right with her and I just pushed my­self to do that. It re­ally paid off be­cause I was able to stay with her the whole way,” Ari­anna said. “I just about had her at the end. I mean, I was ahead of her a cou­ple times dur­ing the race.”

Tigers coach James Burkhardt said the Wheel­ers, now se­niors, have grad­u­ally got­ten bet­ter all four years.

“When they first came out their fresh­men year, they were tal­ented. I’ve only seen them im­prove, im­prove and im­prove over the years,” he said. “They’ve got­ten to the point that they re­ally like it be­cause they’re see­ing the suc­cesses at-


tached to it.”

Ris­ing Sun claimed each of the top four spots with se­nior Danielle Lee (22:14.43) plac­ing third and sopho­more Emma Cease (22:16.09) cap­tur­ing fourth.

“I don’t know if our team has ever been this good,” Emma Wheeler said. “The past years, we’ve been good as a team, but we’ve never been this close as a group. Last year, one girl was way out in front and the next best girl was like two min­utes be­hind her.”

A pair of North East run­ners were the next two in with fresh­man Yai­lynn Ramirez (22:38.78) and sopho­more Sarah Beitler (22:44.65) plac­ing fifth and sixth, re­spec­tively.

Per­ryville ju­nior Sky­lar Van­der­weile (22:57.28) also earned a Top 10 fin­ish at ninth place.

The Tigers eas­ily won the girls’ team com­pe­ti­tion with 18 points. Per­ryville placed sec­ond with 56 points, just ahead of Har­ford Tech with 57.

“Com­ing into this, we ex­pected to win,” Burkhardt said. “There was no doubt in my mind that we were go­ing to do it. The girls ran ex­cel­lent.”

Per­ryville and Elkton each fin­ished with a team score of 46 on the boys’ side, but Per­ryville won the event through a tie breaker de­ter- mined by the sixth run­ner to fin­ish from each team.

The Golden Elks had three run­ners fin­ish in the Top 6, but the Pan­thers had four Top 10 fin­ish­ers.

Elkton ju­nior Evan Shrews­bury cap­tured first place by over­com­ing Aberdeen’s Daniel Foster, who led most of the race, in a heated sprint to the fin­ish line.

“I didn’t think I had it in me,” Shrews­bury said. “Hon­estly, I don’t know how I did it. I was run­ning with my team­mate and him, he started book­ing it and I felt like I had to go with him. I gave 110 per­cent, but I got it done.”

Shrews­bury (17:34.15) edged Foster (17:34.49) by less than half a sec­ond. He re­mem­bered los­ing to Foster ear­lier in the year and was de­ter­mined not to let it hap­pen again.

“I just remember the first race of the sea­son, we were run­ning to­gether,” Shrews­bury said. “He beat me in the first race. I said to­day was the day to get him back.”

Be­hind Foster, Elkton sopho­more Zach Ner­linger (17:44.77) fin­ished third. Per­ryville sopho­more Brian Keenan (18:04.44) placed fifth, Elkton sopho­more Cameron Spaeth (18:13.14) took sixth and Per­ryville’s Craig Seibert (18:13.81), Eric Phillips (18:20.58) and Ja­cob Ne­gron (18:31.70) cap­tured sev­enth, eighth and 10th, re­spec­tively.

Har­ford Tech fin­ished third in team points with 82, Aberdeen took fourth with 83, Ris­ing Sun placed fifth on the boys’ side with 115 points and Havre de Grace fin­ished sixth with 132.

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig


Ris­ing Sun se­nior Emma Wheeler, right, fin­ishes first in the Susque­hanna Divi­sion Cross Coun­try meet Tues­day at Per­ryville Com­mu­nity Park. Her sis­ter, Ari­anna, left, placed sec­ond.

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