Devlin speeds to state ti­tle

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter

Ais­linn Devlin im­proved on her pre­vi­ous fin­ish in the PIAA Class AAA race at Her­shey Satur­day.

It may have been only a one­place im­prove­ment, but it was the big­gest step up pos­si­ble.

The Down­ing­town West se­nior capped her scholas­tic cross­coun­try ca­reer by win­ning a state cham­pi­onship. A sec­ond-place fin­isher last year, Devlin (17:44) crossed the fin­ish line two sec­onds ahead of North Al­legheny’s Clara Savchik, com­plet­ing a nearper­fect 2016 cam­paign that cul­mi­nated with her win­ning the Ches-Mont League and Dis­trict 1-AAAA races.

“I came in here with goals,” Devlin said. “I’m pretty ex­cited about this.”

Tak­ing the lead with 1,000 me­ters in, Devlin was chal­lenged Sav-

lenged Savchik as they ap­proached the fi­nal stretch of the Parkview Course. But she got back in front with about 150 me­ters to go, her kick sewing up the big win.

Unionville’s Anna Juul (18:11) fin­ished a dis­tant third, with North Penn’s Ari­ana Gardizy (18:47) ninth. Con­estoga’s Do­minique Shultz (18th, 19:00), North Penn’s Olivia Dyer (22nd, 19:13) and Unionville’s Madi­son McGovern (23rd) 19:13) were other 3A medal­ists.

An­nie Glodek fin­ished her scholas­tic cross-coun­try ca­reer in fine fash­ion Satur­day.

At the same time, the Perkiomen Val­ley star helped her pro­gram cap an equally-pro­duc­tive sea­son with a run that could con­tinue at a fast pace even after she’s gone.

Glodek claimed fifth place in the Class AAA race race at the PIAA State Cham­pi­onships. She emerged as the Pi­o­neer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence’s lone medal win­ner in the event, cov­er­ing the Parkview Course in a time of 18:32 to im­prove on last year’s 10th-place show­ing in the state meet.

“It’s good. It’s kind of what I wanted,” she said.

Glodek also fac­tored promi­nently in PV’s third­place team fin­ish. Though it didn’t meet the ex­pec­ta­tion, the show­ing none­the­less proved to be an all­time best for the pro­gram. Boys Class AAA Con­nor McMe­namin lit­er­ally wanted to cover lost ground.

He did it in a big way Satur­day.

The Soud­er­ton se­nior scored a sixth-place fin­ish in the PIAA Class AAA race at Her­shey, cov­er­ing the Parkview Course in 16 min­utes to barely be­come the high­est-fin­ish­ing Sub­ur­ban one League run­ner in that event. It turned out be a marked im­prove­ment over his pre­vi­ous state-level runs.

“My sopho­more year, I was 31st,” McMe­namin re­called. “My ju­nior year, I was run­ning in the Top 10, but over the last 100 me­ters I fell and fin­ished 41st.”

There was no stum­bles for him this time around. Run­ning fifth after the first mile, McMe­namin ran in a pack be­hind race lead­ers Noah Af­folder of Carlisle (15:33), Nathan Hen­der­son of J.P. McCaskey (15:48) and Sam Af­folder of Carlisle (15:50).

Ephrata’s Zach Le­fever and But­ler’s Noah Bev­eridge (both 15:59) had the edge on him at the fin­ish. But McMe­namin had an equally-close edge on Coun­cil Rock North’s Ryan Camp­bell (16:01), who fol­lowed him in seventh place.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of move­ment,” he said. “It was a pack of me and five oth­ers. To­ward the end, we got spread out.”

Hen­der­son’s Spencer Smucker was 12th in a time of 16:17, and Down­ing­town West’s Jake O’Neill fin­ished 17th in 16:24. Coun­cil Rock North had other high plac­ers in Bryan Keller (23rd, 16:28), Sam Early (25th, 16:30) and Tim Haas (26th, 16:30).

McMe­namin’s Soud­er­ton team­mate, Joe Breen, placed 99th. North Penn’s Bren­dan O’Toole (155th) and Colin Grace (194th) were other in­di­vid­ual run­ners in the 214-con­tes­tant Class AAA field.

Coun­cil Rock North was the big-school team cham­pion with 76 points. Down­ing­town West was third in the AAA stand­ings (158 points), with West Ch­ester Hen­der­son eighth (247) and Cen­tral Bucks West ninth (249).

PETE BANNAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Down­ing­town West’s Ais­linn Devlin bet­terd her state cross county fin­ish from 2015, by win­ning this year’s girls Class AAA meet in Her­shey on Satur­day.

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