Inseparable pair leads Spring-Ford girls over Boyertown
UPPER PROVIDENCE » They’re the closest thing to inseparable you’ll find on a crosscountry course.
Emily Smith and Ahila Moorthy aren’t joined at the hip, in fact. But they are figuratively linked at the front of the SpringFord girls team ... a veritable 1-2 punch that has the Rams atop the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division standings.
Their latest “togetherness” act came Wednesday on their home course. The SF seniors crossed the finish line together in 20:34 to lead the Rams’ 15-48 runaway from Boyertown; a much-closer outcome on the boys’ side still went Spring-Ford’s way, 26-29.
“After the first mile, we had a good gap on the first Boyertown girl,” Smith said. “So we agreed to pack it up and finish together.”
“Once or twice we’ve done it,” Moorthy added. “It’s important we run together.”
The example was embraced by the rest of Spring-Ford’s front-runners. The Rams (3-0) claimed the first five spots in the finishing order, and eight of the first 10.
Behind Smith and Moorthy, Devon Pytel (21:05), Julia Breisch (21:23) and Rachel Murphy (21:30) followed suit. After Boyertown’s Zora Bergey came in sixth, Lucy Ruppert and Brooke Donoghue went 7-8 ahead of Alyssa Mulhall’s 10th-place run.
“We have a couple big meets coming up against Perkiomen Valley and Owen J. Roberts,” Smith noted. “If we run well there, we have a good shot at being champions.”
For Boyertown, Rachanee Tith finished ninth. The Bears’ other high finishers were Beatrice Stringa and Sabrina Bergey, a respective 13th and 14th.
In the boys’ race, Christian McComb again stated his case as one of the PAC’s top runners.
The Boyertown junior covered SpringFord’s course in 16:50, at one point leading the field by close to a dozen seconds. Ram leader John Zawislak was second in 16:56.
“At the 1½-mile mark was where I separated,” McComb said. “I saw my coach, and he said to start moving up, putting on the push.”
Zawislak was joined by Joey Power (17:01) and Alex Fink (17:09) to form Spring-Ford’s 2-3-4 lead pack. John Black, Tyler Reigner and Zach Raugh then went 5-6-7 for Boyertown, with Jadon Dunham and Anthony Bamford 8-9 for the Rams (2-1).
James Sahakian completed the Top 10 by getting 10th place for the visitors.
“This course is probably one of the easier ones,” McComb said. “There are only two little hills. I was able to move quick when I decided to.”
With big invitationals like Paul Short and PIAA Foundation in the coming weeks, McComb is seeking considerable improvement on last year’s 20th — albeit a medal — finish at Hershey.
“My goal is to stay up with the top kids in the state,” he said. “Last year I had two kids behind me, but I pushed just enough to medal.”
And in handicapping this year’s PAC Championship meet ...
“I’d say I’m up there, among the top three,” McComb said. “Everybody in the PAC is going to get better.”
NOTES » Dave Cain, Spring-Ford’s first-year head coach, expressed particular satisfaction with the progress Moorthy has made. “She was running 24s last year, and now she’s in the 20s,” he said . ... Moorthy on her senior season thus far: “This summer, I realized I like running. So I put a lot of effort in,” she said. “When you find something you enjoy, you’ll put the effort into it.”
Spring-Ford’s Ahila Moorthy, left, and Emily Smith.