In­sep­a­ra­ble pair leads Spring-Ford girls over Boy­er­town

The Phoenix - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter

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.”

JEFF STOVER - DFM

Spring-Ford’s Ahila Moor­thy, left, and Emily Smith.

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