Liberty’s Frank, Jobes shine at Paul Short Run
Fast course. Ideal conditions. Great competition.
If ever there was a perfect day (sunny, 62 degrees, slight breeze) to hold a big meet, it was Saturday for the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University.
And everyone benefited, Liberty first-year coach Erin Matyus said — her Hurricanes included.
Liberty was a headliner among area high schools that took part in this year’s cross country extravaganza, with junior Cole Frank placing 10th among 323 runners in the boys’ Brown Race and junior Emily Jobes taking 12th among 262 runners in the girls’ Brown Race.
Matyus’ girls finished 11th overall in the team standings, while her boys were 21st.
“You couldn’t have asked for a more picture-perfect day for cross country,” said Matyus, a 2005 Liberty graduate who earned 16 varsity letters during her four-year athletic career.
“Lehigh’s course is phenomenal, one of the best in the nation, and we’re so lucky to have it in Bethlehem. When you have the best course, a perfect day and great competition, it’s to everyone’s advantage and I think everyone took advantage of it.”
Frank, who finished sixth at last year’s District 11 Class 3A championships, is the favorite to win both Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and district titles this season. He showed why Saturday.
Frank came through with his finest performance of the fall, completing the 3.1-mile course in 15:38.
“Cole is such a strong kid,” Matyus said, “I’m very fortunate to have inherited him. He’s built a strong base throughout the season and Saturday was a great day for him. It was his first opportunity to really see his hard work come to fruition. It was a strong performance.”
Jobes, a daughter of Lehigh Valley running legend Kathleen Jobes, is also an up-and-comer. She’ll be a top contender at next week’s EPC championships and at districts, as well.
“Cole and Emily are very different people but they’re very similar in their approach to running,” Matyus said. “Emily is a strong, poised and controlled individual and her racing shows that. She can grind with anyone. We know what caliber runner she is and she can only go up from here. The Paul Short was a significant benchmark for her.”
Frank and Jobes are Liberty’s elite individuals but Matyus loved what she saw from all of her Hurricanes.
Senior Casey Frank, Cole’s brother, placed 80th overall among boys (16:44) and senior Belle Weikert was 39th in the girls race (19:30).
“Our pack was incredible,” she said. “I think 33 of our 35 athletes ran their season-bests. Of course the conditions played a part but the kids fed off of each others’ energy and support, in and out of the race.”
Easton’s boys placed 17th in the team standings, best among District 11 schools. Senior Marco Cardone took 15th in 15:52 for coach Bobbi Jo Powell’s Red Rovers.
Stroudsburg junior Ciara Conboy was a top-50 finisher in the girls’ race, placing 46th (19:34).
In the women’s college 6K White Race, Muhlenberg sophomore Abby Dalton, an Emmaus graduate, took fifth place overall (22:22).
The Paul Short featured 14 races in total, eight at the college level and six at the high school level.
The start of the Women’s College Gold 6K race at the Paul Short Run Saturday at Lehigh’s Goodman Campus.