Lib­erty’s Frank, Jobes shine at Paul Short Run

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Michael Blouse Michael Blouse is a free­lance writer.

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.

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