Golden day on the course for lo­cals

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - SPORTS - By Kevin Hunter khunter@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @ on Twit­ter

BETH­LE­HEM >> Last year was as dom­i­nant a fin­ish as you’ll ever see, as the Jenk­in­town boys cross coun­try team — on their way to the District 1-A ti­tle, placed one through five.

This year was dif­fer­ent. They placed one through six. “It was hard to im­prove on what we did last year and I think we did,” said a smil­ing Jack Miller, on a crisp, clear day on the course at Le­high Univer­sity. “I’m re­ally happy about that. I know all of the guys are re­ally ex­cited.”

Miller won his se­cond straight gold and the Drakes pulled off a district three-peat, part of a big day by lo­cals in the big qual­i­fy­ing race for states.

“It’s a lot of fun hav­ing this group of guys, a group that a school as small as ours doesn’t nor­mally get to have,” said Miller, who set a win­ning pace with a time of 15 min­utes, 58.5 sec­onds. “It’s real ex­cit­ing that we have all of these good, hard-work­ing guys out here.”

The Drakes took the top six spots, as Luke Miller (16:17.2), Pat Wag­ner (16:18.8), Carter Geer (16:21.5), Ai­den Michell (17:14.5) and Travis Geer (17:29.2) cre­ated a wall of red.

Miller led the way from the start.

“It’s def­i­nitely a con­fi­dence booster get­ting ready for next week,” he said. “To­day was just sorta take it out kinda hard and see how long my team­mates held on for.

After that, I just had to push my­self men­tally and phys­i­cally and put in a hard ef­fort.

“I think (states will) be a lot of fun. That’s the big goal — to have fun with the team. It’s a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity that we don’t nor­mally get.”

Pope John Paul II swept Class 2A, with the girls edg­ing Villa Joseph Marie 56-60. A goal that was set way back in the heat of sum­mer came to fruition at Le­high Fri­day, with the leaves fi­nally start­ing to change color.

“We wanted it so bad. It was our goal since the be­gin­ning of the sea­son, what we’ve been work­ing on since July,” said fresh­man Kayla Croiger, who was a gamer, plac­ing third to lead the Golden Pan­thers. “We knew who we had to beat, where our times needed to be.”

Later in the morn­ing, the boys came through to com­plete the sweep.

“Last year was just by a point and this year, we blew ‘em away,” Jack Bro­sius said. “To see our girls win it be­fore our race, it was a big mo­ti­va­tor. We knew it was gonna be hard (to re­peat). It’s easy to do well when peo­ple don’t know who

you are. It’s harder to stay in front.”

Bro­sius is al­ways a dif­fer­ence maker for PJP. Last year as a fresh­man, he was the fifth run­ner and got the place the Golden Pan­thers needed to se­cure first. This year, he was the pack leader, and raced all the way to se­cond.

“We lost two se­niors from last year so that was a big hit. So we had a fresh­man and a sopho­more and those two re­ally stepped it up,” he said. “Our se­niors re­ally led the pack in prac­tice and through ev­ery­thing.”

Also mak­ing an im­pres­sive ti­tle de­fense was the Cen­tral Bucks West girls, who held off se­cond-place West Chester Hen­der­son, 104-111, in crowded Class 3A.

“We all tried to run to­gether at the be­gin­ning and I was run­ning with (team­mate) Piper (Wil­son),” said the Bucks’ Julia Flood, who raced to sev­enth. “Every­one did awe­some — we all did bet­ter than our P.R.’s. It’s so mo­ti­vat­ing for states so I’m re­ally ex­cited.”

The Dock (Class A) and St. Basil girls (2A) each had a com­peti­tor earn run­nerup hon­ors: sopho­more Lau­ren Birch for the Pioneers, fresh­man Alina LaFor­est for the Pan­thers.

“The Cal­vary girls pushed me re­ally hard,” Birch said. “In other races, I tend to think too much, and with this one, I stopped think­ing and just ran.”

“It wasn’t as tough as I ex­pected,” LaFor­est said. “It was re­ally flat, not as many hills as usual. It was pretty good. I wanted to stay up there with (Villa Maria’s Sarah Rauben­heimer), stay up there as close as pos­si­ble.”

Lower More­land’s Shane Co­hen came in as the de­fend­ing champ in Class 2A boys, and with a gutsy kick, he made sure it stayed that way.

“All year, I’ve been work­ing for this. I hadn’t been run­ning too well this year but this was the only thing on my mind,” he said after gut­ting out one last surge past

Bro­sius of PJP. “This is my cham­pi­onship for now. I was glad I had some­thing left. I wanted to go back to back so much.

“I was gonna have (the rest of the front pack) take it out, let them set the pace. I didn’t re­ally feel too well so I was cruis­ing be­hind them. Back in the corn­field, they were kinda get­ting far from me. I was fo­cus­ing on them, look­ing at their backs, try­ing to get closer to them.”

Co­hen was un­beat­able down the stretch.

Later on in Class 3A, North Penn’s Noah Demis saw his way to states.

“It feels re­ally good in a com­pe­ti­tion like this,” Demis said after rac­ing to fourth in a field of 393 run­ners. “Dis­tricts al­ways has a re­ally high level of com­pe­ti­tion. And I’m just happy I made it up there with those top com­peti­tors.

“My coaches and I had re­ally been work­ing on (my kick) so I could use that at the end, and it re­ally made me feel con­fi­dent. It helped me trust my train­ing and let me know I had it at the end.”

Next up is the PIAA State Cham­pi­onships in Her­shey next Satur­day.

District One Cham­pi­onships at Le­high Univer­sity Boys

Class 3A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Teams: 1. Down­ing­town West 71; 2. Unionville 120; 3. Coun­cil Rock South 218; 4. Haver­ford Town­ship 230; 5. Cen­tral Bucks East 257; 6. Owen J. Roberts


State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als: 4. Noah Demis (North Penn) 15:40; 10. Ja­son Cor­neli­son (Chel­tenham) 15:50.4; 23. Ethan Sav­ille (Pen­nridge) 15:59; 27. John Zaw­is­lak (Spring-Ford) 16:03; 28. Ste­fano Is­abella (Hatboro-Hor­sham) 16:03; 30. Devon Comber (Hatboro-Hor­sham) 16:04; 36. Matt Vargh­ese (Methac­ton) 16:07; 48. An­drew Gille­spie

(CBW) 16:19.1; 50. Josiah Moyer (Soud­er­ton) 16:20.6; 52. Samir Razi (NP) 16:21.9.

Class 2A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Team: 1. Pope John Paul II 25. PJP-2. Jack Bro­sius, 16:29.6; 3. Jack Phillips, 16:41.7; 5. Kaden Buch­ler, 17:02; 6. Jack Flynn, 17:13.2; 9. John Schiele, 17:23.6.

State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als: 1. Shane Co­hen (Lower More­land) 16:29; 7. Shane Coll (Up­per More­land) 17:16.8.

Class A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Team: 1. Jenk­in­town 15. J-1. Jack Miller, 15:58.5; 2. Luke Miller, 16:17.2; 3. Pat Wag­ner, 16:18.8; 4. Carter Geer, 16:21.5; 5. Ai­den Michell, 17:14.5. State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als: 7. Matt Birch (Dock) 17:34.2; 11. Sean Robin­son (Dock) 17:45.0.

Girls Class 3A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Teams: 1. Cen­tral Bucks West 104; 2. West Chester Hen­der­son 111; 3. Unionville 215; 4. West Chester East 230; 5. Cen­tral Bucks East 249; 6. Avon Grove 249.

CBW-7. Julia Flood, 18:24; 11. Piper Wil­son, 18:41.8; 21. Emmi Si­mon, 18:58.5; 32. Grace Kolbe, 19:08.5; 33. Darby Roth, 19:09.1.

State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als:

13. Janelle Wil­liams (Chel­tenham) 18:45.9; 17. Me­gan Ci­a­sullo (Mount St. Joe’s) 18:54.5; 18. Elaina O’Toole (Up­per Dublin) 18:56.2; 28. Emily Smith (SpringFord) 19:04.8; 35. Makala Hansen (Wil­liam Ten­nent) 19:12.0; 38. Maeve Gim­bert (North Penn) 19:13.3; 42. Leah Du­bin (Wis­sahickon) 19:22.7; 44. Lael Flores (Soud­er­ton) 19:25.1.

Class 2A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Team:

1. Pope John Paul II 56. PJP-3. Kayla Croiger, 20:04; 7. Gianna Cagli­ola, 20:13.8; 11. Kathryn Todd, 20:32.5; 15. Julia Costello, 20:46.5; 20. Natalie Florig, 21:00.5.

State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als:

2. Alina LaFor­est (St. Basil) 19:23.0; 3. Jill Kelly (Up­per More­land) 20:01.8; 5. Kelly Mur­ray (Gwynedd Mercy) 20:04.6.

Class A

State Qual­i­fy­ing Team:

1. Cal­vary

Chris­tian 24.

State Qual­i­fy­ing Lo­cal In­di­vid­u­als: 2. Lau­ren Birch (Dock) 20:06.1; 5. Caro­line Arena (Jenk­in­town) 21:09.7; 9. Sara Ken­nel (Dock) 21:42.0.


The Jenk­in­town boys cap­tured their third straight District 1-A ti­tle.

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