9/30 WKND: Radnor close in NY|Cville 30@Carl|Spence 17:47, Emmaus girls @ Lehigh|Springer 2nd in NJ

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17:47 5K art Paul Short for Neely Spence
in her first invite for Shippensburg HS



Earlier in the week, Bethany Walker won for the 2nd time in four days, taking the MIDWESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE title. On Friday at the PAUL SHORT INVITATIONAL, Neely Spence, the Shippensburg junior running for her high school for the first time, made her 5K PA HS Invitational debut a memorable one, winning in a stunning 17:47, and looking like she had more to give (In PennTrackXC.com photo nearing the finish). Emmaus, the young team with big goals, looked every bit the part as they won the team title. Strath Haven's Rob Speare won a dual over Tom Mooney of Council Rock South. Quince Orchard of Maryland won the team title with 158 points and Germantown Friends was second with 163. At the MCDONALD'S MAYMOUNT XC FESTIVAL in Richmond, VA, Baldwin took gold in the, pardon the reference, Gold Seeded Boys race. On Saturday in New York at WARWICK VALLEY, Radnor came within 9 points of upsetting US#1 Hilton, 59-68. At the CARLISLE INVITATIONAL, Coateville scored 30 behind Kyle Dawson's 15:17.9. Manheim Township girls win. Lara Crofford 18:16. At the COUGAR INVITATIONAL in New Jersey, Colts Neck's Tom Forys won the head-to-head over Unionville's Paul Springer by 11 seconds, running 14:58. At the 3.0 MCQUAID INVITATIONAL in New York, it was a perfect day for some fast times. The fastest PA time of the day came from a freshman from Notre Dame Green Pond (Easton), as Allison Constant ran 18:04. Bradford's Sarah Lonzi ran 18:15. In the boy's races, Smethport senior Ben Hahn ran 15:13.6. North East finished 2nd in the team competition. The Strath Haven girls took on the tough Hereford 3.0 course in Maryland at the BULL RUN INVITATIONAL and came away with a 2nd place in the Medium Schools race. The Meadville boys took the top three spots and put four in the top 16 to win the COCHRANTON INVITATIONAL. Zac Ross ran 15:49. The Meadville girls captured 2nd to Titusville. Titusville's Laura Koller won in 19:54. At the COUNCIL ROCK INVITATIONAL, the host North boys dominated by placing four in the top nine behind the 16:38 by Matt Wikler. Josh Izewski of Central Bucks East took 1st in 16:02. Sarah Simonetti continued her wins with a solo 18:38 to lead her Pennridge team to the title by two points over Central Bucks South. At the MERCERSBURG ACADEMY INVITATIONAL, James Finucane took 3rd for the hosts. Anne Spencer was 14th for the host girls. Both teams finished 9th. Cedar Cliff took a drive to Bloomsburg and came away with team gold in both the girls' and boys' races at the NORTHEAST INVITATIONAL. Kassie Meholick led thei girls with a 4th place 19:17 on the challenging course while the boys were led by the 16:53.0 of Jared McGahen. Lakeland senior Mark Bucklaw won in 16:13.0, edging Crestwood sophomore Robert Micikas by less than a second.




15:09 for Paul Springer, Unionville, 2nd to
Colts Neck's Tom Forys in NJ (Photo by Open Photo)


9/26 Big 7 Conference Championships @ Mingo Creek Park



9/26 Midwestern Athletic Conference @ Brush Creek Park


Ellwood City's Bethany Walker won her third invitational of the year, taking this meet just three days after her Sharpsville win at Buhl Park. Her 20:25 was 54 seconds better than 2nd place. West Allegheny underclassmen Leslie Wood, a sophomore, and Katie Kisow, a junior, led their team to a 10 point margin over Moon Area with their 3rd and 5th place finishes. But Mars captured the boys race by 16 over Quaker Valley behind Cody Kier's winning 17:31



9/29-30 McDonald's Maymount Cross Country Festival, Richmond, VA


Baldwin took to the road for a huge meet in Richmond, Virginia, and came away with gold in the, pardon the earlier reference, Gold Seeded Boys race. Their 113 point with a 17:29 scoring average featured a 54-second spread behind the 10th place finish by TJ Hobart in 16:56.8. Their team average was the 14th best on the day. In the Silver Girls race, the Baldwin girls were 2nd behind the 2nd place finish of Kristie Domis. And in the Bronze Boys race, it was Trinity (D7) with a 2nd place team finish as Tyler Lyon and Ryan Bassi were 2nd and 3rd in 16:52.9 and 17:12.8, respectively.



9/29 New Balance Jersey Shore Cougar Invitational, Colts Neck, NJ


Unionville's Paul Springer went to New Jersey for the competition, and found it. His 15:09 took 2nd to Craig Forys, running on his Colts Neck home course. Coming through the mile in 4:47, Forys was a step behind Delbarton's Tom Poland, with Springer a step behind Forys. At two miles, it was Forys through in 9:42 and about 20 yards on Springer. Springer says that is the time he wanted to hit for two, but then he cramped a little and by the time he recovered, Forys was gone. "I am definitely happy with the result. It was a good test" Springer said while watching his team compete at Carlisle a day later. Springer hit his highest week ever at 71 miles two weeks before Colts Neck, and did 60 this past week. "And no speed work yet. I ran that time off no speed. I am a lot farther ahead at this point than I was last year."



9/29 Paul Short Run, Lehigh University


By Kimberly Jaick Soden

Neely Spence waited two years to run in her first high school invitational. Friday evening she made the wait worth it by blazing to a personal best 17:47 victory in the girls 5K high school championship at the 33rd Annual Paul Short Invitational, hosted by Lehigh University.

"My only other 5K cross country race was Foot Locker regionals," she said. "I figured it was a little windy, so I didn't want to lead right away. I wanted to hang and play things out."

Spence, a junior at Shippensburg High School, has been running for a long time. Friday was actually her third time racing at the Paul Short, but she had always run in the open women's 6K before because she is actually home-schooled. Pennsylvania passed a new law earlier this year that is now allowing home-schooled kids to participate on their high school team.

Because she has always run unattached she is actually not all that familiar with how high school races pan out.

"It's definitely a big change with strategy," she said. "College girls run with a little more strategy."

Get used to seeing double and triple with the
Emmaus girls, who won Paul Short over a huge field.

Her main competition on Friday was Easton junior Chanelle Price, who is only in her second year of cross country. The pair ran together for over two miles before Spence pulled away. Price finished in a personal best 18:21.

"I had no idea who she was," Price said. "In the 800 I know people."

Price is a junior national champion on the track for the 800-meter run.

"I came out here to run my own race," she said. "I just gauged who would make the race and had hoped it would be a sprint so I could use my speed. Around two miles I shut down. But I was really happy with my time. I looked at the clock and was like, 'wow.'"

Teamwise, the youthful Emmaus High girls squad proved it really could be one of the best teams in the state this fall by capturing the high school 5K title over runner-up Council Rock-North. The Green Hornets scored 122 points, Council Rock had 159.

"They ran what I expected them to run even though when we got here their eyes were wide open when they saw all the people and the college stuff going on," said Emmaus coach Dan Wessner. "But they went out at the pace we talked about and ran the race we talked about."

Sophomore Lindsey Graybill led the charge with a 17th place finish in a personal best 19:16. Following close behind were two of the team's freshmen Faust triplets, Brianna and Amanda in 21st (19:19) and 22nd (19:22). No. 4 Melissa Meade, a sophomore, was 23rd, also in 19:22. Rounding out the scorers was freshman Kelsey Coates, who took 51st in 19:59.

Wessner said his young squad is just starting to realize how good they could be. "They know but they don't know," he said.

The boys race was similar to the show put on by Spence and Price in that overall winner Rob Speare, a senior at Strath Haven, and Tom Mooney, a senior at Council Rock-South, ran together for most of the race before Speare pulled away to win in 15:43. Mooney clocked 15:46.

"He put on a good surge on the first big hill and I knew he was going to be the guy who would go for it," Speare said. "I just tried to make sure he was in sight and then tried to put the race away when it was in sight. With 1K to go I took the downhill hard and heard '30 meters,' then '50 meters.'"

The difference between these guys and Spence and Price, however, is that they are District 1 rivals, but also friends who hang out at the state meets. But it's all business when it's time to race.

"I took the lead and could hear him clipping away at the back of my feet," Mooney said.

Quince Orchard High School of Maryland won the team title with 158 points and Germantown Friends was second with 163.



Strath Haven's Rob Speare won a dual
over Tom Mooney of Council Rock South at Paul Short.


Paul Short Invitational Photo Galleries by Don Rich


Select Pix of the Varsity Races at the Paul Short Run


Varsity Girls


Varsity Boys



9/30 14th Carlisle Invitational @ Carlisle HS


How impressive were the Coatesville boys with their 85-point-gap win over both North Allegheny and LaSalle in the Reebok Challenge Race? "If they charged admission for cross country, I'd pay to watch this team. This is once in a lifetime."



Coatesille's Kyle Dawson and Pittsburgh Central Catholic's
Scott VanKooten ran together for almost two miles
before Dawson put in the winning gap to lead
his team to a dominating win with just 30 point. at Carlisle.

And that wasn't said by an admiring fan or a parent of one of the boys. As he took in the scene at the team tent after their 30-point performance, Coatesville head coach Keith Andrew was as impressed with this year's team and their performances as everyone else. "This is a very special group, and I am enjoying every minute of it. I just love to watch them win."

The Coatesville program has always had more of a family flavor than most teams. Not unlike many squads, the girls cheer the boys and the boys cheer on the girls when they have the time. But this team seems closer than most. Meeting at a teammate's home or a local restaurant the night before each race has become commonplace, even for dual meets. And Andrew says that while he was impressed that a lot of Coatesville people showed up at Bucknell in 2000 when they last won a state title, he says this year's team has created a buzz in the community. "People know about them and follow their races."

The team race appeared to be over early. But it was Kyle Dawson's twin Owen who set the early pace, blasting to a lead in the first 300 meters. It was his first race back after two weeks of backing off because of foot pain. "We wanted to see how is was for our home meet next week (Steel City)," Andrew said. "And he's doing fine." Once the race settled in, there were a ton of black Coatesville shirts at the front. Kyle and Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Scott Van Kooten made it clear by the mile that it was a two-person race. Dawson had been beaten by Van Kooten when the pair went 4-5 in 2005 after Van Kooten had gapped Dawson early in the 3rd mile. But Dawson was having none of that this year. Van Kooten had made a couple of moves at 1.5 and then on the uphill approaching 1.75, but Dawson responded each time. Then, Dawson made his move. "On that first little downhill, I went ahead of him and just kept on running."

Coach Andrew says that Dawson looked great. "He had a sensational race for this point in time. His consistency was the difference between first and second today."


Conestoga Valley junior Vince McNally
returned to action in Carlisle after a setback
with a strong 3rd place showing.

Dawson finished in 15:17.9, with Van Kooten in nine seconds faster than his 2005 time, going 15:40.1.

PA#4 North Allegheny was 2nd with 115 points, edging PA#6 LaSalle by just two points based on 6th man scoring.

Making a comeback after correcting a biomechanical problem that was causing recurrent knee pain, Conestoga Valley junior Vince McNally rolled in two seconds behind Van Kooten to a 15:42.9. Gettysburg senior Bryan Beegle was 4th in 15:49.7. The Coatesville train included Jason Leonard, 5th in 15:51.9, Tom Pannula, 7th in 15:56.8, Owen Dawson 10th in 16:08.5, and Sean Ward, 17th in 16:24.1. Andrew says he was impressed with everyone's races. "Ward is a little hard on himself. He wanted to do better, but he ran a sensational race for the team. Time wise, I'm pleased with where we are at this point."

Kyle says that the team has a simple plan. "We all know we have to go out and beat each other if we want to be the best. If we run as hard against each other as we run against everyone else, we're going to be good. As long as everyone runs well, and the order changes, it's no big deal."

That's somewhat the same philosophy adopted by this year's Manheim Township girls who, like Coatesville's boys, added to their Gettysburg title with one at Carlisle. First-year runner Paige Rainear, who got into the sport after breaking her collarbone this past summer playing field hockey, says it's just old fashioned competition that has been largely responsible for the teams rise to the top this season. "Today we played a game... pass as many people as you can. It helps to make it fun and not to stress about it too much."



Paige Rainear leads Manhteim Township to their 2nd
win of the season, taking 10th in Carlisle.

Rainear says they were happy with their Gettysburg win, but "didn't want to come into Carlisle with too much confidence." Her 10th place 19:22.8 was a PR... but she says, "it's only my fifth cross country race ever." Manheim Township's team average of 19:52.9 was also the best on the day as they tallied 114 point. PA#6 Mount Lebanon was 2nd with 138 and sported a 41-second compression. Unranked, but mentioned North Allegheny was 3rd at 152. PA#4 Unionville was 4th with 169, while PA#8 Cardinal O'Hara was 5th with 194. Archbishop Prendergast's Colleen Boland is coming back from a recently diagnosed biomechanical problem, and finished 79 places behind her 2005 finish.

Big Spring senior Lara Crofford took control of the Reebok Challenge race in the first mile, and never looked back in winning in 18:16.3. Big Spring coach Bob Jumper says that "it seemed like no one really wanted to take charge early, so she just took off." Latrobe sophomore Natalie Bower was 2nd in 18:36.8, with Northern juniors Rachel Wong and Katie Meck 3rd and 4th in 18:44.7 and 18:45.9, respectively.

In the girls' Champions Race, the PA#9 Lancaster Mennonite girls, minus the services of #1 girl Lindsey Shertzer, who is coming back from an injury, finished 2nd by a single point to Eastern York 180-181. Dallastown sophomore Emily Ballantyne won in a quick 18:54.0. Chester's Shaniel Chambers, who is having a great XC season, was 2nd in 19:11.1.

And in the boys' Champions Race, Tamaqua senior Isaac Dunkelberger had the company of a pair of North Penn runners, but shook them over the final half mile to win in 16:03.5. The two-three by North Penn juniors Zach Montijo and Zach Hoagland in 16:10.0 and 16:12.5, respectively, was not enough to hold off the York Suburban squad in the team race, where they were beaten 117-129. Matthew Cocciardi led York Suburban with his 16:39.4 7th place run.


Carlisle Invitational Photo Galleries by Don Rich


Select Pix of all Six Races at the Carlisle Invitational




Big Spring's Lara Crofford took when when no one seemed
to want to take the race in Carlisle, winning in 18:16.3.

Girls Reebok Challenge


Boys Reebok Challenge


Girls Race of Champions


Boys Race of Champions


Girls Junior Varsity


Boys Junior Varsity



Carlisle Invitational Photo Galleries by Karen Ward


Girls Reebok Challenge Race


Girls Reebok Challenge Awards


Boys Reebok Challenge Race


Boys Reebok Challenge Awards


GIrls Race of Champions Part One


GIrls Race of Champions Part Two


GIrls Race of Champions Awards


Boys Race of Champions


Boys Race of Champions Awards


Girls Junior Varsity


Boys Junior Varsity Part One


Boys Junior Varsity Part Two



Carlisle Invitational Photo Galleries by James K. Wood


Girls Reebok Challenge




9/30 42nd McQuaid Invitational, Genessee Valley Park, NY


It was a perfect day for some fast times on the double loop 3 mile layout. The fastest PA time of the day came from a freshman from Notre Dame Green Pond (Easton), as Allison Constant ran 18:04 in the Class A-2 Unseeded race. The Bradford girls finished 9th in the Class AA Seeded race behind the 6th place 18:15 by Sarah Lonzi. In the boy's races, Smethport senior Ben Hahn ran 15:13.6 in the Boys Seeded A race. North East finished 2nd in the team competition in the race behind the 10th place 16:08 by Garret Gray. Maplewood was 7th in the race. In the Seeded AA race, Michael Stolar of Mercyhurst Prep went 15:25 The Bradford boys were 10th in that race. In the Boys Varsity B race, the North East boys captured first.



9/30 Bull Run Invitational @ Hereford HS 3.0, MD


The Strath Haven girls took on the tough Bull Run course in Maryland and came away with a 2nd place in the Medium Schools race with 88 points. Hannah Johnson won captured 4th on the hill Hereford HS 3.0 mile layout in 21:08 with teammate Catherine Loiselle 5th in 21:10. The Kennard Dale girls took 11th in the Small Schools race and the boys were 23rd. Brittany Dandy was Kennard Dale's top finisher in 22:20, taking 11th.



9/30 Cochranton Invitational @ Cochrantan Elementary School


The Meadville boys took the top three spots and put four in the top 16 to win with 52 points. Zac Ross went 15:49 for the win, followed by Andrew Geist at 16:21 and Richard Peterson at 16:54. The Meadville girls captured 2nd to Titusville by 13 points. Titusville's Laura Koller won in 19:54, with two other teammates at 4th and 6th. Meadville's Elesia Wilson was 3rd in 20:20.



9/30 Council Rock Invitational @ Tyler State Park


The Council Rock North boys dominated their home invite by placing four in the top nine behind the 16:38 by Matt Wikler. Josh Izewski of Central Bucks East took 1st in 16:02. Sarah Simonetti continued her wins with a solo 18:38 to lead her Pennridge team to the title by two points over Central Bucks South, which was led by the 5th place finish of Taylore Goldsworthy in 20:36.




Kelyn Freedman, a freshman, led Radnor's pack to a narrow 9-point loss
loss vs the US #1 Hilton NY girls
at the pre-state meet in Warwick, New York.(Photo by Open Photo)


9/30 Mercersburg Academy Invitational


Mercerburg Academy's James Finucane took 3rd, with teammate Tyler Small in 9th as the top finishers at their home invitational. Finucane went 16:28.5, with Small in at 16:49.9. The boys were 9th overall, which was the same finish as the Mercersburg girls. Anne Spencer ran 20:24.2 for 14th place, while Madi McConnell finished 18th, ten seconds behind.



9/30 Northeast Invitational @ Bloomsburg University


Cedar Cliff took a drive to Bloomsburg and came away with team gold in both the girls' and boys' varsity races. Kassie Meholick led thei girls with a 4th place 19:17 on the challenging course. The Colts placed their scoring five in the top 17. Danville's Caitlin Cavanaugh won in a swift 18:40.0. The boys won with a good pack from 11th to 40th behind the 16:53.0 by Jared McGahen. Lakeland senior Mark Bucklaw won in 16:13.0, edging Crestwood sophomore Robert Micikas by less than a second.



9/30 Warwick Valley XC Mania, Warwick, NY


Radnor places a spectatular 2nd to US#1 Hilton, 59-68. At first, meet management announced that Radnor had won, but a scoring error was discovered in which Hilton's 3rd girl had not been counted, and the result was reversed. Frosh Kelyn Freedman ran 1st for Radnor, finishing 8 in 18:39.5. Teammates Hannah Granger (18:46.7), Liz Milewski (18:47.3), Katie Lally (19:05.7) and Shannon Holm (19:38.3 finished in 10th, 11th, 14th and 25th, respectively.


Warwick Valley XC Mania Select Pix by Open Photo


Select Pix of the Radnor girls at Warwick Valley NY






15 of the 20 ranked teams in PA race this weekend. On Friday, Unionville's Paul Springer will race Colts Neck NJ star Craig Forys on his home course at the COUGAR INVITATIONAL. At the PAUL SHORT RUN at Lehigh University, the girls' race is loaded as PA#3 Emmaus, PA#5 Cumberland Valley, PA#7 Council Rock North's girls, formerly ranked Easton, will face a lot of tough competition. In the boys' race, PA#3 West Chester East, PA#5 Haverford Township, PA#7 Central Bucks South and PA#10 Strath Haven make for a very hot race. Three PA-ranked girls teams will face each other and some strong challengers in the Girls Reebok Challenge race at the CARLISLE INVITATIONAL. #4 Unionville, #6 Mount Lebanon and #8 Cardinal O'Hara will have more than each other to watch as Archbishop Prendergast, North Allegheny, Chambersburg and Upper Dublin are teams to watch. PA#2 Manheim Township is racing in the Champions Race against PA#9 Lancaster Mennonite and others. In the boys Challenge Race, PA#1 and US#4 Coatesville will race some strong teams, including PA#4 North Allegheny, PA#6 LaSalle, and formerly ranked State College. And in New York, PA#1 Radnor's girls race against defending NTN champ and current US#1 Hilton NY at the WARWICK XC MANIA INVITATIONAL.