Boys and Girls XC Both Qualify for State Meet

Robert Sterner, Advisor

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For the first time in decades, both the Boys and Girls Cross Country teams have qualified for the PIAA State Championship. 

Thanks to a second and fourth place finish at the District III Championship Meet at Big Spring High School on Saturday October 26, 2019, both the boys and girls squads have punched their ticket to the state meet.

Led by senior captain Brendon Shea, the boys scored 180 points and were only bested by a strong Cedar Crest squad.  With just a light drizzle on the hill, the conditions were good for a fast race. Shea came home in eighth place with a 16:16. Senior Andrew Sisco’s 16:24 was good enough for 16th.  Senior captain Luke Sheppard secured 25th in 16:38. With a time of 17:09 and in 62nd place, senior Kohen Stover was fourth for the squad. And senior Ethan Rogers’ 17:15 was good enough for 76th and rounded out the scoring for the Trojans.  Senior Ben Phillippy came home in 18:13.

While they were disappointed not to win District III outright, they head into the PIAA AAA State Championship next week in Hershey with one last chance to run together in competition.  Even more impressive, this was the first time in “nearly thirty years,” according to Assistant Coach Mike Gustantino, that both the boys and girls squads had qualified as teams for the state championship.

The ladies scored 168 points to secure fourth and a trip to the state meet.  Just 16 points separated Carlisle in first place with Hershey in fourth. District III is sending some very strong squads to the state meet.

Led by senior captain Olivia Wilson, the girls varsity team is a young one with five freshmen runners.  Sophomore Emma Taylor has had a breakout year and in this race secured 12th place with a 19:09. Olivia Wilson came home in 19:26 and good enough for 21st place.  Freshman Brooke Preputnick nabbed 39th in 19:58 and freshman Ally Wilson’s 20:21 was good enough for 59th place. Rounding out the scoring was freshman Kadia Stover in 100th place with a time of 21:10.

Both teams faced adversity during the meet.  Senior Tommy Johnson pulled up with a calf injury near the end of the race and crossed the line in 148th with a time of 17:52.  Freshman Rachel Lyn-Sue came home in 23:11 in a daze and was taken directly to the medical tent. Both are expected to fully recover.  The question is will it be in time for the state meet next Saturday in Hershey.