Hershey Cross Country sweeps Hempfield in scrimmage

Robert Sterner, Advisor

The Hershey Boys and Girls Cross Country teams defeated Hempfield 25-30 and 21-40 at Shenk Park on Monday, August 23, 2021.

Senior co-captain Dillan O’Shell led the boys home to a solid victory with a time of 17:19 in the sweltering conditions on the hilly Shenk Park course. Senior co-captain Aiden Bertoldi was fourth with an 18:26, Adam Nielson fifth with 18:47 and freshman Vinay Raman close behind with 18:58. Eddie Liszka rounded out the victorious squad with a 19:05 which was good enough for ninth.

The temperature and the humidity were both in the mid 90s, and a heat warning was in effect. While the times were slightly slower than the team might have been expecting on their home course, the boys said they followed Head Coach Al Fricke’s game plan to victory.

“The heat slowed me down,” said O’Shell, “but other than that, I think I had a stellar race.”

The boys team graduated several varsity runners last year including Evan Alander and Peter Barto.

“We’re looking great,” said O’Shell, “A lot of the underclassmen stepped up because we lost some seniors last year. So overall, our team looks pretty good.”

The girls cruised to victory putting eight runners across the line in the first ten. Brooke Preputnick led the way with a blistering 20:31. Co-captain Emma Taylor and Ally Wison came home in third and fourth with 21:56 and 22:23 respectively. Rachel Lyn-Sue nabbed sixt with 23:32, Kylie Dixon 23:44, and Co-captain Julia Zakovitch rounded out the scoring with a 24:28 for eighth.

The 2020 season ended abruptly with the high school being shuttered due to COVID and the team being unable to compete at the District III Championship.

“I think we’re going to do great this season,” said Taylor. “We’re all pretty fit this year. We’re all into it since our end last year got cut off. I think some other people are underestimating us because of that. And I think that we’re going to come back and really show them they shouldn’t have done that.”

The Trojans open their regular season on their home course at Shenk Park on Tuesday, September 7 against Mechanicsburg.