SOL Crowns Girls' XC Winners

To view photos of all of Friday’s action, visit the Photo Gallery by clicking on the following link:

By Ben Reese

BETHLEHEM: It was team day at the Suburban One League girls cross country championships at Lehigh University.

One team took a step on its journey back to try to repeat as state champion. One team clinched a conference crown. And another cruised to a team title with surprising ease.

Pennsbury's girls took the PIAA championship home last year and are giving every indication that they want another one in the school's trophy case. The Falcons took five of the first six places in the National Conference race to roar past any opposition, beating Council Rock North by 50 points.

Ann Herman took the gold medal in the race, beating teammate Sara Sargent by 15 seconds. Herman was clocked in 18:22 over the three-mile course.

“I was kind of surprised,” Herman said. “It was kind of a nice race because there weren't a lot of runners, so I had as much room as I wanted. I just ran the way I normally run.

“Sara (Sargent) was leading and then in the cornfield (with about a mile to go) I caught up to her and we ran like that for a little bit. I was able to pull through.”

Sargent might have been favored in the pre-race talking but she wasn't upset about losing to her teammate.

“I had the lead all the way until two miles (were gone) when she caught up to me,” Sargent said. “We sort of went back and forth; then she just pulled away at the end.

“That's OK. I'm not really worried about it. I'm focused on districts and states.

“I didn't perform to my ability, but it's OK; it's only SOLs. I still have districts and states to look forward to.

“Now (as a team), we'll focus on districts and not worry about states until after. We did really well.”

Council Rock North’s Kate Scott finished third, and rounding out the top six for the Falcons were Erica Gray, Liz Wedekind and Erin O’Connell, who finished fourth through sixth respectively.

The crown clinching belonged to North Penn. The Maidens were in a battle with Central Bucks East and Pennridge for the Continental Conference championship.

But North Penn made sure it got the title, taking, second (Meghan McGovern), fifth (Courtney Kern), seventh (Rachel Brown), 10th (Jenna Reimer) and 13th (Lynne Deckel) for 37 points to ensure it had the title. In the race, CB West (73) and Pennridge (73) tied for second, and CB East (78) took fourth.

Pennridge's Victoria Gerlach outraced Meghan McGovern of North Penn to the finish line. Gerlach, who took a gold medal in the PIAA track and field championships last spring, crossed in 17:47, one second ahead of McGovern.

“I took the lead right at the mile (into the race),” Gerlach said. She (McGovern) was always there. Then she caught me by the second mile.”

And they dueled to the finish.

Pennridge's Marissa Sheva finished third, followed by CB West's Meghan Iatarola. North Penn's Courtney Kern (fourth) and Rachel Brown (sixth) sandwiched Pennridge's Caitlyn Sheva.

Upper Dublin wasn't challenged in winning its American Conference title. The Cardinals totaled 29 points, beating Wissahickon by 23 points.

Sarah Holl of Upper Dublin took top honors, touring the course in 19:01, 47 seconds faster than Upper Merion's Amber McAteer. Jessica Quesenberry of Wissahickon was third.

But the Cardinals captured fourth, fifth and sixth as well as 13th to take the team crown. Marissa Holl (fourth), Laura Wohlgemuth (fifth), Lucile Ionescu (sixth) and Jaclyn Anninos (13th) rounded out the scoring.

“I went out from the beginning and tried to maintain a solid pace,” Sarah Holl said. “It (the course) was windy in places and parts of it were a little muddy.”

Obviously not enough to hurt her chances for winning.

For a merged list of results for the three SOL conferences, click on the following link:

For a complete list of the National Conference results, click on the following link:

For a complete list of the Continental Conference results, click on the following link:

For a complete list of the American Conference results, click on the following link:

For a complete list of the girls’ junior varsity results, click on the following link: