It was a historic day for the SOL at the PIAA State Cross Country meet at Hershey on Saturday. The SOL not only had the individual winners in Class AAA – North Penn senior Meghan McGovern and Hatboro-Horsham junior Conner Quinn- it also boasted the two winning teams. Check back over the course of the week for feature articles about the SOL's state winners.
The Pennsbury girls’ team steamrolled its competition, finishing with 42 points – 87 points ahead of second place Unionville, which had 129 points.
In the boys’ Class AAA race, the North Penn Knights found themselves deadlocked with Cardinal O’Hara as both teams had 132 points through their top five point scorers. It was the Knights’ sixth runner – Hunter Hill – who tipped the scales in North Penn’s favor. Hill finished in 139th place overall with a time of 17:36 while O’Hara’s sixth place finisher – Christian Ostrowski – finished 180th with a time of 17:49. North Penn’s top five runners were Jack Macauley (11th – 17th overall, 16:26), Dan Davis (18th- 30th overall, 16:39), Chris Trimble (21st – 35th overall 16:41), Ryan Grace (40th – 78th overall, 17:11) and Matt Malloy (42nd – 82nd overall, 17:12).
The Council Rock North boys’ squad finished sixth with 229 points. Contributing points for the Indians were sophomore Ross Wilson (20th -34th overall, 16:40), senior James Zingarini (22nd - 36th overall, 16:45), junior Mac Emery (26th - 52nd overall, 16:54), junior Zac Keller (17:39) and sophomore Marty Leonard (17:53).
The Falcons placed five runners in the top 25 finishers in team competition, including Ann Herman (2nd – 3rd overall, 18:42), Sara Sargent (5th – 7th overall, 18:55), Erica Gray (8th – 16th overall, 19:09), Erin O’Connell (10thst – 21st overall, 19:19) and Elizabeth Wedekind (17th- 45th overall, 19:43). Only a few times in state history has a team won with such a low score. The Falcons took the early initiative and imposed their will on the field. By 800 meters, the Falcons were positioned to win as their top five, led by Sargent, made a jump on the compeittion. Not only did the girls get out fast, but they held down the throttle as they each continued to move up, especially senior Ann Herman, who pushed from 20th to 1st from 800 meters to the halfway point.
In capturing her first state crown, McGovern ran the course in a time of 18:28, finishing two seconds ahead of Strath Haven’s Hannah Grossman. It is the third consecutive year that a girl from the SOL has crossed the finish line first (Lindsay Rheiner 2010, Sara Sargent 2009). Not only did McGovern finish first but she also set a new course record and led the Maidens to a sixth place finish (184 points). Senior Rachel Brown (25th – 55th overall, 19:50), junior Courtney Kern (36th – 82nd overall, 20:10), freshman Jenna Reimer (20:35) and senior Lynne Deckel (20:49) also contributed points.
Pennridge freshman Marissa Sheva finished sixth overall in the individual competition with a time of 18:50 while teammate Tori Gerlach – the District One champion - finished 12th with a time of 19:03. Also finishing in the top 100 were Upper Dublin senior Sarah Holl (44th, 19:42), Pennridge junior Caitlyn Sheva (61st, 19:56), Central Bucks West sophomore Meghan Iatarola (63rd, 19:59), Council Rock North junior Kate Scott (68th, 20:00), Council Rock South senior Kathleen Stewart (70th, 20:02), Central Bucks East senior Kara Shen (89th, 20:13) and William Tennent sophomore Judy Mabone (94th, 20:16).
Seven of the top 10 places were occupied by District One runners, including McGovern. Four were from the SOL, including McGovern, Herman, Sheva and Sargent. Sargent had the early lead which changed hands a few times until Herman took it and held the lead through the middle section. It was after the two-mile mark where McGovern was able to close the gap, create some separation and keep it that way.
Other SOL state qualifiers (unattached) included Central Bucks East's Louise Huuki (102) and Central Bucks West's Gretchen Krause (112).
On the boys’ side, Quinn finished with a time of 16:03, three seconds ahead of Grove City’s Daniel Jaskowak. District champion Drew Magaha finished sixth in Saturday’s race with a time of 16:15. Other SOL runners who finished in the top 100 included Pennsbury junior Connor Harriman (10th, 16:21), Hatboro-Horsham senior Sam Hibbs (13th, 16:23), Central Bucks East senior Alex Kane (58th, 17:00) and Bensalem sophomore Kyle Francis (91st, 17:16).
SOL runners whose performances met the national silver standard were: North Penn’s Meghan McGovern, Pennsbury’s Ann Herman, Pennridge’s Marissa Sheva, Pennsbury’s Sara Sargent, Pennridge’s Tori Gerlach, Pennsbury’s Erica Gray, Pennsbury’s Erin O’Connell, Upper Dublin’s Sarah Holl, Hatboro’s Conner Quinn, Upper Moreland’s Drew Magaha, Pennsbury’s Connor Harriman, Hatboro’s Sam Hibbs and North Penn’s Jack Macauley.
For a complete list of all of Saturday’s state cross country results, please click on the following PennTrack link: http://pa.milesplit.com/meets/96835.