Girls' Cross Country Notebook: Vol. 7

By Alex Frazier

This will be the final notebook of the season. Congratulations to all the girls for all their hard work and dedication. They continue to put the Suburban One League on the Pennsylvania running map.
I would greatly appreciate any comments about this season and suggestions on how to improve the notebook for next year. Send comments and suggestions to suburbanonesports@comcast.net.
Thanks for all the help I received from coaches and runners alike.
Runner of the Year – Council Rock North’s Lindsay Rheiner was on a mission at this year’s PIAA state championships.
After placing third behind Boyertown’s Elizabeth Simpson and Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Katie Gorman in the District One Championship, Rheiner was looking for some revenge.
“I was trying my best to beat out Simpson and Gorman,” she said.
In one respect, she had an advantage because she had already run the new course at the Hershey Invitational, and ironically, had beaten Simpson then to take second.
The start of this year’s race was fast—too fast as it turned out for Simpson and Gorman.
Even Rheiner realized she might have set the pace too fast when she was running with eventual winner Jessica Cygan of Liberty. But Rheiner held on to finish 10th, while Simpson came in 12th and Gorman was a distant 88th.
“That was a gutty performance,” said Council Rock North coach Cliff Robbins. “Truly she did go out too fast, but she was able to hang on. I saw Lindsay at a mile and a half and she was still up with that top pack. If the state meet is supposed to be the biggest meet, she certainly held it together better than anyone else in District One.”
Her strategy was simple.
“I was hoping to just use the hills as an advantage the whole time,” she said. “Luckily, I was able to. The only thing I regret about the race is I got out a little too fast. I tried to stay on the whole time.”
In the end, the fast start affected Rheiner’s time of 19:23, which was 14 seconds slower than at the Hershey meet. But she was pleased enough after moving up 42 places from last year’s state meet.
Rheiner had played soccer, basketball and lacrosse her whole life. But in eighth grade, she went to one of her brother’s cross country meets and thought she might like to try it. Her father, who had also run cross country in high school, encouraged her.
So, when high school came around, she dismissed the possibility of field hockey, which she had considered, and started running.
“I’ve always loved to run in soccer,” she said. “I just gave it a shot and it turned out to be my sport.”
As a freshman, she went on to finish 11th in the league, ninth in the district and 52nd at states.
“Last year I had no idea what the sport was about except for running,” she said.
During the winter, she ran indoor track. The Indians finished in the top three in the state and went on to take sixth at nationals.
“I saw her in pressure races as a freshman and she always pulls through,” said Robbins.
He recalled seeing her in one indoor meet fall on the rubberized track at the start.
“Her arm looked like a hunk of raw meet,” he said. “She got back up and ended up taking second. It was one of the first times she had run the 800. Most kids when that happens, you’re so unnerved you’re not going to run a good race. But that’s not how she is. She got back up, same kind of concentration, same determination, and that’s what Lindsay’s all about.”
In the spring, Rheiner opted for lacrosse, another sport her father played in college, and ended up starting for the Indians.
Toward the end of the season, Julie Fricke, who ran on Rock’s 4x800 relay, came down with a stress fracture. Rheiner stepped into her place and helped the Indians win districts and go on to place second in the state with a PR.
“She ran 2:15 in the 800, which is an incredible time,” said Robbins. “You do that kind of thing when you have a lot of natural ability and when you have a lot of guts.”
“I was nervous at first,” said Rheiner, “but it made me work better, too. States was an awesome experience.”
This year she started training earlier, and saw the benefit early on.
“I realized in the first meet at Tamamend Park I matched my PR from last year,” Rheiner said. “I knew from the start it would be a better season. I just tried to keep my goals in mind.”
It wasn’t long before she had taken over the No. 1 spot on the team.
“I got the confidence and tried to stay strong,” she said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and it turned out nothing could have been better this season.”
Rheiner will continue to run indoors this winter, but come spring she will likely stick with lacrosse this year. But if colleges begin to show an interest and she decides to run in college, lacrosse is likely to fall by the wayside in her junior year as she focuses more on running.
She’s already looking ahead to next cross country season.
“I’m pretty proud,” she said. “I can’t wait for what the next two years will bring.”
Rookie of the Year – There were a number of promising freshmen this year, but when the big meet came around, it was Pennsbury’s Ann Herman, who out-performed the field. Herman was the second highest placing freshman in the state, coming in behind 16th place Janie Augustyn of West Chester Henderson by one slim second in a time of 19:35. In all, there were 43 freshmen in the state Class AAA meet.
Team of the Year – The North Penn girls were clearly the best in District One as they finished 50 points ahead of Council Rock North in winning the district.
Unfortunately, Emmaus, Greater Latrobe, Norwin and Liberty finished ahead of the Maidens at states, though they were the first District One team.
Watch out for next year, though. The Maidens have only one senior in their starting seven. No. 1 Christy Cohick is a junior, while Heather Selheimer (No. 2) is just a sophomore. Rachel Brown, who has run three and four, is a freshman, and Carolyn Fergus, a junior, finished fourth on the team at states.
Coach Jim Crawford is lucky to have Cohick, who just started running last year. She nearly played field hockey.
As she explained it, “I set my alarm clock to 7 p.m. instead of 7 a.m. for (field hockey) tryouts, and I didn’t wake up on time, so I didn’t go. I couldn’t decide between field hockey or cross country, so that kind of made my decision. I figured it was fate.”
States – There were a few surprises at states. Most notably, Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Katie Gorman, who finished second in the district, fell to 88th. Gorman, like a few others, went out too fast at the start and couldn’t hold on.
National Conference champion Lindsay Rheiner, who lost to Gorman and Boyertown’s Elizabeth Simpson, redeemed herself by beating both of them to finish 10th in 19:23.
Of course, Liberty’s Jess Cygan didn’t surprise anyone by winning her first state title in a time of 18:47 after placing second last year as a freshman.
Kudos to some remarkable freshmen like Pennsbury’s Ann Herman, who finished 17th (19:35); Pennridge’s Tori Gerlach, who finished 28th (19:59); North Penn’s Rachel Brown, who was 55th (21:02); Upper Dublin’s Sarah Holl, who was 63rd (20:26); and Pennridge’s Casey Uhrich, who came in 78th (20:34).
As a team, William Tennent got hot at the right time, finishing fifth in District One and could have been fourth had a girl not been disqualified for an illegal uniform. The Panthers then finished 12th at states, third of SOL teams.
All-Suburban One League selections – Congratulations to the following all league runners:
National Conference
Runner of the Year – Lindsay Rheiner, Council Rock North
First team
Lindsay Rheiner, sophomore, Council Rock North; Ann Herman, freshman, Pennsbury; Juliann Fricke, senior, Council Rock North; Anne Areias, junior, William Tennent; Jackie Conklin, junior, William Tennent; Bethanie Kruman, junior, Council Rock North; Christine Esposito, senior, Neshaminy
Second team
Alison Ludwick, senior, Pennsbury; Martina Drew, junior, Neshaminy; Maddy Evans, senior, Abington; Ashley Haslett, sophomore, William Tennent; Kelly McHugh, junior, Council Rock North; Morgan Perry, sophomore, Pennsburg; Bridgett Tull, senior, Council Rock North
Third team
Kathleen Stewart, freshman, Council Rock South; Laura Histand, junior, Neshaminy; Jenna Littrell, junior, William Tennent; Tess Lauricella, sophomore, Council Rock South; Natalie Darr, sophomore, Council Rock South; Giovanna Rienzi, sophomore, Council Rock North; Elizabeth Wacker, sophomore, Pennsbury
Honorable Mention
Jenna Lefevre, sophomore, William Tennent; Elizabeth McHale, freshman, Council Rock South; Katie Martin, freshman, William Tennent; Miranda Ward, junior, Harry S Truman; Kelly Dulin, freshman, Abington; Esther Rappaport, junior, Pennsbury; Samantha Pecci, junior, Council Rock North
Continental Conference
Runner of the Year – Christy Cohick, North Penn
First team
Christy Cohick, junior, North Penn; Heather Selheimer, sophomore, North Penn; Rachel Brown, freshman, North Penn; Victoria Gerlach, freshman, Pennridge; Lauren Bond, senior, North Penn; Emily Chappell, junior, Central Bucks South; Jenny Guidera, sophomore, Central Bucks East
Second team
Nicole Mehlman, senior, Pennridge; Becky Kratz, senior, Souderton; Kaylee Irwin, junior, Hatboro-Horsham; Meg Elgin, senior, Central Bucks East; Carolyn Fergus, junior, North Penn; Casey Uhrich, freshman, Hatboro-Horsham; Alexandra Gervais, junior, Central Bucks West
Third team
Laura Gundry, senior, Central Bucks West; Sherry Ben-Joseph, sophomore, Central Bucks West; Megan Rhyner, junior, Quakertown; Riley Renn, freshman, Hatboro-Horsham; Kirsten Myers, junior, Central Bucks South; Rachel Bachman, freshman, Central Bucks South; Michelle Blum, senior, Central Bucks East
Honorable mention
Taylor Goldsworthy, junior, Central Bucks South; Jessye McGarry, freshman, Pennridge; Virginia Jones, sophomore, Central Bucks West; Abby Waight, freshman, Central Bucks West; Marie McKenna, senior, Pennridge; Janelle Ketterer, senior, Pennridge; Kelsey Cameron, senior, Souderton
American Conference
Runner of the Year – Katie Gorman, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
First team
Katie Gorman, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Sarah Holl, freshman, Upper Dublin; Shannon McCullough, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Kristina Koutsourus, senior, Cheltenham; Jessica Merone, senior, Upper Merion; Catie Mundy, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Dana Lockard, senior, Upper Dublin
Second team
Liz McLaughlin, junior, Upper Dublin; Michele Rudolph, senior, Wissahickon; Gina Ranieri, senior, Upper Dublin; Rebecca Zanecosky, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Rachel Wolfheimer, sophomore, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Brandi Weaver, sophomore, Upper Moreland; Briana Speiss, senior, Wissahickon
Third team
Maya Mudambi, senior, Wissahickon; Melissa Phipps, sophomore, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Bethanne Goldman, junior, Cheltenham; Kelly Broadbent, junior, Upper Dublin; Christina Taormina, sophomore, Plymouth Whitemarsh; Aurora Jones, sophomore, Upper Dublin; April Doroski, senior, Cheltenham
Honorable mention
Maureen Giardina, freshman, Wissahickon; Rachel Amey, junior, Wissahickon; Hannah Chatterjee, senior, Cheltenham; Bailey Gripshover, senior, Wissahickon; Lynn Kern, senior, Wissahickon
Final SOL Top Five teams
1.   North Penn
2.   Council Rock North
3.   William Tennent
4.   Central Bucks South
5.   Pennsbury
 
Final Top Five individuals
1.   Lindsay Rheiner, Council Rock North
2.   Christy Cohick, North Penn
3.   Katie Gorman, Plymouth Whitemarsh
4.   Heather Selheimer, North Penn
5.   Ann Herman, Pennsbury