Cross country notes:
New Hope returns from Lehigh with a pair of district titles
There was plenty of celebrating to go around for New Hope-Solebury on Friday.
Both of the school’s cross country teams trekked to Lehigh University to take part in the District One Class A championship meet. The boys and girls both returned winners, as the girls claimed the team title by five points and the boys took the trophy via a tiebreaker with Jenkintown.
“Next week, both the boys’ and girls’ teams will be competing in the state meet in Hershey,” head coach Mike Clarke said.
It was an achievement now two years in the making, as both squads earned that honor in 2012, as well. All seven Lion girls placed in the top 17, with Andrea Detlefsen taking second in 20:33 and Hannah Singer third in 21:38. Tabitha Liucci and Savannah Herring were also top 10 placers.
The boys also had second- and third-place medalists in Greg House (16:57) and Danny Schlussel (17:04). Colin McClusick and Dylan Selbst were also in the top 11, but it was Jake Dupont’s shattering of a personal-best time (18:05 was his first run under 19 minutes this fall) and Joshua House’s 22nd showing that helped earn the tiebreak win.
The theme of the day for Solebury School at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools state championship meet on Saturday was future.
“It was like the passing of a torch,” head coach Terri Miller said. “Sophomore Nick Lavery overtook [No. 1 runner Sam Arnold] a little before the finish to be Solebury’s first finisher [in] 20:15.”
Arnold, a senior, took second for the Spartans and 78th overall at the event, while Lavery was 75th.
Three sophomores, Robert Lagay, Kyle Miller and Jeff Lin, were the next finishers for Solebury, giving the squad plenty of optimism for 2014.
“With being such a young team, Solebury will be one to watch in the near future,” Miller said.
The Spartan girls, meanwhile, took part in the junior varsity competition and saw junior Ilona Wilde take second in 22:23. Classmate Jessie Forest ran 18th.
“They have come so far in such a short time. I’m sorry to see the end of the season,” Miller said about the girls. “With plans to work hard in the offseason, the girls’ success will continue. We hope to become part of the Penn-Jersey league next year. I think we will do extremely well there.”
At the District One Class AAA level, Central Bucks East took care of business on Friday at Lehigh. By placing third, the Patriots girls’ team clinched a spot in states this weekend at Hershey.
The headliner right now for the Patriots is a freshman, Tate Dawson. Her 18:57 time was good for seventh in the meet, while Elizabeth Morris (25th), Meghan Willcoxon and Hannah Morris all finished in the top 50.
“The East girls successfully met their goal by earning a spot to travel to Hershey for the state meet. After several weeks into the season and experiencing success with invitational victories and dual meet wins, the girls knew that they had the talent to not only place in the district meet, but to earn a trip to the state meet,” said head coach Sam Losorelli, who hopes the Patriots can crack the top five at states.
“The Hershey course, being one of the most challenging with its many hills, can alter the performances of runners and their success. We feel that we have strong hill runners and may surprise ourselves with a good showing this Saturday,” he continued.
The Patriots boys’ team placed 12th at districts. Sophomore Jake Brophy, who is on his way to states, finished in 15:24 to claim fifth at districts. Quakertown senior Alex Balla took 14th overall in 15:47 and is also heading to states individually, while Central Bucks South took 21st and Central Bucks West was 24th.
Other solid finishers for the Class AAA girls included CB West’s Maddie Villalba and Lindsey Gerlach, whose times of 18:33 (11th) and 18:52 (26th) earned state berths. CB South will send a pair of runners, Kaitlin Poiesz (13th in 18:35) and Brynne Mulloy (29th in 18:55). Pennridge’s Marissa Sheva additionally was ninth and qualified for states in 18:27.
At the District 11 championships on Oct. 23, Palisades was led by Cole Garr (15th). The Pirate boys were 15th as a team. The girls only ran one athlete, Casey Hooper, who took 56th in 23:09.
At the Skyland Conference championships on Oct. 24, James Evans and Max Lieblich were the top finishers for South Hunterdon as the school claimed 19th for the boys. The girls, however, were 16th and got another strong performance from freshman Kelly Shaffer, who was 12th in 19:27.
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