BETHLEHEM - Lehighton and Pleasant Valley took part in the Mountain Valley Conference's annual cross country championships Tuesday afternoon.
Pleasant Valley junior Sam Klingel fell 46 seconds short of capturing her third consecutive conference title, as she placed third with a time of 21:18. Klingel helped her Lady Bears finish third overall in the team standings with a score of 66.
“I am happy," said a slightly dejected Klingel. “I gave it all I had. I had a good race and I felt that I had a chance to catch (Pocono Mt. East's Abigial Ross and Sophie Conklin) eventually, but I didn't.
“There was a hill in the second mile that was pretty brutal. It wasn't so much going up - it was when you go to the flat that your legs started feeling it. It was a nice course though."
Kayla Kishbaugh and Brittany Dunay also placed in the top ten for Pleasant Valley. Kishbaugh came in 11th with a time of 22:29, while Dunay placed 16th with a time of 22:55.
“The girls ran well I though," said Pleasant Valley head coach George Fair. “Stroudsburg and Pocono Mt. East are two tough teams so it doesn't surprise me that they were in front with us finishing third.
“Samantha ran a great race. The two young ladies from East are just two great runners. Sam ran a great race, but sometimes when you run well you're in first - sometimes you are in third and other times you are in 12th. But she ran tough today and I am proud of her."
On the flip side, the Pleasant Valley boys fared a little better than their female teammates as they placed second overall in the team standings with a score of 53.
Curran Kneebone led the way for the locals with a fifth place finish. He came in with a mark of 18:00. Fellow Bear Dan Rose was five seconds behind Kneebone and placed sixth.
“Not ever having run this course or having much experience with it, I feel my time was pretty decent," said Kneebone. “It was not as low as I hoped it would be, but I definitely felt like it was a pretty good race.
“The last few years I have noticed that my league time hasn't been as good as I wanted it, but I turn better in districts. With districts being held here, I feel that I can shave some time off and do a little bit better next time."
Evan Makuvek also finished in the top ten for the Bears with a time of 18:29. After that, it was a pack of Bears coming in together. Alex Larkin (16th), Adam Wojy (17th), Ernie Klingel (18th) and Tim Landes (19th) all came in within 14 second of each other.
“The guys ran real tough," said Fair. “Stroudsburg's proven all year that it is a tough team. They are undefeated. They were the team to beat and they ran well once again.
“The guys were looking to race hard. Curran and Dan came in the top seven when they had dual meets this year where there weren't even in the top three. So I am really happy with the way they raced today. To be all-league is a good thing."
Alli Sabol was Lehighton's best runner on the day. Sabol came in 13th with a time of 22:43.
This year's event was held at the Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course and was a 5K course. It was moved from Lehigh University to Bethlehem due to financial reasons and will be held at Bethlehem from now on. Districts will also be held at Bethlehem Municipal on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Stroudsburg 30, Pleasant Valley 53, PM East 81, PM West 107, Eastburg South 119, Eastburg North 167, Lehighton 186
1. Matt Valentin (S) 17:24, 2. Mark Pfaeffle (S) 17:42, 3. Alex Price (PME) 17:51, 4. Mike Manzo (17:59), 5. Curran Kneebone (PV) 18:00, 6. Dan Rose (PV), 7. Tom Shaw (S), 8. Matt Koch (S), 9. Evan Makuvek (PV), 10. John Favini (ESS), 11. Favian Contreras (PMW), 12. Karim Osman (S), 13. Ken Wilson (ESS), 14. Andy McLynch (S), 15. Jacob Spies (PME), 16. Alex Larkin (PV), 17. Adam Wojy (PV), 18. Ernie Klingel (PV), 19. Tim Landes (PV), 20. Dylan Transue (PME).
Stroudsburg 37, PM East 44, Pleasant Valley 66, Eastburg North 108, Lehighton 127
1. Abigial Ross (PME) 20:33, 2. Sophie Conklin (PME) 21:02, 3. Sam Klingel (PV) 21:18, 4. Alyssa Kennedy (ESN) 21:25, 5. Sarah Myles (S) 21:27, 6. Shannon Gardner (S), 7. Taylor Streckel (S), 8. Brittany Werbell (PME), 9. Hannah Perez (S), 10. Mari Cardelle (S), 11. Kayla Kishbaugh (PV), 12. Liz Loyce (S), 13. Alli Sabol (L), 14. Liz Buzzard (S), 15. Natalie Gilbert (S), 16. Brittany Dunay (PV), 17. Sam Myles (S), 18. Jessie Benjamin (PME), 19. Kayla Kern (S), 20. Mya Snyder (PME).