Eagles roll past Colts for title
DAN FRANK/TIMES NEWS A group of Marian runners and one from Blue Mountain stay together during Wednesday's Schuylkill League championship match. From right are the Colts' Connor Schleicher, Michael Legath, Phillip Marzen and David Paul.
ORWIGSBURG - With the completion of the regular season, Blue Mountain knows it is time to put the pedal to the metal.
After blowing through Division I competition unbeaten, the Eagles were favored to defend their overall Schuylkill League dual meet championship, and they didn't disappoint.
Blue Mountain captured nine of the top 10 places Wednesday afternoon to roll to a 15-49 victory over Division II champion Marian at the Eagles' Nest.
In the girls' division run-off, Division I champion North Schuylkill also defended its Schuylkill crown by cruising to a 15-47 victory over Division II winner Schuylkill Haven.
The Schuylkill dual meet championships were moved to Blue Mountain last week, as well as next Wednesday's Schuylkill League Meet, when league officials couldn't come to an agreement with Tuscarora State Park, the usual Schuylkill title course, over traffic control matters.
While having the meet on Blue Mountain's course gave the Eagles an extra advantage, the host team took nothing for granted in defeating the Colts (6-0 league, 6-6 overall) for the dual meet title for the second year in a row.
"It's the postseason now," said Blue Mountain coach Jared Buchman. "We want our performances to go up a notch or two. We challenged them to start on to postseason performance. We didn't hold back by any means.
"We knew we were the favorites, but we challenged them to run their best times, and some of them did by more than a minute. I'm thrilled with that and couldn't ask them for anything more."
The Eagles' Tyler Rauenzahn crossed the finish line in first place on the 3.1 mile layout in 17 minutes, 22 seconds, 11 seconds faster than his previous best time on the course. Kyle O'Brien finished second at 18:17.
The only Marian runner to crack the top 10 was freshman Phil Marzen, who placed seventh overall at 19:48. The Colts' next fastest runner was David Paul, who placed 11th at 20:11.
The Colts did manage to squeeze four runners in places 11-15, but that wasn't enough to derail the Blue Mountain Express.
"I thought we had a real good grouping today," said Marian coach Jeremy Dormer. "We wanted to do better than we did last year against them (a 15-48 loss), but Blue Mountain is a better team than they were last year."
It didn't help the Colts' chances that Michael Legath, usually their top runner, got sick twice during the race and finished in 12th place.
"Michael was in fourth place going up the hill when he got sick the first time," related Dormer. "In fact, our guys were in better position going up the hill than coming down it, when they got caught by some of their guys."
In the girls meet, North Schuylkill's Meg O'Keefe was the winner in 21:31 as the Lady Spartans took 13 of the top 15 places. Alyssa Miller topped the Lady Hurricanes with a fifth place finish in 22:22.
Blue Mountain 15, Marian 49
1. Tyler Rauenzahn (BM) 17:22, 2. Kyle O'Brien (BM) 18:17, 3. Kyle Heffner (BM) 18:41, 4. Shaun Schaeffer (BM) 18:53, 5. Bryan Schaeffer (BM) 18:54, 6. Mark Stock (BM) 19:45, 7. Phil Marzen (Mar) 19:48, 8. Dakota Ramus (BM) 19:50, 9. Adam Seibert (BM) 19:56, 10. Wesley Gehman (BM) 19:59.
No.Schuylkill 15, Sch. Haven 47
1. Meg O'Keefe (NS) 21:31, 2. Caitlyn Deeter (NS) 21:33, 3. Jordan Zelechoski (NS) 21:35, 4. Kayla Bolinsky (NS) 21:57, 5. Alyssa Miller (SH) 22:22, 6. Diane Lindenmuth (NS) 22:35. 7. Dominique Reinoehl (NS) 23:04, 8. Shelby Weikel (NS) 23:38, 9. Brittany Martin (NS) 23:53, 10. Brooke Ennis (NS) 24:11.