Bear runners post sweep
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Pleasant Valley's Samantha Young picked up the win in her first meet of the year, finishing with a time of 20:52.
The Pleasant Valley boys and girls cross country teams went a perfect 3-0 in a five-team Mountain Valley Conference meet while Lehighton went 0-2 on the day.
Pleasant Valley's Samantha Young picked up a win in her first meet of the year, finishing with a time of 20:52 on what proved to be a difficult day for many of the runners.
"Coming into it, I knew it was going to be really hot," said Young. "So I knew it wasn't going to be 'PR' racing, absolutely not, especially midseason. But I guess I felt pretty good."
The performance was certainly good enough to impress her coach.
"Sam's worked really hard over the summer and she's just a competitor," said Pleasant Valley coach George Fair. "She had a really good track season and I think that contributes to confidence coming in here. I think she has confidence even in her leg speed
"To be able to have a really tough race; this was a really difficult race and to be able to suffer, is really nice to see the first time out. I was really happy to see that."
Young wasn't alone at the top of the timesheets, as Pleasant Valley's Elizabeth and Kristen Eberhardt finished third and fourth, respectively.
"They did really well; I was really, really happy," said Fair. "With the girls, we have a lot of depth and we have a number of seniors.
"The girls are really a tight group when they race, and when one has an off day, there's still somebody to step right in. I'm really happy with how they performed today."
Lehighton's Jen Beers paced the Lady Indians with a fifth place finish in a time of 22:25.
With the Lady Indians coming up just short against MVC powers Pleasant Valley and Stroudsburg, Lehighton coach Erica Pagotto is happy with the progress she is seeing in her young squad.
"I'm really happy with our group," Pagotto said. "We have our first group and our second group of girls and our second group cut their times by minutes. In just the last two weeks I've really seen their times drop.
"Physically they can do it. But just getting into their heads: How do I race? What works best for me? Today they really showed they're getting in the groove of things."
Pleasant Valley's Seth Slavin was certainly in a groove for much of the boys' race. Slavin held the lead over Stroudsburg's Ben Solack until the two reached the final 400 meters on the track, where Solack took control and held on for the win with a time of 18:24 to Slavin's 18:30.
The Bears' Mike Sucic and Patrick Rimple took fifth and sixth, respectively.
Solack had high praise for the Pleasant Valley freshman afterwards.
"He's really talented, really talented for a freshman," Solak said of Slavin. "But it was only his second of third race in the conference and he's still got to work out the kinks.
"He was doing real well and he put up a good fight. He's going to be a talented kid."
With many unknowns coming into this year, performances such as Slavin's give Pleasant Valley something to build on moving forward.
"He's a hard worker and has confidence in his hard work and I think you saw that today," Fair said of Slavin. "His ability to really just hold on and be willing to fight and feel bad and suffer. He's just such a hard worker and to have that kind of confidence is pretty unusual."
Another freshman making a big impact early on is Lehighton's Michael Blacketter, who finished fourth overall with a time of 19:20.
Much like Slavin, Blacketter's performance gives the Indians something to build on.
"Coming into this race, we knew this was going to be very competitive and a great opportunity for him to see where he's at," Pagotto said. "It was great to have that competition and have that experience. I'm very proud of him."
Pleasant Valley 19, Lehighton 42
Pleasant Valley 15, Pocono Mt. East 48
Pleasant Valley 18 Pocono Mt. West 41
Stroudsburg 20, Lehighton 41
Stroudsburg 17, Pocono Mt. East 48
Stroudsburg 20, Pocono Mt. West 39
1. Ben Solack (S) 18:24, 2. Seth Slavin (PV) 18:30, 3. Matt Hale (S) 19:13, 4. Michael Blacketter (L) 19:20, 5. Mike Sucic (PV) 19:22, 6. Patrick Rimple (PV), 7. Javon Sawyer (PMW), 8. Sam Whiteley (S), 9. Joe Phillips (PV), 10. Jabari Spencer (PMW), 11. Tom Ciacco (PV), 12. Devon Harris (PME), 13. Trent Frey (L), 14. Alex Reinke (S), 15. John Shoemaker (S), 16. Connor Eufomelo (S), 17. Khai Samuels (PV), 18. Billy Bioti (PMW), 19. Elijah Vailancourt (PMW), 20. Seth Todora (PV).
Pleasant Valley 19, Lehighton 40
Pleasant Valley 15, Pocono Mt. West 50
Pleasant Valley 15, Pocono Mt. East 50
Stroudsburg 25, Lehighton 32
Stroudsburg 15, Pocono Mt. East 50
Stroudsburg 15, Pocono Mt. West 46
1. Sam Young (PV) 20:52, 2. Rachel Davalos (PME) 21:05, 3. Elizabeth Eberhardt (PV) 21:26, 4. Kristen Eberhardt (PV) 22:15, 5. Jen Beers (L) 22:25, 6. Michelle Joyce (S), 7. Allana Powlette (S), 8. Brooke Scott (L), 9. Abby Kaspszyk (PV), 10. Kate Slack (PV), 11. Brittney Bonser (PV), 12. Steph Palmer (PV), 13. Elizabeth Whidden (S), 14. Aileen Cruz (S), 15. Cassie Reinhart (L), 16. Cera Gaston (L), 17. Miykayla Biechy (PV), 18. Jenn Mickens (PV), 19. Amanda Iacono (S), 20. Skylor Dunham (PMW).