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Marian runners finish first in meet against Mahanoy Area, Haven

HOMETOWN – The searing heat pounding down on the Marian cross country course, with record temperatures reaching into the 90-degree range on Wednesday, didn’t make for the most ideal conditions.

While the heat beats a runner up physically, it can cause mental fatigue. That didn’t prevent a pair of Marian runners from posting first-place finishes in a Schuylkill League tri-meet that held huge implications in the league race.

Brandon Stasulli hit the tape in a time of 17:24 to win the boys race. Meanwhile, Tina Capparell zoomed into the finish line surpassing even some of the male runners to take the top spot in the girls race.

“Usually the heat can get to me, since I had a lot of trouble with an iron deficiency and there was a time that I passed out in the heat,” explained Capparell. “It can be scary at times (the heat), but I’m fine now.”

For Stasulli, who is only a junior, he felt the pain of mind-fatigue after he hit the final leg of his run. “In heat like this, usually it gets to you around the three-mile mark. It happened (today) and my body is saying quit, my mind is saying don’t. That is common in this sport.”

The Mahanoy Area boys earned the next four spots behind Stasulli, enabling it to come out victorious. Adam Soriqao (17:43) was second, and was followed by teammates Cole Streisel (18:03), Seth Soriqao (18:19) and Marcus Crespo (19:08).

“They’ve got a good group of runners,” said Tom Kostic the Marian head coach of both the boys and girls teams praising Mahanoy Area’s win. “They bunched those (four) runners up, and that gave them points.”

Indeed, that was the case for a 21-36 decision for Mahanoy Area boys, while the Colts blanked Schuylkill Haven in the process, 15-50, thanks to Stauslli and place finishers Adam Srinivasan (19:12), Eddie Pulaski (20:09), Gavin Vercusky (20:33) and Zoe Roberts (20:40).

In the girls meet, the Fillies turned the tables, capturing a 26-29 verdict. The Capparell sisters volleyed the Fillies to the tight win over the Lady Bears. While Tina was blitzing home to another first-place finish, her sister Nikki flew by the finish line in a time of 22:15. Julie Kreisl (23:24) placed sixth, followed by Carolyn Mehallo (23L42) at seventh, and Caitlyn Pazdon (26:41) at 10th to lift their team to an exciting win over rival Mahanoy Area.

“The Capparell girls are just so outstanding, but we got such big production from our other runners, and that put us over the top,” said Kostic.

“At first, I didn’t think we had the points for the win,” said Kostic. “Then we started to look over the (time) sheets, and we did get the win. It’s big for us, really big.”

The Fillies would also capture a 16-43 victory over Schuylkill Haven.

STANDINGS UPDATE ... Both the boys and girls meet featured a battle of unbeaten teams. In the girls meet, the Fillies (11-0, 6-0) took charge with the win over the Golden Bears (10-2, 6-1). In the boys meet, Mahanoy (11-1, 7-0) established itself as the team to beat with its victory over the Colts (8-3, 5-1). Shenandoah also has just one loss in the tight Division 2 race.


… Kostic said the key to hydrating is to sip two-to-three drinks in a 20-minute span. His runners start the hydration process from the time they get to school at 8 a.m. and right up to near the start of the race.


… Brandon Stasulli’s sister Dominque Stasulli ran for Shenandoah Valley a few years ago and was quite the runner. Now, little brother is trying to live up to those big shoes his sister wore. “She inspired me in a lot of ways growing up. She went on to college and is now living in Colorado. We talk often and she’s a big help.”


Marian 16, Schuylkill Haven 43

Marian 26, Mahanoy Area 29

1. T. Capparell (Mar) 19:09, 2. N. Capparell (Mar) 22:15, 3. Quick (Mah) 22:53, 4. Karmonick (Mah) 23:17, 5. Babinsky (Mah) 23:19, 6. Kreisel (Mar) 23:24, 7. Mehallo (Mar) 23:42, 8. Bisco (Mah) 23:49, 9. Grandos (Mah) 24:29, 10. McBreen (SH) 25:25


Marian 15, Schuylkill Haven 50

Mahanoy Area 21, Marian 36

1. Stasuli (Mar) 17:24, 2. A. Soriano (Mah) 17:43, 3. Streisel (Mah) 18:03, 4. S. Soriano (Mah) 18:19, 5. Crespo (Mah) 19:08, 6. Srinivasan (Mar) 19:12, 7. Rivera (Mah) 19:32, 8. Pulaski (Mar) 20:09, 9. Boxter (Mah) 20:10, 10. Wilis (Mar) 20:19.

Marian’s Tina Capparell (left) and her sister Nicole (second from left) lead a pack of runners during Wednesday’s cross country meet with Mahanoy Area and Schuylkill Haven. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS
Marian’s Brandon Stasulli finished first in Wednesday’s meet. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS