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Valdevit is top Pleasant Valley runner at EPC XC meet

BETHLEHEM — An injury to Luke Valdevit’s sciatic nerve put a damper on his junior season.

But he returned this season, running the best he has in his entire high school career.

The Pleasant Valley senior took 11th place Tuesday at the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Championships to lead the Bears to a fifth-place finish as a team.

“I was aiming for top 10, so I can’t really complain,” said Valdevit, who finished in 17:17. “I placed 11th and I was five seconds off [a top-10 finish]. The thing I feel like I could have corrected was the turns. There were so many of them. I didn’t really prepare from that.”

Vladevit went out fast on the Bethlehem Municipal Course, and was with the lead pack for the first half of the race.

“Throughout two-and-a-half miles I was top five and I thought I was going to demolish my goal,” he said. “People passed me and I felt weak. My arms felt weak. My legs felt weak. I’m going to come back next week and aim for top 10. There’s no question about that.”

Vladevit will return to Bethlehem for districts next week. It’s a long way from last season, when he tried to come back from the injury, only to run a 19:50 at leagues and 18:03 at districts, which was well off the times he had run early in his junior season before the injury.

He worked hard through the offseason and has been one of the Bears’ top runners, along with is friend Ryan Murphy, a first-year cross country runner who placed 16th at districts.

If Vladevit achieves his goal of a top-10 finish next week, it would also earn him a trip to the state meet in November. He’s come a long way since joining the team four years ago.

“I’m aiming for 16:40s next week and hopefully come in top 10,” he said. “That’s been a goal ever since freshman year. At first, I didn’t even have any hope of making varsity. I was in the 33s. To cut my time in half, I didn’t expect that. Next week is one of the biggest meets of my high school career.”

Parkland’s Riley Williamson won the boys meet with a time of 16:41, four seconds ahead of Easton’s Cosmo Carone. The Red Rovers took the boys team title over Parkland.

In the girls race, Central Catholic’s Emily Deschler took first place in 19:31, while Parkland won the team title over second-place Easton.

Pleasant Valley’s Lily Mingora led her team with a 65th-place finish as the Lady Bears took 13th place as a team.





1. Easton (Eas) 47, 2. Parkland (P) 51, 3. Stroudsburg (S) 63, 4. Nazareth (N) 134, 5. Emmaus (Emm) 134, 6. Pleasant Valley (PV) 167, 7. Liberty (L) 173, 8. Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) 205, 9. Freedom (F) 239, 10. Northampton (N) 327, 11. Pocono Mountain East (PME) 354, 12. Dieruff (D) 376, 13. Bethlehem Catholic (BC) 409, 14. East Stroudsburg (ES) 421, 15. Whitehall (W) 433, 16. Pocono Mountain West (PMW) 449, 17. William Allen (WA) 489.


(Top 5 finishers)

1. Riley Williamson (P) 16:41.0, 2. Cosmo Cardone (Easton) 16:45.5, 3. Nicholas Bower (P) 16:53.9, 4. Matt Bodon (S) 17:01.4, 5. Darlyn Fermin (L) 17:06.7,

(Other local finishers)

11. Luke Valdevit (PV) 17:17.0, 16. Ryan Murphy (PV) 17:32.4, 45. Leo Hoppe (PV) 18:12.8, 47. Louis Difusco (PV) 18:16.2, 54. Keith Staats (PV) 18:30.3, 60. Seth Kron (PV) 18:38.8, 83. Ryan Borger (PV) 19:11.2, 92. Nathan Borger (PV) 19:28.4, 101. Austin Kresge (PV) 19:44.4, 103. Evan Fisher-Perez (PV) 19:49.5.



1. Parkland (P) 72, 2. Easton (Eas) 78, 3. Allentown Central Catholic (ACC) 112, 4. Liberty (L) 120, 5. Stroudsburg (S) 124, 6. Emmaus (Emm) 128, 7. Northampton (N) 151, 8. Freedom (F) 214, 9. Bethlehem Catholic (BC) 220, 10. Whitehall (W) 285, 11. Nazareth (N) 308, 12. East Stroudsburg (ES) 326, 13. Pleasant Valley (PV) 401, 14. Pocono Mountain East (PME) 423, 15. Pocono Mountain West (PMW) 458.


(Top 5 finishers)

1. Emily Deschler (ACC) 19:31.2, 2. Lauren Maddison (Easton) 19:32.9, 3. Belle Weikert (L) 19:40.4, 4. Ava Bendetti (P) 19:47.1, 5. Alyssa Deschler (ACC) 19:49.6.

(Other local finishers)

65. Lily Mingora (PV) 22:48.9, 99. Samantha Segeda (PV) 24:24.4, 101. Sarah Larkin (PV) 24:29.0, 106. Alyssa Grieco (PV) 25:52.0, 107. Kelly Lesnik (PV) 25:52.1, 114. Alyssa Lopez (PV) 27:11.5.

Pleasant Valley's Luke Valdevit competes in Tuesday's EPC all-league meet. SCOTT PAGEL/TIMES NEWS
Pleasant Valley's Ryan Murphy nears the finish line in Tuesday's EPC all-league meet. SCOTT PAGEL/TIMES NEWS