Tigers win CL girls cross country title
CENTER VALLEY – The 2016 season was unlike many in recent memory for the Northwestern girls’ cross country team.
The Tigers 134-dual meet winning streak, which spanned six seasons, was snapped.
A five-year run as Colonial League champions ended, too.
What a different a year makes.
Northwestern capped an undefeated regular season with a dominating performance in Tuesday’s annual league meet at DeSales University. The Tigers placed six of their runners in the top-12 to easily claim the team championship with 34 points, well ahead of second-place Palisades (89).
“It was very nice, because last year we didn’t quite have the depth,” said Madeline Consuelos paced Northwestern with a third-place finish in 20:27. “We lost our streak. And this year, we have a new streak. So it’s really nice to see the depth.
“We’re definitely a lot closer, which I think helps us. Last year, we had little groups, and it wasn’t all one big family. Now we are definitely one big family, and I think that shows on runs. We do a lot of pack running, and starting out this race in the first mile, we’re all very close and tight. So it definitely shows how close we are.”
It was evident Tuesday.
Molly Tarvin, Kailyn Jones and Alyssa Zack were sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Sarah Supplee (10th) and Hannah Herzon (12th) also had strong runs.
“Today, we really wanted to go for that league title,” said Tarvin. “Because last year we lost it to Southern (Lehigh), we really wanted to come back, do our best, win the league and remind everyone that the Tigers are still here.”
Jones has been an integral part of Northwestern’s success this season as a freshman, transitioning seamlessly into a tight-knit group comprised of mainly upperclassmen.
“I really like this team,” said Jones. “All of the girls are really supporting, nice and really easy to get along with.”
The Tigers are close both on and off the course.
After a 24-0 regular season and another league title, the focus now shifts to next week’s District 11 championships.
It’s another chance for Northwestern to leave its mark on an already impressive season.
“They ran a smart race,” Tigers’ head coach said of his team’s performance at the league meet. “And I think they made a statement hopefully for next week”
Northern Lehigh’s Reagan Pender broke up the Northwestern pack with a fifth place.
“I was hoping for fifth,” said Pender. “I did my stats yesterday, I looked at all my stats and I knew who I had to stay up with and what I had to do ... and where I had to be.
“I was hoping for fifth, and I maintained fifth.”
Colonial League Boys
Palmerton’s Jacob Martinez was the top area runner in the boys’ race, with a fourth place finish in 17:11.
The performance by Martinez was a significant improvement on last year’s place (12th) and time (18:27).
Martinez credited the progress to simply being healthy throughout the entire season.
“It’s the best training I ever had,” said Martinez. “I’ve had no injuries; no sickness. And I’m really proud of that.”
The junior was also happy with his improvement on the course at DeSales University.
“At the invite here earlier this season, I ran almost a minute slower. I haven’t been able to figure out how to run this course. This course is really hard to run. So to be able to come out today, and get top-five is just awesome. I had a phenomenal day.”
Robert Leiser led the way for Northwestern with a 14th place finish in 18:00.
After finished third a year ago with a time of 17:29, Leiser admitted he was hoping for a better result.
“I don’t know. The woods was a little rough. I was feeling it in my legs,” Leiser said. “I was really tired going up (the hills) ... but it’s just leagues.”
Leiser’s teammate, Phillip Castrine, placed 16th (18:08).
“Ideally, I would have liked to place a little higher,” Castrine said. “We have tough competition here in this league.”
Northern Lehigh’s Preston Kemery recorded a 19th place finish (18:24).
“Today went well,” Kemery said afterward. “I just wanted to do a tempo run to see the pace I wanted to set for districts.”
... Southern Lehigh’s Colin Cramer won the boys’ race with a time of 16:34. Bangor’s Martina Sell finished first in the girls’ race in 20:15.
Colonial League Cross Country
1. Northwestern 34, 2. Palisades 89, 3. Notre Dame GP 107, 4. Wilson 144, 5. Northern Lehigh 152, 6. Southern Lehigh 157, 7. Bangor 160, 8. Saucon Valley 163, 9. Catasauqua 229, 10. Moravian Academy 272.
(Top-five plus top 50 locals)
1. Martina Sell (Bangor) 20:15, 2. Grace Medei (Notre Dame GP) 20:26, 3. Madeline Consuelos (Northwestern) 20:27, 4. Amy Farese (Palisades) 20:30, 5. Reagan Pender (Northern Lehigh) 20:33, 6. Molly Tarvin (Northwestern) 20:48, 7. Kailyn Jones (Northwestern) 20:53, 8. Alyssa Zack (Northwestern) 20:59, 10. Sarah Supplee (Northwestern) 21:13, 12. Hannah Herzon (Northwestern) 21:47, 14. Katie Guelcher (Northern Lehigh) 22:25, 20. Allison Lorah (Northern Lehigh) 22:53, 22. Kristen Brown (Northwestern) 23:05, 28. Hanna Nesfeder (Palmerton) 23:27.
1. Notre Dame GP 59, 2. Southern Lehigh 63, 3. Saucon Valley 95, 4. Bangor 105, 5. Northwestern 128, 6. Northern Lehigh 216, 7. Pen Argyl 220, 8. Palisades 237, 9. Wilson 239, 10. Palmerton 260, 11. Salisbury 263, 12. Moravian Academy 267, 13. Catasauqua 373.
(Top-five plus top 50 locals)
1. Colin Cramer (Southern Lehigh) 16:34, 2. John Koons (Notre Dame GP) 16:53, 3. Ethan Bernstein (Saucon Valley) 17:10, 4. Jacob Martinez (Palmerton) 17:11, 5. Thomas Matsumara (Southern Lehigh) 17:22, 14. Robert Leiser (Northwestern) 18:00, 16. Phillip Castrine (Northwestern) 18:08, 19. Preston Kemery (Northern Lehigh) 18:24, 24. Joe Pleban (Northwestern) 18:45, 32. Kane Flickinger (Northwestern) 19:17, 38. Carlton Davies (Northern Lehigh) 19:32, 41. Hunter Haas (Northern Lehigh) 19:38, 46. Matthew Boushell (Northwestern) 19:45, 48. RJ Zack (Northwestern) 19:53.