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NW girls finish sixth at state cross country

HERSHEY – The Northwestern girls have been a staple at the state meet in recent years.

But 2016 saw the Tigers fail to send a team to Hershey for the first time since 2010.

After winning the Colonial League title and placing second at last week’s District 11 meet, Northwestern returned on Saturday, finishing sixth in the team standings with 212 points.

“That was overall our main goal, was just to get those kids here,” said Northwestern head coach Chris Stitzel. “Today was just a bonus for them to top off a great season that we had.

“That was the goal at the beginning of the year, to try to get a team back here, and two guys. And we reached our goal.”

The Tigers were led by freshman Kailyn Jones, who finished 51st in 20:33.

Jones was happy to help the team reach its goal.

“It’s really great,” she said. “We all really wanted to come to states, especially as a team. And it’s just nice to come here as a team, having a lot of fun.

“It’s just a great experience. I’m kind of sad the season is over, I’m gonna miss all these girls. We get along and we’re all really close. It was just a great season.”

Tamaqua’s Sarah Maue finished 47th (20:31) in the 2A race, while teammate Frances Kabana placed 71st (20:46).

Maue finished 120th last year.

“It was amazing,” said Maue. “The past two years, I just kind came and didn’t really know how to run with all of these people. So I set a goal of getting under 21:00, and trying to get the top 100, which I got both of them. So I’m really happy about that.

Kabana tried to key on Maue during the race.

“Yesterday during the walkthrough, we went through it and set goals for each area and stuff like that. And today, whenever I’d see her, I’d see her hair, and I’d be like, ‘I need to catch up to her,’” the freshman said with a laugh.

Northern Lehigh sophomore Reagan Pender was right behind Maue, finishing 48th (20:31).

“In the beginning, it was a little overwhelming,” said Pender. “I didn’t have a good start at all; I was in like 100th. But once I got away from people, it felt so much better, and it felt like an actual race.”

Pender was happy to qualify for states for the first time. But she’ll be looking for more than just qualifying for the state meet the next two years.

“It’ll make me work a lot harder, because I want to be in the top 25 by next year, and maybe in the top 10 the year after that,” she said.

Northwestern had two seniors in the Class 2A boys’ race. Robert Leiser finished 84th (17:41) and Phillip Castrine 133rd (18:09).

Leiser ended his career with a third straight trip to states, while Castrine qualified for the second year in a row.

“It was a good last race, and four years I’ll never forget,” said Castrine.

Jim Thorpe’s Sammy Hydro made a big jump from last year’s 213th-place finish in the Class 2A race, placing 88th (17:44) this year.

“It was a very fun race, compared to last year,” said Hydro, who was sick at this time last season. “I ran a lot smarter, I didn’t go out as hard, kinda realized where I was. I kinda felt my way out, and tried to keep moving up, stay steady.”

After winning the Class A race at the district meet last week, Palmerton junior Jake Martinez finished 60th on Saturday.

“I knew I had to go out quick, and I was able to keep the pace through two miles,” said Martinez. “Just after two, the hills really beat me up, and I just kinda blew up a little bit at the end.

“I was really calm going in, I was relaxed, I knew what I had to do. Just wasn’t quite able to execute today.”

But Martinez has plenty to be proud of after a stellar junior year that also included a fourth-place finish at the Colonial League meet.

“It’s been a phenomenal year. I’ve had a great season of training. I’ve really grown as a runner,” said Martinez. “I’m just really proud of how my season has gone.

“It wasn’t quite the way I wanted it to end. But I learned a lot from this experience, so hopefully I can come back next year and take what I learned this year and put it to use.”

Weatherly’s Scotty Zoscin ended a remarkable freshman year with a 92nd-place finish in the Class A race. Zoscin was a runner-up at the Schuylkill League meet and placed third last week at districts.

“It was like a free-for-all out there,” said Zoscin. “You just basically have to give it all you got at the start, and just keep with it, because the whole time it’s just … aggressive. I love that competition.

“I think I could have done better. But, hey, it was a great experience, and hopefully I’ll be here next year and I’ll be ready for it.”

NEW FACES … There were no repeat champions this year. St. Joseph Catholic’s Sera Mazza, who won the girls’ Class A race a year ago, was eighth this season. And Greencastle Antrim sophomore Taryn Parks, the Class 2A champion from last year, was third on Saturday.


(Top-25 in each class medal)




1. La Salle College 130, 2. Council Rock North 130, 3. Downingtown West 179, 4. Spring-Ford 186, 5. Bishop Shanahan 203.



1. Rusty Kujdych (Neshaminy) 15:47, 2. Noah Beveridge (Butler), 3. Daniel McGoey (North Allegheny) 15:58, 4. Morgan Cupp (Mechanicsburg) 15:58, 5. Tyler Wirth (Wallenpaupack) 15:59, 120. Luke Valdevit (Pleasant Valley) 17:20, 125. Ryan Murphy (Pleasant Valley) 17:22.



1. Wyomissing 105, 2. York Suburban 107, 3. Harbor Creek 111, 4. Dallas 134, 5. Grove City Area 168.


1. Isaac Davis (Jersey Shore) 15:56, 2. Bryce Ohl (York Suburban) 16:16, 3. Jonah Powell (Grove City Area) 16:18, 4. Quinn Serfass (Loyalsock) 16:23, 5. Ryan Starvaggi (Harbor Creek) 16:24, 84. Robert Leiser (Northwestern) 17:41, 88. Sammy Hydro (Jim Thorpe) 17:44, 133. Phillip Castrine (Northwestern) 18:09.



1. Penns Valley 68, 2. Elk County Catholic 95, 3. Montrose 101, 4. Winchester Thurston 102, 5. Jenkintown 134.



1. Tristan Forsythe (Winchester Thurston) 16:12, 2. Brenden Miller (Upper Dauphin) 16:27, 3. Jack Miller (Jenkintown) 16:28, 4. Andrew Healey (Holy Cross) 16:30, 5. Brandon Curley (Montrose) 16:32, 60. Jake Martinez (Palmerton) 17:49, 92. Scotty Zoscin (Weatherly) 18:12.




1. Fox Chapel 104, 2. Manheim Township 123, 3. Oakland Catholic 123, 4. North Allegheny 161, 5. State College 185.


1. Elizabeth Mancini (Cardinal O’Hara) 18:18, 2. Clara Savchik (North Allegheny) 18:24, 3. Savannah Shaw (Upper Saint Clair) 18:34, 4. Katie Dammer (Abington Heights) 18:35, 5. Emily Schuler (Dallastown) 18:40.




1. Danville 121, 2. Allentown Central Catholic 139, 3. Villa Maria 147, 4. Northern York 151, 5. Scranton Prep 172, 6. Northwestern Lehigh 212.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS (TOP-5 PLUS OTHER LOCALS) 1. Marlee Starliper (Northen York) 17:50, 2. Maddie McLain (Eastern York) 18:42, 3. Taryn Parks (Greencastle-Antrim) 18:50, 4. Gianna Labbiento (Sharon) 18:53, 5. Emily Deschler (Allentown Central Catholic) 19:04, 47. Sarah Maue (Tamaqua) 20:31, 48. Reagan Pender (Northern Lehigh) 20:31, 51. Kailyn Jones (Northwestern) 20:33, 66. Alyssa Zack (Northwestern) 20:42, 71. Frances Kabana (Tamaqua) 20:46, 81. Molly Tarvin (Northwestern) 20:52, 106. Sarah Supplee (Northwestern) 21:08, 121. Madeline Consuelos (Northwestern) 21:21, 150. Hannah Herzon (Northwestern) 21:45, 198. Kristen Brown (Northwestern) 23:04.



1. Fairview 96, 2. St. Joseph’s Catholic 99, 3. Vincentian Academy 105, 4. Marion Center 147, 5. Warrior Run 151.



1. Tina Capparell (Marian) 19:01, 2. Lauren Trapani (Warrior Run) 19:09, 3. Alyssa Campbell (New Brighton) 19:10, 4. Danielle Perry (Northern Potter) 19:17, 5. Lexi Walsh (Holy Cross) 19:18, 53. Nicole Capparell (Marian) 21:00.