Weekly Roundup - Aug 31

by Don Rich,

Jen Stevens upsets Jessica Cickay | Frances Koons 18:42 at Viking | Eric Soders 15:38 at McDowell | Steve Hallinan leads O'Hara to Viking win

Big news is Cickay upset by last year's 19th place finisher in AA, Jen Stevens, Wyalusing Valley, a senior, at Cliff Robbins Memorial by .2. Eric Soder, Harbor Creek, a senior, only 5 seconds off Andy Weilacher's 15:43 course record in McDowell Invitational

Steve Hallinan 15:48 leads O'Hara boys




photos by
Don Rich

Viking Invitational

Frances Koons beats Erin Franklin's 2001 time.



Viking Invitational (Frances Koons, Allentown CC 18:42, faster
than Erin Franklin in 2001, Hatboro Horsham wins girls' team / Steve
Hallinan, O'Hara 15:48 to lead team win)
Cliff Robbins Memorial (Cickay upset by Wyalusing Valley senior Jen
Stevens, who was 19th in AA in 2001. Scranton Prep rolls behind Jon
McDowell Invitational (Soders go 1-2, Eric in 2nd fastest time ever,
after only Andy Weilacher)
Fairview Invitational (Mt.Lebo takes both boys/girls, but West Middlesex
is AA power)


8/30: Viking Invitational @ Tamamend Park - Led by the fourth place
finish of Janine Ricci in 19:08, Hatboro Horsham placed five in the top
24 to hold off 2001 AAA State Champ Allentown Central Catholic 70 to 75
in the team competition. But it was Central Catholic's Frances Koons, a
junior, who pulled away from St. Basil's Lynn Morelli to take the
individual title in 18:42. Koons was 22nd in the state meet last year.
For perspective, Wissahickon's Erin Franklin covered the course in 18:49
in 2001. Wissahickon doesn't yet have the front-runner of the past two
years, but they looked strong, placing four in the top 19. Cardinal
O'Hara, running (slightly) short-handed, took the boy's team competition
by 11 over Hatboro Horsham, a team that could make some noise at the
state level. Steve Hallinan stepped into the leader's role, taking the
win in 15:48. Horsham was led by junior Mike Kenny, 4th in 16:06.

Saturday, August 31: McDowell Invitational @ Brown's Farm - Harbor
Creek's Eric and Brian Soder finished 1-2 in an early season display of
strength, and a portent of what could be a spectacular season. Eric won
in 15:48, the second-best time in course history. Only two-time AA State
Champ and Foot Locker finalist Andy Weilacher of Eisenhower has gone
faster, and that by just five seconds. Brian finished 2nd with a time of
16:01. General McLane won the boys team title with 96 points. McDowell's
girls won with 78 points. Lindsay Petri, General McLane finished in
20:08 to win the girls varsity race. Heather Wilmoth, Eisenhower, was
2nd in 20:22.

Saturday, August 31: Cliff Robbins Memorial Invitational @ Kirby Park,
Wilkes-Barre - The first of what we are sure will be many surprises this
season, as Jen Stevens, a senior from Wyalusing Valley in District 4,
upset Council Rock North star Jessica Cickay, by just .2, as Stevens was
clocked in 19:14.8. Stevens was a medalist in AA at States in 2001, but
19th, over a minute slower than Cickay on the same day. In the boys'
race, Scranton Prep senior Jon Pastore picked up where he left off,
taking the 5K in 16:15.9. Scranton Prep took the team title.

Saturday, August 31: Fairview Invitational @ Fairview HS - Another great
preview to the battles that await at States this year. AAA contender
Mount Lebanon took a close one from one of this year's AA boys'
favorites, West Middlesex. The two squads combined to take 11 of the top
12 spots, with Lebo going 1-3-4-7-9 for the 24 to 33 win. West Middlesex
was with Lebo until the last half mile, when they faded slightly. Last
year's team leader, senior Bradley Ruffo, who finished 6th overall, is
coming back from a spring injury. Lebo was led by senior Brad Rodgers
(pictured to right) and his 16:55. Junior Joshian Leuenberger of West
Middlesex was second. In the girls' race, Mount Lebanon outpointed
Taylor Allderdice 35-55 behind Junior Lauren Woods' 21:11. Senior Molly
Ainsman of Allderdice, was 4th in 21:56.

Saturday, August 31: 2nd Annual Shamokin Area Purple & White
@ Shamokin HS - It was great XC weather as 10 teams
competed in The 2nd Annual Purple & White Invitationa. In girls'
varsity, sophomore Stephanie Stevens of Pottsville traded the lead
several times with Shamokin senior Joelle Reed before prevailing by :37
in 20:10. The match-up is an early prelude to the SIAL Championship
scheduled for October. But it was Reeds' Shamokin teammates who pulled
out the title by two points over Blue Mountain. Shamokin soph Paula
Palmitessa was 3rd, sophmore Cassie Bradley, 6th,  freshman Julissa
Reed, 22nd, freshmen Nicole Lawerence, 31st.  The Lady Indians could
challenge defending league champs Nativity. In the boys race, the
Pottsville trio of Shane Clauser, Ryan Hart, and Harry Luscan swept the
first three spots, but had a few anxious moments as the pack from Mount
Carmel placed their top five ahead of Pottsville's final scorer.

Big Valley Invitational @ Indian Valley Middle School, Reedsville -
Coatesville is two years removed from their state championship team, and
lost last year's top runner Rob Robertson. But if you look at their
youth, five of top six are underclassmen, and they are rebuilding
nicely. It was this young group that took the Big Valley Invitatonal
over Altoona by a slim eight points. Lewisburg junior Chris Spooner
outdueled fellow junior David Mock of Westmont-Hilltop by 19 seconds,
taking individual honors in 16:09. The State College girls were 11
points better than Wellsboro. But it was pre-season AA leaders Leanna
Natase, 12, Forest Hills, and Lewisburg's Ashleigh Wetzel, 12, who went
one-two, with Natase getting the 14 second win.

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