STONEBORO — Bible was the gospel truth Saturday morning in Stoneboro.
Hickory High sophomore Lexi Bible bested the field with a 20:22 clocking, defending her individual crown while leading the Lady Hornets to the Mercer County Cross Country Invitational crown.
The annual event — encompassing Regions 1 and 2 and hosted this year by Lakeview High — serves as the final prelude to the annual state qualifier, the District 10 Championships.
Hickory harvested 48 points to outdistance Wilmington (55), though the runnerup Lady Greyhounds’ 56-second pack time (Lexi Brumbaugh, Allison Baldwin, Hannah Drake, Rikki Brumbaugh and Hannah Winters) was considerably tighter than Hickory’s.
Greenville’s Dylan Foley flew to a 22-second victory over Slippery Rock’s Andrew Maxwell in the boys’ race; however, Commodore Perry prevailed over Hickory for the title, 50-90.
“Our men really pulled together, and they ran extremely well (Satur)day,” summarized 9th-year Commodore Perry Coach David Snyder. “These are the kind of conditions they love: Fast course, great day to run. Nothing better than cross country in the wind and cold.
“They’ve really just pulled together, so much more so than they have in past years, and I’m just so proud of all the men,” Snyder added.
Though defending champion Nathan White finished 4th, Perry placed 5 runners in the top 15, including Chad Peterson, Cody Schreiber, Paul Jewell and Eric Johnston — 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, respectively. Their pack time was approximately 49 seconds.
“All seven of our runners were in the top thirty-five ... pretty impressive,” Snyder said.
A year ago as a freshman Bible burst on the scene and paced Hickory’s 1-2-3 finish. On Saturday, Bible belied any pressure she may have felt as defending medalist as she was in control from the outset. Bible, Jackie Abraham, Haley Boyd and Bailey and Paige Brown clocked in approximately 3:38 apart.
“I really pushed, stride by stride, all the way, and it got me to first,” Bible began, admitting, “There was a little bit of of pressure. I knew throughout the race where my competition was, but I wanted to keep my (caliber of) running going from my freshman to my sophomore year, so I ran and just focused ...
“I know my competition, and we’re always pushing each other and focusing on each other, pushing each other throughout the race. So it’s just good competition,” added Bible, who bested Sharpsville’s Maddie Przicina by 28 ticks. Abraham annexed 3rd and Boyd 5th.
“She had a good start, and at this time of year it’s very important to get out and go,” assessed veteran mentor Tony Mastrian. “The middle of this course is, pretty much, uphill, so that was a real focus area on the course. She was able to do that and she accelerated on the downhill, the last part.
“She ran a very strategic race and a very solid race, and that’s good to see at this time of year,” Mastrian added. “You could see her at the starting line that her mind was very focused for an aggressive race, and she was ready to go.”
Foley finished 71st in last year’s PIAA Championships, but sent a message to the remainder of his county counterparts. He assumed the lead on the 2nd mile and never relinquished it, outkicking Maxwell, Wilmington’s Calvin Gealy and White by approximately 22, 25 and 32 seconds, respectively. White was 29th at last fall’s state championships, Snyder said.
“I just tried to pace with them — not that I wanted to go out that fast — but just tried to pace with (the leaders). When I got to the loop, I just tried to pick up the pace and tried to keep at that pace and make a strong finish, too,” Foley related.
“Grove City didn’t run their varsity ... but the competition was really tough ‘cause some of these guys have hit ‘sixteens’ (minutes), too, and I didn’t know if I’d get there But I got ’em,” added Foley, who trailed Maxwell as the mile mark, 5:24 to 5:27 (as well as Gealy and White).
Hickory has its sights set on qualifying for the PIAA Class AA Championships, but only 2 spots out of D-10 advance, and Villa Maria and Gen. McLane loom as Lady Hornets’ hurdles, as well as neighboring rival Grove City.
“We have a good chance ... I’m very excited!” Bible added.
“They do push each other,” Mastrian said of his Lady Hornets — all of whom, with the exception of Bailey Brown, are underclassmen. “They’re a very close group.
“We know the importance ... in cross country, it’s not just your first or second (placewinner); it’s all the girls working together. So we’re still trying to get our fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh girls up closer to the top three, and they realize it and they work very hard together,” Mastrian added.
“With the district (championship) coming up, some people tend to not run in this race,” Mastrian said regarding Saturday’s tune-up. “But we think it’s important to give it a really good push, focus, and get the girls in a good race mentality for next week, ’cause we realize next week is the most important race to get you to the state level.”
Last year White went from Region 1-2 titlist to 29th at the state championships. In so doing, he may have put Perry on the PIAA cross country radar.
“I think so,” Snyder asserted. “(White) just really brought it hard, and he’s still improving, and everyone else is improving. I think there was pressure (on White), but more from his own internal drive to do well and to perform just like he has in the past.
“But we know he’ll make us proud, and (the Panthers) do everything they can to do the right thing,” Snyder continued, noting, “The guys in front of him are super-fast and also in AA, as well. As far as single-A, he was the top single-A finisher.”
Note: As he has in the past, Mark Courtney of RunHigh.com provided timing and race results. ... Lakeview Coach Glenn Dosch and assistant Deanna Maxwell coordinated the day’s slate. Dosch said he arrived at the school’s campus at 5:34 a.m. ... Former Lakeview coaches Jack Cress and Greg Slatcoff assisted at the finish line. Along the 3.1-mile course there are two key points: The Faulcon Bridge (named for former coach Lee Faulconbridge) and Cress’ Corner bridge. ... Saturday’s District 10 Championships will take place in Buhl Farm Park.
STONEBORO — Bible was the gospel truth Saturday morning in Stoneboro.
NFL NOTEBOOK: Ex-Sharon star Austin hopes to spark Lions' defense
THE TALENTED — albeit underachieving — Detroit Lions commence camp July 27 in Allen Park, Mich. as the National Football League prepares for the 2014 season.
Racing to fight cancer
Former Hickory High athlete Amanda Budzowski is on the run — the run to raise money to fight cancer.
Budzowski is part of Team in Training, an organization that has raised more than $1.4 billion for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society since forming in 1988. Her division is known as IRONTEAM and she is currently training for the 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon in Mont Tremblant, Canada, in August.
SPORTVIEW: Pirates, Indians need fast start after All-Star break
SO FAR, so good. I’m referring to the start of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians after the All-Star break on Friday night.
Both teams rallied to win. The Buccos beat the Colorado Joints — err, I mean Rockies — by coming from behind in the 8th inning. Since they legalized marijuana sales in that state, it gave new meaning to John Denver’s song “Rocky Mountain High.”
Rutters earn spot in national motocross event
The brother-sister racing duo of Elijah and Dannah Rutter of Mercer are set to travel to Hurricane Mills, Tenn., to compete soon in the prestigious 33rd annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships presented by AMSOIL at Loretta Lynn Ranch.
Elijah, 18, and Dannah, 16, earned a ticket to the event with their performances at qualifiers and then regionals and are among the top 5 percent of riders in the U.S. Overall, 20,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. competed and there are only 1,446 qualifying spots at nationals.
Notebook: Sharon football greats meet, reunite at inaugural golf scramble
Mid-July, with the temperature 80-plus degrees at Avalon at Buhl Country Club; however, it felt like a fall, football Friday.
The inaugural Sharon Football Boosters 4-man golf scramble took place recently, and served as a Who’s Who in the Tigers’ triumphant tradition.
SPORTVIEW: All is right with the world - LeBron has come home!
HAPPY DAYS are here again. The prodigal child has returned!
The announcement that “King James” is returning to Cleveland has created a level of euphoria not seen since the Browns won the city’s last major sport championship a couple of years ago.
What’s that? Oh, yeah — make that 50 years ago (1964).
Full text of LeBron's essay in SI
LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday in an essay that he wrote for Sports Illustrated. The following is the full text of that essay.
Snyder, Gordon, Popatak named to All-State team
Grove City High’s David Gordon, Sharpsville’s Greg Popatak and Lakeview’s Logan Snyder recently were named to the Pennsylvania High School Baseball Coaches Association all-state team.
Synder was selected 1st-Team in Class A as a designated-hitter, while Gordon was honorably-mentioned in Class AAA and Popatak similarly was honored in AA. Gordon gained his laurels as a pitcher; Popatak as a 3rd baseman.
Oprah lands first interview with Jerry Sandusky's adopted son, Matthew
Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, is breaking his silence for the first time since his father's 2012 conviction on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, sitting down with Oprah to tell his story.
Little League Tournaments
Sharon won the District 2 Major Division (12-year-olds) Championship, while Greenville 9-10 and West Middlesex 11 teams notched tournament victories in recent action.
Hermitage Brennan Chiropractic won the Mercer County 14-under championship recently.
Following are game reports:
The First Tee of Sharon celebrates 15th anniversary
Professional golf star John Cook has received many honors and awards in his illustrious career, but probably none mean as much as those similar to the one he received Monday afternoon at The First Tee of Sharon.
During a special ceremony to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the local program, a permanent plaque was unveiled in his honor describing the contributions he has made to junior golf.
SPORTVIEW: John Cook here Monday for First Tee; other celebs on July 11
THE RETURN of Tiger Woods to a PGA event sparked a lot of interest this past week. The return of John Cook to Buhl Farm Golf Course Monday will do the same locally.
Cook, a standout on the Champions Tour and outstanding TV golf analyst, will conduct a clinic at 11 a.m. Monday at the course to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of The First Tee of Sharon program.
It is open to the public at no charge.
Hickory honors Tri-Athletes
Hickory High honored its 2013-14 tri-athletes in a recent ceremony, the latest installment in a program that began in 2003-04.
Fifty student-athletes (grades 9-12) were cited for having competed in at least one sport in the fall, winter and spring while maintaining a minimum B (85 percent) grade-point-average during the first three 9-week grading periods of the academic year.
SPORTVIEW: Ex-Greenville man to enter Bedford County Hall
HUGHEY TATE was the greatest baseball player that ever lived — hitting 10,000 home runs and never making an out in 50 years on the diamond.
OK, that’s not true of course. But that’s the way Hughey would have told it before bursting into laughter.
Tate, a Greenville man who was as good at spinning a yarn as well as he was in hitting home runs, will be inducted posthumously into the Bedford County (Pa.) Hall of Fame Saturday. Some of his relatives from this area will attend the ceremonies.
Wilson wins Herald-Tamie Jr. golf crown
It was a case of family history trumping golfing history!
Hickory High golfer Billy Colbert had a chance to become only the second player ever to win the Herald-Tam O’Shanter Golf Championship four times. But he missed the final round of the tourney Wednesday along with his brother Colbert to attend his great-grandma’s funeral in Pittsburgh.
“I kind of wish he was here,” said the 2014 champion Jacob Wilson, a Kennedy Catholic High player who lost in a sudden-death playoff to Colbert last year. “But you play whoever is here. And in golf, you play against yourself too.”
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