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.
MERCER COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Team standings and key: Hickory (H) 48; Wilmington (W) 55; Commodore Perry (CP) 122; Sharpsville (Sv) 128; Greenville (G) 130; Sharon (Sh) 136; Slippery Rock (SR) 147; Grove City (GC) 181; Lakeview (L) 218; West Middlesex (WM) 224.
Individual Results: 1. Lexi Bible (H) 20:22; 2. Maddie Przicina (Sv) 20:50; 3. Jackie Abraham (H) 20:54; 4. Shae Grinnell (CP) 20:56; 5. Haley Boyd (H) 21:05; 6. Tabitha Donaldson (SR) 21:21; 7. Lexi Brumbaugh (W) 21:42; 8. Maddie Thrahser (G) 21:47; 9. Allison Baldwin (W) 21:57; 10. Hannah Drake (W) 21:59; 11. Nanami Mano (G) 22:00; 12. Bailey Brown (H) 22:05; 13. Rikki Brumbaugh (W) 22:19; 14. Andrea McConnell (L) 22:30; 15. Samantha Oakes (CP) 22:32; 16. Hannah Winters (W) 22:38; 17. Cassie Lukonic (Sv) 23:10; 18. Brienna Roys (Sh) 23:21; 19. Michaela Schmid (GC) 23:22; 20. Kate Adams (CP) 23:23: 21. Lindsey Anderson (J) 23:28; 22. Izzy Schell (Sv) 23:35; 23. Helena Zrile (WM) 23:38; 24. Xsila Powell (Sh) 23:45; 25. Melanie Wizorek (GC) 23:46.
Team standings and key: Commodore Perry (CP) 50; Hickory (H) 90; Grove City (GC) 107; Wilmington (W) 108; Greenville (G) 139; Slippery Rock (SR) 172; Lakeview (L) 186; Jamestown (J) 200; West Middlesex (WM) 210; Sharon (Sh) 223; Reynolds (R) 250.
Individual Results: 1. Dylan Foley (G) 17:16; 2. Andrew Maxwell (SR) 17:38; 3. Calvin Gealy (W) 17:41; 4. Nathan White (CP) 17:48; 5. Caleb Bickel (J) 17:57; 6. Kyle Boyd (H) 18:05; 7. Logan Griffen (H) 18:08; 8. Chad Peterson (CP) 18:14; 9. Jared Masters (W) 18:17; 10. Cody Schreiber (CP) 18:25; 11. Ryuji Mano (G) 18:31; 12. Christian McElhaney (J) 18:32; 13. Paul Jewell (CP) 18:34; 14. Jacob Hughes (GC) 18:37; 15. Eric Johnston (CP) 18:39; 16. Justin Pago (R) 18:40; 17. Bradley Calleja (Sv) 18:40; 18. Jacob Powell (GC) 18:40; 19. Ryan Davis (W) 18:41; 20. Colton Moretti (H) 18:43; 21. Brady Anderson (GC) 18:44; 22. Will Henry (SR) 18:45; 23. Kody Cropp (CP) 18:48; 24. Justin Walter (H) 18:48; 25. Matt Dilts (Sh) 18:52.
Team Standings: Commodore Perry 33, Grove City 48, Hickory 75, Greenville 106, Lakeview 111.
Individual Results: 1. Kyle Tumpak (Greenville), 19:15; 2. Jason Casteel (CP), 19:46; 3. Tony Kiser (CP), 20:14; 4. Brandon Hogue (GC), 20:16; 5. Scott Magargee (Lakeview), 20:27.
Team Standings: Hickory 15, Slippery Rock 41.
Individual Results: 1. Christa Marrie (Hickory), 23:45; 2. Nina Ordinario (Hickory), 24:27; 3. Jessica Garcia (Hickory), 25:21; 4. Destiney Golub (Hickory), 25:50; 5. Kaitlyn Slezak (Hickory), 26:13.
JUNIOR HIGH BOYS
Team Standings: Hickory 39, Grove City 41, West Middlesex 74, Wilmington 94, Lakeview 108.
Individual Results: 1. Chad Grundy (Hickory), 11:37; 2. Ben McKnight (GC), 11:42; 3. Zach Tingley (Lakeview), 11:45; 4. Drew Slezak (Hickory), 12:00; 5. Ryan Myers (GC), 12:05.
JUNIOR HIGH GIRLS
Team Standings: West Middlesex 29, Hickory 117, Wilmington 117, Grove City 121, Greenville 121.
Individual Results: 1. Hope Pursel (WM), 13:20; 2. Hannah Pursel (WM), 13:32; 3. Olivia Mott (Reynolds), 13:38; 4. Macey Redmond (Hickory), 13:48; 5. Ashley Shoemaker (Mercer), 13:54.
STONEBORO — Bible was the gospel truth Saturday morning in Stoneboro.
LOCAL COLLEGE SPORTS: Thiel's Schafer picked for NCAA Pathway Program
Thiel College assistant director of athletics and senior woman administrator Amy Schafer was one of just 12 individuals recently selected for the NCAA 2014 Pathway Program.
The Pathway Program exists to assist minority and/or female administrators who wish to become director of athletics as their next career step through education, training and mentoring. The program is designed to provide national exposure to its participants and to generate the opportunity to glean information and career guidance from the leadership of intercollegiate athletics administrators throughout the country.
Reynolds 20-year home mat streak halted
They say that all good things must end. Even winning streaks of local powerhouse Reynolds High wrestling team!
The Raiders of coach Casey Taylor dropped a tough 30-25 decision to Erie McDowell Tuesday night at Reynolds, the first home loss for the Raiders since 1993.
The Class AAA Trojans (2-0) last year rallied from a large deficit to beat Class AA Reynolds in Erie, 38-33. On Tuesday, the northerners also rallied from a 25-21 deficit in the final two matches to halt the streak.
Roundup: Sharon rallies to beat WM, 72-56
When West Middlesex High’s wonderful 2013 Final Four run ended last March 22, it was at Sharon’s Tiger gymnasium. And while Tuesday night’s circumstances were considerably less dramatic, they ended similarly.
The Big Reds built a 20-8 first-quarter bulge. Ultimately, however, West Middlesex made 27 miscues, resulting in a 72-56 District 10 inter-region setback at Sharon.
Roundup: WM girls beat UC; Sharpsville, KC fall
ä West Middlesex 52, Union City 27 — At Union City, coach Mike Williams’ Region 1-A Ms. Reds improved to 2-1 with a win over the Lady Bears of Region 4-AA.
Alyson Pierce scored 15 to lead WM, Noelle Murray registered 13 points and Allie Staunch bucketed 10 markers.
Hickory falls to Lions in PIAA Class AA western region final
SLIPPERY ROCK — Brett Brumbaugh brought Bill Brest back to reality.
Brest seemed, Saturday afternoon, momentarily lost in thought when a post-game question was posed. Perhaps it was because it had been 3 months since he had experienced the disappointment of defeat.
Brumbaugh-led South Fayette’s football team short-circuited a splendid season a step shy of the statewide stage for Brest and Hickory High with a 23-20 win over the Hornets in the PIAA Class AA western regional championship game.
SPORTVIEW: Browns, Steelers will both lose
THE CLEVELAND Browns quarterback position has been a revolving door this season, but at least one of the more successful signal-callers is back. Jason Campbell is recovered from a concussion and will start.
Does it really matter?
Roundup: Opening-weekend tipoff tourneys conclude
Kittanning Tipoff Championship
ä Hickory 60, Kittanning 32 — Coach Jeannette Whitehead’s Lady Hornets had an impressive weekend in winning the opening tourney of the season.
“It’s nice to get out of the game with a win,” said Whitehead. “The kids were anxious to get going.”
2013-14 hoops season begins with tipoff tourneys
Farrell Julius McCoy Tipoff Tourney
ä Kennedy Catholic 48, Imani Christian Academy 40 — The Golden Eagles set up an all local rematch with host Farrell by pulling away in the fourth quarter in a tight battle.
For KC, Gerald Zachar and Sam Crow each scored 13 points to pace the victory, Brown had 14 and Southerner 12 for Imani.
Brookfield boys win season-opener against Py Valley
It was a typical season-opener: Too many turnovers, some questionable shot selection, and careless personal fouls. But for Brookfield High boys’ bench boss Bill Kovach, “ ... always happy with a win.”
The Warriors were 7-for-10 from the free-throw line during the 4th frame, and held off Pymatuning Valley, 59-48, Tuesday night.
Hornets advance to semis with win over Central
DuBOIS, PA. — Some people could say the “third time is a charm.” For the Hickory High Hornets it was much more than that. In fact, it was glorious.
After losing in the first round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs the last two years, the Hornets finally nailed down a victory with a 37-27 triumph over the Central Dragons from Martinsburg.
Lakeview falls to Clarion Area in PIAA quarterfinals
SLIPPERY ROCK — In the scholastic athletic arena, “mercy rule” — while not politically correct in hyper-sensitive 2013 society — is a relatively accepted term.
Clarion High’s football had mercy-ruled all 13 prior opponents this season. And the Bobcats seemed bent on continuing their commanding conquests during Saturday’s PIAA Class A quarterfinal-round meeting with Lakeview.
Hickory focused on winning PIAA opener
The calendar reminds us that Thanksgiving arrives a little later than usual this year. But as holiday traditions go, this one has been pretty productive for Hickory High head football coach Bill Brest.
“My wife always has me put up our Christmas tree on the Friday after Thanksgiving ... and the next day, we’ve won. So I’ll be more than happy to help my wife put up the tree this Friday,” Brest related.
During the past 2 years Hickory has won District 10 titles on Thanksgiving weekend. But this year the Hornets harvested their 3rd consecutive crown last week, jettisoning Girard (21-10). Now Hickory (11-1) has a 1 p.m. date in DuBois Saturday against surprising Central-Martinsburg (11-2) in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals.
Smart move by PIAA to schedule games early this weekend
Congratulations to the PIAA for making a good move that helps teams and fans of high school sports.
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that often enough!
But many of the high school football games this coming weekend will be played in the afternoon which is a real plus for traveling on possibly snow-blown highways at this time of the year.
Hornets 3-peat as D-10 champs with win vs. Girard
EDINBORO — When legendary coach Vince Lombardi said “the only good thing that comes from losing is the desire never to lose again,” he could very well have been referencing the future for Coach Bill Brest and his Hickory Hornets.
Since Hickory lost to Sharon, 14-6, in the 2010 District 10 finals in Brest’s first year at the helm of the team, the D-10 Class AA title game has belonged to Hickory. And Saturday afternoon at Edinboro University’s Sox Harrison Stadium, it was no different as the Hornets topped Girard, 21-10 for a third straight crown.
Sailors beat Devils to capture 1st District 10 title
NEW WILMINGTON — Lakeview may have a long way to go to equal Sharpsville’s success in the sport of football, but the Sailors jump-started the process Friday night.
With Blake Reddick roaring into the record book, the Sailors shut out Sharpsville, 27-0, in the District 10 Class A championship game at Greyhounds Stadium.
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