Ron Poniewasz Jr.
New Castle News
NEW CASTLE —
Laurel High’s Emily Maxwell paved the way for the county contingent competing at the PIAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday.
Maxwell, a senior, placed fifth in the girls Class A race in 19:53. The meet was held at Hershey’s Parkview Cross Country Course.
“I thought she ran a very strategic race,” Laurel cross country coach Greg Schmitt said. “It was just how we went over it. I thought she had a shot to get in the top 10 and she did.
“She’s a great runner of (passing other competitors). She ran her race and stuck to her gameplan.”
Maxwell helped the Lady Spartans place sixth as a team with 179 points. Alison Filer was next for Laurel in 33rd (21:40) and Kristin Dicks was 40th (22:01). Brooke Dicks (47th, 22:16), Kacee Caughey (55th, 22:26), Erin Hassett (72nd, 23:10) and Kaitland Schrantz (91st, 24:08) also participated for the Lady Spartans.
“The girls team did a fantastic job,” Schmitt said. “For our first year being down there as a team and to finish sixth overall was amazing. Those girls did a fantastic job of running races and sticking to what they do best.
“Out of those seven girls, only two had been down there, Brooke Dicks and Emily Maxwell. They all did a fantastic job of coming in sixth place as a team.”
Elk County Catholic’s Kennedy Weisner won the girls Class A race in 19:42. Elk Lake won the team event with 66 points.
Wilmington took ninth place in the girls Class A team standings with 223 markers.
Rikki Brumbaugh placed 12th for the Lady Greyhounds in 21:01 and Allison Baldwin was 27th in 21:22. Kate Robb (38th, 21:55), Hannah Drake (66th, 23:01), Hannah Winters (80th, 23:36), Isabel Sherwood (115th, 26:44) and Alexandra Abdel-Nabi (117th, 27:24) also competed for the Lady Greyhounds.
“I thought they did a nice job,” Wilmington coach Mary Beth Acker said. “We were planning on being in the top 10 and we were, so I was happy for that. It’s a challenge to run in a meet that big. But I thought they did a nice job as a team.
“I was really happy with how Rikki ran. She placed really well and she ran a smart race. I thought they all did a nice job.”
Shenango placed 10th in the girls Class A team standings with 247 points. Katie Bruce was 19th for the Lady Wildcats in 21:12 and Courtney Fontana was 48th in 22:17. Rachel Reamer was 56th in 22:27 and Carly Danielson took 61st in 22:41. Elizabeth Salem (63rd, 22:43), Ashleigh Presnar (67th, 23:02) and Brielle Braun (84th, 23:52) also participated for the Lady Wildcats.
“That was their first experience at state and they handled the pressure very well,” Shenango coach Phil Thompson said. “It can be overwhelming.
“Katie Bruce ran a fantastic race. It was a very tough course on a cold, windy day. I couldn’t ask for much more out of a freshman. Courtney Fontana had a great outing, too. It was just a great effort by all of our runners.”
Laurel senior Ethan Wilson placed 16th in the boys Class A race in 16:54.
“Ethan ran a great race; a very smart race,” Schmitt said. “He stuck to his game plan.
“The idea was to get out quick in the lead group. From there on, it was to run his race and he did. At the beginning, he got out strong and was tied for seventh. He did exactly what we went over.”
Mohawk’s Breyona Wagner took 40th in the girls Class A race in 21:08.
New Castle’s Andrea Lansdowne placed 173rd in the girls Class AA race in 22:12.
Holy Cross senior Rico Galassi won the race in 15:59.
Neshannock’s Robbie Kroner took 81st in 17:59 and Shenango’s David Waldschmidt was 86th in 18:06. McCann, Waldschmidt’s teammate, was 114th in 18:25.
“McCann and Waldschmidt did a fantastic job for us,” Thompson said. “At the beginning of the season our goal for them was to win the WPIAL and go to state. You could tell they were getting better each day and working very hard.
“It was just a fabulous race by both of those guys. They gutted it out and gave a good performance.”
Wilmington Zach Paden placed 157th in the boys Class AA race in 18:19.
“I thought he raced very well,” Acker said. “He was right in a huge pack and that’s where he should have been; he did a great job.”