Harriers Enter Season's Final Stretch
With the cross country regular season dwindling down, the post-season looms for both Wyalusing Valley and Elk Lake squads.
Once again, Elk Lake, which won both the boys’ and girls’ PIAA 2010 Class championships, will take the first step toward defending the titles when it hosts the District Two championship meet, starting at noon on Wednesday, Oct. 26. The rain date for the event is Saturday, Oct. 29.
Action Wednesday begins with the boys’ Class AAA race at noon, followed by the boys’ Class AA race at 12:45 p.m. The Class AAA girls take the course at 1:30 p.m., followed by the Class AA girls’ race at 2:15 p.m. A non-qualifying B race for both boys and girls will follow at 3 p.m. with the medal ceremony slated for 4 p.m.
While the Elk Lake boys have struggled as a team this season to replace heavy graduation losses, Luke Jones and Will Bennett have been consistent frontrunners this season during the Lackawanna League meets.
Elk Lake’s girls’ squad returns everyone from last year’s District Two runner-up and PIAA championship squads.
Two-time state medalist Maria Trowbridge and promising freshman Jenny VanEtten both have Lackawanna League race wins to their credit this year. Other key returners for Elk Lake are Kirsten Hollister, Lainey Bedell, Abby Zdancewicz, Kellie Grosvenor and Emily Williams.
The top two Class AA teams and top 10 individuals not members of a qualifying team will advance to the PIAA meet. In Class AAA, only the championship team and top five non-championship team members advance.
For Wyalusing Valley, there is one more key regular-season tune-up before the District Four championship meet at Bloomsburg University on Thursday, Oct. 27.
The annual NTL Coaches’ Invitational will be held at Northeast Bradford, starting with the varsity girls’ race at 10:30 a.m. The varsity boys’ race follows at 11:10 a.m. The junior high girls’ and boys’ races will follow at 11:50 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., respectively.
For the Wyalusing girls’ team, which shared the NTL title with Northeast Bradford, it will be a good warm-up for the district meet.
Erika Huffman, undefeated in league meets this season, leads the Lady Rams into what should be a very competitive meet with the host Lady Panthers, Wellsboro and Towanda for the team title. Other team members include Pam Kelley, Mackenzie Martin, Savannah Schools, Arielle Kneller, Carlyn Edsell, Emily Edwards and Logan Steele.
The boys’ team, led by Tyler Sutton and Aaron Woodruff, will get valuable on-course competition from NTL champion Canton and Northeast Bradford, the defending champions of the event. Other Ram members include Matt Woodruff, Brenten Gerould, Mark Kusmierz, Mitchell Pickett, Cody Pickett, Jordan Schools, Dominic Ciccolini and Brian Sanger.
Awards will be presented after all the races to the top 15 varsity runners and the top two teams and the winning team and top 10 runners in the junior high races.
The Northern Tier League all-star squad will be named at that time also.