The End Zone Seat: Harriers Make Mark in Region
If there was ever any doubt about the quality of cross country in this area, last Saturday’s PIAA championships confirmed just how strong it is.
The Elk Lake girls just missed winning a second consecutive girls’ Class AA team title. Instead, the Lady Warriors—Maria Trowbridge, Jenny VanEtten, Kirsten Hollister, Lainey Bedell, Abby Zdancewicz, Emily Williams and Kellie Grosvenor—brought their second second-place trophy in five years back to the Susquehanna County school.
The area saw 10 individual runners bring home medals.
Elk Lake’s Luke Jones led the boys with his second-place finish in the boys’ Class AA race.
Northeast Bradford’s Sam Williams was fourth and his teammate Curt Jewett, who ran with the leaders for much of the race, was 19th.
Towanda’s Aaron Valoroso and Wellsboro’s Jordan Jackson were seventh and eighth, respectively.
Sullivan County’s Kelby Mullen was 20th, right behind Jewett.
To top it off, every one of the local boy medalists are juniors and will be contenders to repeat next year.
Actually, only four of the top 25 in the boys’ race were seniors. If you thought this year’s race was exciting, wait until next year.
In the girls’ Class AA race, Trowbridge and VanEtten each claimed individual medals for Elk Lake. Trowbridge, a senior, was 11th, while VanEtten, a freshman, finished 15th.
The other area medalists included Mansfield’s Violet Learn, who was 18th as a sophomore, and Troy’s Casey Norton, a junior, who finished 22nd.
Wyalusing’s Erika Huffman was just two spots from the medal stand as a junior.
As you can see, many of those girls should be forces to reckon with next season.
As their coach Will Squier noted, the Elk Lake girls only lose two seniors and Trowbridge’s replacement is waiting in the wings in the form of her sister Elizabeth, who medaled last year as a freshman but sat out this year with an injury.
There were a number of other state qualifiers from the area that didn’t medal.
The entire Wellsboro and Canton boys’ team competed as District Four qualifiers. There are only two seniors each on both teams.
But even they have to look over their shoulders as Northeast Bradford will have its top three runners back with strong reinforcements expected up from the junior high squad that dominated the NTL Coaches’ Invitational.
The Northeast Bradford girls also competed as a team, but three of its top runners were seniors and it may be harder for it to repeat as a team.
Wyalusing’s girls’ team, which tied the Lady Panthers for the NTL title, should have everyone back next year and might be a state qualifying contender.