CHARLESTOWN — Boyertown won both individual races, but it was the Owen J. Roberts girls cross country team that remained undefeated in the Pioneer Athletic Conference following Wednesday's tri-meet at the Valley Forge Christian College course.
Bears' junior Dylan Eddinger won the boys' race in 16:22 while Boyertown freshman Gillian Kasitz finished first among the girls in 18:44 in terms of indivduals.
However, the Owen J. Roberts girls remained undefeated at 8-0 in the PAC-10 with a 24-31 victory over the Bears and 15-50 win over the Phantoms. The Bears also swept the shorthanded Phantoms by a 15-50 score.
On the boys' side, the Bears swept both ends of the meet with a 20-37 victory over the Wildcats and 15-48 win over the Phantoms. Owen J. Roberts took the other portion of the boys' meet with a 16-47 victory over Phoenixville.
The Owen J. Roberts girls used their formidable pack of runners that included senior Jill Weston (second, 18:50), senior Sarah Taylor (fourth, 19:04), sophomore Andrea Shade (fifth, 19:25), sophomore Megan Bernotas (sixth, 19:33) and freshman Allison Brunton (seventh, 20:17).
Boyertown's girls, who got a third place from junior Emily Schumaker in 19:00, split the meet to put their record at 6-2 in league action. The Phantoms are 1-6.
The Bears swept the top three places in the boys' confrontation with seniors John Bennett (16:34) and Dalton Meredith (16:41) crossing the finish line behind Eddinger, are now 5-3 with OJR at 3-5 and Phoenixville at 1-6.
Kasitz and Schumaker have been taking turns pushing each other every day in practice and then again during meets. It proved to be no different on Wednesday.
"I think I did pretty good,' said Kasitz. "It is 20 seconds off of my best time, but I think I did pretty good.
"It's been back and forth between me and Emily Schumaker. She pushes me and I push her. It really helps you during the race.'
She described the VFCC course as a little unorthodox.
"I think it was confusing a little bit,' said Kasitz. "But I really liked it. It was fast and it was straight.'
She said she could handle the hilly portions of the course, especially compared to some of the other courses the Bears run on their schedule.
"I live near a lot of hills so I am used to running a lot of hills,' said Kasitz.
Owen J. Roberts coach Dave Michael is a 36-year veteran of these cross country wars, and he seems to be blessed with one of his better teams during this 2013 campaign. The Wildcats are undefeated in their league slate with just one PAC-10 race to go before the postseason competitions. They are hoping to stay healthy and remain strong the rest of the way.
"This is a very nice group of girls,' said Michael. "They work hard as a group. They train well together and they race well together.'
The Wildcats are performing at a peak level with a combination of veterans and youngsters with two seniors, two sophomores and one freshman in the first five usual finishers.
Boyertown coach Steve Fegely, who is in his sixth year at the helm of the Bears, has a nice trio leading the pack in Eddinger, Bennett and Meredith. Recently, the Bears have been functioning more as a group and pack in races, and it has benefited Boyertown in terms of wins and losses in the final results and standings.
"I am pretty happy with my time, but it is not a PR,' said Eddinger. "My PR is 16:02 on the home course in Boyertown.
"I find this course very flat. Looking back, I wish I would have pushed more in the race at certain parts.'
He enjoyed running with the other two Bears at the front of the pack.
"We started using the three leaders,' he said. "That is kind of the way it has been. It's great. Ever since we lost to Pottsgrove, we have tried to push for that.
"We see it there and they (Falcons) have five guys who run together the whole race. We want to be up there and that makes us off to a good start.'
Eddinger is a newcomer to cross country circles. He was considered more of a track runner until this fall.
"I don't like to lose when I run,' said Eddinger. "The past two weeks I have started winning instead of coming in second place.'