North Penn and Souderton girls cross country team members launch for their meet at Souderton Area High School on Wednesday Sept. 18, 2013.
North Penn and Souderton girls cross country team members launch for their meet at Souderton Area High School on Wednesday Sept. 18, 2013. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

FRANCONIA — The North Penn pack was hoping to run the first two miles of Souderton's course in about 10 minutes and 40 seconds, which equates to a 5:20 split.

Turns out the Knights hammered it at a 5:04 pace.

"We went out of kind of quick — solid day,' said the pack's leader, Ryan Grace, who won the race in 16:29. "Ryan Tung was on me right until we got to the track (for the final 300 meters). He was real close. Anthony Camasso had a heck of a day.'

Grace, Tung and Camasso went 1-2-3 and the 4-0 Knights took the top nine spots in all as North Penn earned a 15-50 win over Souderton Area in the Suburban One League Continental Conference opener for both squads.

North Penn runner Ryan Grace outdistances the pack as he finishes first during the Knights’ meet against Souderton at Souderton Area High School on
North Penn runner Ryan Grace outdistances the pack as he finishes first during the Knights' meet against Souderton at Souderton Area High School on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

The North Penn girls, led by Brianna Mengini, topped Big Red 16-45 to notch their first conference win of the season as well on this breezy, sunny Wednesday afternoon at Souderton.

Grace capped off his race with a solid sprint on the track.

"There aren't many hills on the course and my legs were feeling pretty good,' he said. "Had a solid kick there.'

Young Souderton (1-1) was led by Ryan Walter (17:56) and had a freshman, Joe Breer, in its top seven.

"We had a nice pack. We just have to move it up,' Indians coach John Donahue said. "We have 40 seconds between one and five so that's too far back against a squad like North Penn. But it's only September. We're hoping to move that pack up come leagues and districts.'

Mengini ran the top girls time, crossing the line first in 19:12, to help keep North Penn unbeaten at 4-0. The Maidens were impressive up front, with Ali Valenti just six seconds behind Mengini.

"We have a really good pack. We always run together at practice - we push each other,' Mengini said. "My two teammates (Ali and Phoebe Clowser) are really good sprinters at the end so we just pushed each other to the finish.'

North Penn was able to take the top four spots.

North Penn and Souderton girls cross country team members are seen against the late-afternoon sun as they launch for their meet at Souderton Area High
North Penn and Souderton girls cross country team members are seen against the late-afternoon sun as they launch for their meet at Souderton Area High School on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

"Our top three looked pretty strong and Colleen (McGovern) is a solid four and then after that, they're sort of feeling their way,' Maidens coach Jim Crawford Jr. said. "We have some competition there.'

Melanie Witter, a first-year runner, and Elizabeth Morris ran well for Big Red (0-1), finishing fifth and seventh on the flat home course.

"We got out very fast, and we didn't totally hang on but we will in a couple weeks,' Big Red coach Jim O'Neill said. "I was pleased with our aggressiveness.'

The Souderton girls head to Perkiomen Valley's Invite Saturday while the North Penn girls head down to Briarwood. The Knights are at the Cherokee Challenge in South Jersey Monday while the Souderton guys get ready for a tri-meet at Central Bucks West with Quakertown Wednesday.

North Penn’s Ryan Grace, center, along with teammates and Souderton cross country competitors launch for the start of their meet at Souderton Area
North Penn's Ryan Grace, center, along with teammates and Souderton cross country competitors launch for the start of their meet at Souderton Area High School on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. (Mark C Psoras/The Reporter)

Girls

North Penn 16, Souderton 45

At Souderton

1. Brianna Mengini (NP) 19:12; 2. Ali Valenti (NP) 19:18; 3. Phoebe Clowser (NP) 19:42; 4. Colleen McGovern (NP) 20:25; 5. Melanie Witter (S) 20:29; 6. Mikaela Vlasic (NP) 20:47; 7. Elizabeth Morris (S) 20:48; 8. Jenna Reimer (NP) 21:10; 9. Sarah Tung (NP) 21:22; 10. Ellie Bell (S) 21:33; 11. Tessa Edwards (S) 21:57; 12. Jill Batten (S) 22:22.

Boys

North Penn 15, Souderton 50

At Souderton

1. Ryan Grace (NP) 16:29; 2. Ryan Tung (NP) 16:34; 3. Anthony Camasso (NP) 16:44; 4. Matt Aham (NP) 16:48; 5. Matt Molloy (NP) 17:08; 6. Joe LeConey (NP) 17:16; 7. Michael Cooney (NP) 17:18; 8. Ryan Walter (S) 17:56; 9. Austin Carlson (S) 18:07; 10. Dave Cappiochi (S) 18:20; 11. Paul Caracciolo (S) 18:27; 12. Mitch Schlegel (S) 18:39.

Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10.