EAST ROCKHILL — Pennridge's hilly course — and two tough Pennridge squads along with it — provided a stiff challenge for the North Penn boys and girls cross country teams on Wednesday afternoon.
But the Knights and Maidens went out aggressive and dug deep to finish strong, each earning victories over both the Rams and Hatters in a Suburban One League Continental Conference tri-meet.
"It's a good challenge — we need a course like this every now and then,' said the Maidens' Ali Valenti. "We tried to stay as a pack as usual and that usually helps us push each other a lot. Phoebe Clowser and I push each other and by the second mile, we give what's left and see how it goes.'
The Maidens finished two through six, locking up a 20-42 win over the Rams and a 15-50 victory over the Hatters. Brianna Mengini led North Penn, crossing in 19 minutes, 47 seconds, and she was followed by Valenti, Jenna Reimer, Clowser and Mikaela Vlasic as the Maidens stayed unbeaten at 6-0 (3-0 conference).
"(Jenna Reimer) ran a real nice race today,' coach Jim Crawford Jr. said of the junior, who has battled her way back from injury.
Colleen McGovern also ran hard for North Penn, displaying the Maidens' depth with a seventh-place finish.
Pennridge's Marissa Sheva was all by herself out in front, hammering the home course in 18 minutes, 26 seconds.
"Going out, I felt really strong,' said Sheva, who led the Rams to a 19-35 win over Hatboro. "Going into the back loop, I was 10 or 15 seconds faster than last week so I was like ' wow, this is really quick.''
Sheva pushed herself to a solid time while Hatboro's Casey Comber did the same in the boys race, crossing first in 16 minutes, 19 seconds.
Joey Logue earned second place in 16:40 and then North Penn went 3-4-5, with Ryan Grace, Ryan Tung and Matt Aham staying within 15 seconds of each other.
Anthony Camasso and Matt Malloy weren't too far behind, finishing eighth and ninth to lock up the wins for the Knights (6-0 overall, 3-0 conference).
"I thought we battled well today,' Knights coach Mike Werner said. "We got out fast and we knew this was going to be a tough meet even before we got here. Pennridge is a very good team and we're running on their course, which is a very challenging course so we knew we had our hands full and we had to be aggressive.'
The Rams came back in the second half of the race, with Matt Schulberger (17:01) and Phil Gunderson (17:09) closing in fast, placing sixth and seventh. And it was another impressive performance by Logue.
"Joe is a phenomenal runner,' Rams coach Terry Permar said. "Not just a track runner but cross country as well — he's really, really doing well. Matt Schulberger had a good race and Phil Gunderson, a junior, had a good race.'
Logue, who pushed the Rams to a win over the Hatters, has grown to love the home course.
"When I was younger, my sophomore year, I absolutely hated it,' the senior said. "As I've gotten older and stronger and become a better distance runner, I've come to like it just because it plays to our advantage. These are our hills. We train here and we know how to run them. I've come to like this course. I'm gonna miss running on it.'
The Pennridge boys will be at the Council Rock North Invite on Saturday while the North Penn girls travel over to New Jersey for the Six Flags Invitational.
On Wednesday, both North Penn squads will travel to CB East for a tri-meet with Quakertown and Pennridge will be at CB South for a tri-meet with Souderton.
Boys Cross Country
North Penn 24, Pennridge 34
North Penn 20, Hatboro-Horsham 38
Pennridge 21, Hatboro-Horsham 38
1. Casey Comber (HH) 16:19; 2. Joey Logue (P) 16:40; 3. Ryan Grace (NP) 16:44; 4. Ryan Tung (NP) 16:50; 5. Matt Aham (NP) 16:59; 6. Matt Schulberger (P) 17:01; 7. Phil Gunderson (P) 17:09; 8. Anthony Camasso (NP) 17:14; 9. Matt Molloy (NP) 17:25; 10. Tom Boyle (NP) 17:28; 11. Jeff Henderson (P) 17:29; 12. Jake Fisher (HH) 17:33; 13. Joe LeCorey (NP) 17:41; 14. Conor Brady (P) 17:49; 15. Dylan Ashbach (HH) 17:55; 18. Jordan Murray (HH) 18:03; 19. Brandon Timn (HH) 18:06.
Girls Cross Country
North Penn 20, Pennridge 42
North Penn 15, Hatboro-Horsham 50
Pennridge 19, Hatboro-Horsham 35
1. Marissa Sheva (P) 18:26; 2. Brianna Mengini (NP) 19:47; 3. Ali Valenti (NP) 19:57; 4. Jenna Reimer (NP) 20:07; 5. Phoebe Clowser (NP) 20:35; 6. Mikaela Vlasic (NP) 21:05; 7. Colleen McGovern (NP) 21:18; 8. Monika Brill (P) 21:38; 9. Sarah Tung (NP) 21:46; 10. Tara McLaughlin (NP) 21:51; 11. Hannah Kramilk (P) 21:57; 12. Alyssa Quinn (HH) 21:59; 13. Natalie Mamrol (P) 22:08; 14. Emily Mesaris (NP) 22:14; 15. Maday Little (NP) 22:53; 16. Hannah Knudsen (HH) 23:01; 17. Emma Raudenbush (HH) 23:12; 24. Rachel Walbert (HH) 24:13; 25. Cenna Hilliard (HH) 24:38.
Follow Kev Hunter on Twitter @khunter10.