Saturday was a classic battle between a veteran runner and the rookie on the scene for a Franklin County girls cross country showdown.
And against some of the state's best at the Carlisle Invitational, there was no better stage for Greencastle-Antrim's Taryn Parks to make her presence known. And be clear she's here to stay.
With just a handful of high school races under her belt, Parks has been the area's top finisher in each, and Saturday was no different as Parks placed fourth overall at the highly-competitive Carlisle Invitational, followed closely by Chambersburg's Abby Yourkavitch.
Parks crossed the finish line at 18:07, while Yourkavitch crossed 10 seconds later at 18:17 at sixth overall. The third area finisher was Greencastle's Lauren Hirneisen at 12th overall (18:36). Parks and Hirneisen were the only Blue Devils to compete in the Challenger race, and did not compete for team scores.
For the Trojans, Kaylee Mowery finished 17th at 19:02, followed by Cadie Kiser at 23rd (19:17). A gap between finishers brought in Ana DeGrange (97th, 21:32) and Camaryn Ellis (99, 21:34) as the team's fourth and fifth finishers, good enough for ninth place overall in the team race.
"Our varsity girls ran some nice times, but place-wise we were a little bit off," Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim said. "Abby was a little disappointed with her race, but the field of runners was fantastic, and she's still coming back from her (injury) break. If this is one of our bad days, we are in good shape."
The Chambersburg boys team placed 20th in the Challenger race, with top finisher Andrew Feldman at 54th, crossing the line in 16:35, followed by Trentin Overcash at 85th (17:02).
"We had some pretty heavy company today, and it's not really our kind of course, but we had goals set for the guys and pretty much everyone met them and the guys are happy with their times," Chambersburg boys coach John Ambrosio said. "Trentin Overcash ran way ahead of where he was last year, and Chris Diaz (157th, 18:06) had a nice race, finishing seventh for us."
In the Champions race, the Waynesboro boys team topped the area, placing 16th as a team, followed by Greencastle-Antrim in 20th, James Buchanan at 26th and Shippensburg at 33rd.
Waynesboro's Chris Maichle placed 13th overall at 16:42, followed closely by James Buchanan's Dalton Leab (16th, 16:47). Andrew Jackson finished first for the Blue Devils at 67th overall (17:30), while Hunter Kent crossed the line at 111th (17:58) for Shippensburg.
In the girls Champions race, James Buchanan's Sarah Kimmel placed 51st overall as the area's top finisher at 20:44. The Rockets placed 27th, followed by Waynebsoro at 30th and Greencastle-Antrim at 38th.