NEWVILLE – Three Lebanon County runners earned medals and qualified for the state meet during the action at the District 3 Cross Country Championships at Big Spring High School on Saturday afternoon.
Elco's Lilly Brubaker and Ryan McAllister won medals in Class 2A, while Cedar Crest's Jesse Cruise took one in 3A. They will participate in the PIAA championship meet next Saturday at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey.
Brubaker placed sixth in the 2A girls' race, the best finish by place among all the Lebanon County runners, with a time of 20:05.
The Raider sophomore did not push the leaders, but ultimately took the lead in the second pack of runners to reach the finish line.
“I usually like to get out quickly,” Brubaker said. “I was happy to be in the pack. I kept waiting for the kill hill.”
Brubaker said that the time, though good, was not a PR. She said she has run a 19:47.
Taryn Parks of Greencastle-Antrim won the girls' 2A race with an 18:21.
In the 2A boys' race, McAllister was one of three runners to post a 17:13. He was right in the middle of those runners and took 17th place.
Joe Cullen of Wyomissing won the gold medal with a 16:35.
Northern Lebanon's Jordan Berger missed a state meet spot by one second, placing 28th with a 17:34. Quinten Collinge of Fleetwood was 27th with a 17:33.
Cruise finished 16th in the boys' 3A race with a 16:17.
“I was pretty happy with that time,” Cruise said. “It was a PR. I thought I could have gone a little faster.”
Noah Affolder of Carlisle was the winner, and Nathan Henderson of McCaskey was the runner-up at 15:17 and 15:33, respectively. Cruise was never running up with them, opting to escalate his speed as the race progressed.
“I wanted to go out pretty easy in the first mile,” Cruise said. “Then I wanted to pick it up in the middle and make a charge at the end. I thought I did a good job conserving early.”
The next best Lebanon County finisher in boys' 3A was another Falcon, Adam Wolfe, who was 46th with a 16:52. Lebanon County Meet champion Derin Klick was 49th with a 16:55.
The Falcons were 10th in the team standings with 305 points. In addition to Cruise and Wolfe, William Sheffield (62nd, 17:06), Noah Bragunier (85th, 17:22) and Devyn Stump (102nd, 17:30) scored for Cedar Crest.
In the girls' 3A race, Kelsei Bixler was the closest Lebanon County runner to qualifying for states with a 37th-place 20:12. The last state berth was taken by Mary Campbell of Ephrata, who was 33rd with a 20:05.
Jamie Zamrin of Cocalico won the gold medal with an 18:15.
Annville-Cleona's Jess Gutekunst was the top local runner in the girls' A meet with a 23:11 for 33rd place.