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Maddie Ferner never planned to run cross country competitively.

She planned to play soccer through her entire four years at Kennard-Dale while only occasionally training with the Rams' cross country team to stay in shape, and continue playing soccer in college. Even when the school's cross country coaches, who saw vast potential in her from her time with the middle school track and field team, tried persuading her to come out to run, she stayed focus on soccer.

A bad ankle sprain during her sophomore soccer season didn't allow that soccer career to go according to plan, but it gave way to Ferner winning the District 3 AA cross country championship Saturday at Big Spring High School. The Kennard-Dale senior, who switched to competitive cross country while still recovering from her injury last fall, broke away from a four-pronged pack in the final mile to win the race by three seconds.

"I just thought of all the hours of training I've spent and I was like, 'I'm not gonna let all this get away,'" Ferner said. "It was definitely hard, a lot of really good competition here as always."

Ferner, not at 100 percent, placed sixth at last year's district race with a time exceeding 20 minutes. On Saturday, she ran the 5K race in 19 minutes, seven seconds to add district title to a list of accomplishments this season that already includes a YAIAA title.

"Last winter I was like, 'You know what, I'm not gonna have the same story for track," Ferner said. "I trained every day over the winter before track season. I still wanted to do even better for cross country and track this year, so I added weightlifting in three times a week over the summer, and I ran everyday as well."

Ferner is verbally committed to run at the University of Toledo next fall, and her coaches are thrilled to see her finally reaching the full potential they knew she was capable of in cross country.

"Maddie is one of the most humble kids you'll ever meet, she honestly doesn't get how good she really is," Kennard-Dale coach Karen Graham said. "She just works really hard, she's a kid with a great work ethic, she's out there everyday. She's driven, and she's got a good, solid head on her shoulders, she's just focused and does what needs to be done."

Now that she's won a district title, Ferner — a self-proclaimed "dreamer" — has her sights set on winning a state title next week in Hershey. She placed 50th at last year's state meet on the same course.

"I'm happy with winning a district title, but at the same time I always want to take it to the next level," she said. "I would love to say I won a state title. There's always something else I could be doing better."

Eastern York's McLain takes third in AA

While Ferner reached her goal of a district title, close rival Eastern York sophomore Maddie McLain reached her goal of a top-three district finish.

McLain stuck with Ferner in the front pack for much of the race and finished it in 19:12.

"I had in my mind where I was gonna pick it up," McLain said. "My first mile I felt pretty good, my second mile I just didn't feel good at all. Then my third mile hit, and the other girls started slowing down. I took it easier on the uphills and took off at the downhills, and that really paid off for me."

She placed 23rd at last year's state meet and is now aiming for a top-five finish next week.

In addition to hitting her goal, McLain also felt excited that two teammates — her sister, Olivia McLain, and Madison Nalls — also advanced to the state meet. This will be Olivia McLain's first state appearance, and Nall's second.

"I did really bad there last year, like I'm talking 158th," Nalls said. "So I want to get better than that place."

Christian School of York's Shelton advances to states

Christian School of York sophomore Nicole Shelton broke onto the running scene last spring with a surprise run to the state finals in track and field, and she made quite a first impression in her first district cross country meet on Saturday.

Christian School of York doesn't field a cross country team, but coach Marc Semke brought Shelton, who plays soccer, and two other Christian School athletes to two meets in September as preparation to run at the District 3 meet. Shelton placed third in the District 3 Class A with a time of 20:17 to ensure that she'll get to run at the PIAA state championships next week.

"I've only been running competitively since last year with track, so it's still kind of all new," Shelton said. "I'm still learning how to pace myself and to run on hills because it's a lot different than track."

The first cross country race Shelton ran came at the Bulldog Invitational, so she had some familiarity with the Big Spring course.

"She's just figuring it out, her confidence keeps growing," Semke said. "We've had good competition at the couple meets we've had and getting that competition to run with anybody is important."

Delone Catholic dethroned as District 3 A champions

The Delone Catholic seniors weren't able to end their careers as four-time District 3 A champions, as they finished eight points behind Veritas Academy for the district title.

"It's the best team we've ever had," senior Kate Mowery said. "It's just this is Veritas' best team they've ever had. We can't control the competition, but I'm really proud of us and what we did this season."

The Squirettes' defeat also means that they did not advance as a team to the state meet. Only the top Class A team advances out of District 3 since there are so few teams in that classification.

"We knew going in that if we did everything we possibly could and everyone ran their best race, maybe we would have a chance to win if the team ahead of us had a hiccup," Delone Catholic coach R.C. Zinn said. "They all ran their best race of the season, but the other team didn't have a hiccup, and that's why we came in second."

Two runners will still go to the state meet as individuals: Leanne Sneeringer, who placed fifth, and Mowery, who placed seventh. Senior Alyssa Alberghini placed eighth, missing qualification by one spot.

"She ran her fastest time of the season, so there's nothing that we could complain about," Zinn said of Alberghini. "She had a wonderful season. The reason we come out and coach is the feeling of seeing people break the barriers, whether it's 22 minutes or 21 minutes, and she has done that this year."

GIRLS'

Class AAA

Top four teams and the next top 14 individuals qualify for next week's state meet.

Individual

State Qualifiers: 1. Mady Clahane, CuV, 17:55. 2. Alison Willingmyre, Wil, 18:18. 3. Abby Yourkavitch, Cham, 18:20. 4. Ella Breidenstine, LD, 18:39. 5. Jamie Zamrin, Coc, 18:47. 6. Kaylee Mowery, Cham, 18:55. 7. Skye Christian, RLa, 19:03. 8. Gabby Audi, Wil, 19:04. 9. Andie Demko, Her, 19:07. 10. Sydney Myers, CD, 19:09. 11. Cheyenne Hansen, GS, 19:10. 12. Marie Rulapaugh, CuV, 19:14. 13. Lianna Tirado, JPM, 19:16. 14. Cat Shontz, Etown, 19:18. 15. Samantha Shields, War, 19:20. 16. Molly Conrad, Hemp, 19:23. 17. Kelsi Bixler, Pal, 19:24. 18. Cortney Johnson, Sol, 19:29. 19. Maddie Kole, Car, 19:29.20. Cadie Kiser, Cham, 19:30. 21. Kira Jenkins, MT, 19:31. 22. Alyssa Koser, MT, 19:32. 30. Paige Newman, MT, 19:45. 31. Lindsay Sanger, Wil, 19:46. 32. Hannah Dieterle, MT, 19:50. 35. Amina Chtourou, Wil, 19:55. 36. Chelsea Lewis, Wil, 19:56. 40. Aurora Mussey, MT, 19:59. 42. Meg Lebo, Car, 20:02. 44. Gracen Cabral, Car, 20:05. 48. Sarah Frick, Car, 20:07. 49. Caitlyn Padgett, Car, 20:09. 60. Emma Bateman, Car, 20:26. 76. Cassie Essis, Cham, 20:41. 80. Emma Rogers, MT, 20:42. 96. Sydney Parson, Cham, 20:56. 100. Haily Midgley, Car, 21:02. 110. Erin Gingrich, MT, 21:12. 129. Lindsey Chai, Wil, 21:34. 153. Colleen Russo, Wil, 21:52. 167. Olivia Sommers, Cham, 22:07. 199. Rachael Sollars, Cham, 22:46.

Did Not Qualify: 41. Lydia Fimmano, Dt, 20:00. 56. Maddie Warrender, NE, 20:20. 63. Sarah Forry, SW, 20:29. 65. Isabella Wise, Dt, 20:33. 70. Sarah Groetz, Dt, 20:38. 73. Micaela Bradley, Ne, 20:40. 77. Madison Wisensale, SW, 20:41. 79. Haley Pfefferkorn, CY, 20:41. 97. Camryn Sopko, CY, 20:58. 99. Bryn Trout, RL, 21:01. 102. Raleigh Bateman, NO, 21:03. 113. Danielle Dubois, Dt, 21:16. 115. Paige Hartman, CY, 21:17. 118. Bridget Palm, CY, 21:24. 127. Tristan Schluderberg, RL, 21:33. 133. Haley Brown, Dt, 21:37. 135. Leah Taylor, RL, 21:39. 136. Kyleigh Smeltzer, Ne, 21:39. 142. Victoria Richter, NO, 21:43. 145. Natasha Wetzel, SW, 21:46. 146. Kate Gatchell, RL, 21:47. 161. Lynne Mooradian, SW, 22:01. 166. Kate Baker, RL, 22:05. 170. Emily Reynolds, Do, 22:08. 171. Alyssa Lawton, Do, 22:08. 175. Madison Schmaltz, Do, 22:10. 176. Lauren Hall, SW, 22:11. 187. Amanda Loeffelholz, CY, 22:23. 193. Brooke Buzynski, CY, 22:30. 201. Megan Stager, Dt, 22:49. 211. Jackie Ball, CY, 23:15. 213. Rose Rush, Ne, 23:25. 224. Samantha Jenks, YCT, 24:30. 225. Megan Myers, Dt, 24:37. 226. Gracen Garman, Ne, 24:57.

Team

1. Wilson, 105. 2. Manheim Township, 135. 3. Carlisle, 192. 4. Chambersburg, 194. 5. Cumberland Valley, 237. 6. Hempfield, 250. 7. Hershey, 264. 8. Governor Mifflin, 278. 9. Lower Dauphin, 280. 10. Twin Valley, 295. 11. Ephrata, 312. 12. Palmyra, 326. 13. J.P. McCaskey, 344. 14. Daniel Boone, 360. 15. Red Land, 385. 16. Dallastown, 406. 17. Garden Spot, 466. 18. Solanco, 490. 19. Central Dauphin, 492. 20. Cedar Crest, 496. 21. Cedar Cliff, 565. 12. Lampeter-Strasburg, 567. 23. Central York, 568. 24. South Western, 590. 25. Manheim Central, 620. 26. Exeter, 629. 27. Red Lion, 645. 28. Northeastern, 659. 29. Warwick, 677. 30. Central Dauphin East, 688. 31. Waynesboro, 729. 32. Conestoga Valley, 769.

Class AA

Top three teams and the next top 15 individuals qualify for next week's state meet.

Individual

State Qualifiers: Maddie Ferner, KD, 19:07. 2. Rebecca Snyder, OV, 19:10. 3. Maddie McLain, EY, 19:12. 4. Cassidy Kuhn, Wyo, 19:18. 5. Shay Strawser, Susq, 19:39. 6. Rosemary Tuzzino, LC, 19:39. 7. Leanne Weaver, BoS, 19:42. 8. Lyndsay Stakem, McD, 19:42. 9. Iveth Anguiano, McD, 19:44. 10. Olivia McLain, EY, 19:48. 11. Caitlin Salomon, KD, 19:54. 12. Ashley Spangler, LM, 19:56. 13. Katelyn Deibler, Don, 19:56. 14. Samantha Stoner, Don, 20:04. 15. Seneca Straub, Don, 20:15. 16. Molly Talarico, OV, 20:16. 17. Sam Crouse, BiS, 20:16. 18. Bethany Weaver, WY, 20:19. 19. Madison Nalls, EY, 20:23. 20. Olivia Iswalt, BC, 20:25. 21. Olivia Gettle, YS, 20:28. 30. Taylor NIssly, Don, 20:58. 31. Gabri Auerbeck, McD, 20:58. 34. Ashlyn Booher, BoS, 21:09. 35. Emily Kirk, BoS, 21:13. 44. Elaina Clancy, BoS, 21:31. 47. Emily Pruden, McD, 21:34. 54. Stephanie Szabo, BoS, 21:46. 57. Laura Cole, BoS, 21:53. 75. Agatha Chmelewski, McD, 22:22. 86. Miranda Nagle, Don, 22:42. 106. Darien Kase, BoS, 23:13. 122. Jess Weber, Don, 23:49. 124. Hannah Kenworthy, McD, 23:53. 136. Kelsey Post, McD, 24:37.

Did Not Qualify: 29. Rachel Banchiere, Sus, 20:50. 36. Cecilia Lantz, YS, 21:20. 37. Lakyn Brenneman, WY, 21:20. 46. Brooke Ruth, YS, 21:32. 51. Corinne Maloney, WY, 21:42. 60. Bryn Walsh, YS, 21:56. 64. Lindsey Flemmens, YS, 22:07. 67. Emma Trout, YS, 22:14. 73. Courtney Rodgers, Sus, 22:21. 79. Crystal Mullins, KD, 22:28. 80. Rebecca Fuhrman, WY, 22:28. 83. Zette Pflaum, YS, 22:33. 85. Megan Yingling, Get, 22:41. 89. Anna Thacker, EY, 22:47. 94. Sami Gentzler, WY, 22:50. 101. Julia Geesaman, Get, 23:01. 102. Elizabeth Balas, Get, 23:01. 104. Megan Lankford, WY, 23:06. 105. Megan Thomas, KD, 23:10. 110. Julianna Wagner, Sus, 23:28. 112. Breanna Kaiser, Sus, 23:31. 117. Melissa Cole, Get, 23:44. 126. Gabby Martuszewski, Sus, 23:54. 131. Danielle Naill, Lt, 24:13. 135. Hallie Fromm, KD, 24:35. 144. Danielle Simpson, Sus, 25:30. 145. Lizzie Graham, KD, 25:40. 148. Alisha Lopez, EY, 26:19. 149. Josie Jermyn, WY, 26:35.

Team

1. Donegal, 88. 2. Bishop McDevitt, 157. 3. Boiling Springs, 160. 4. Northern, 165. 5. Oley Valley, 188. 6. York Suburban, 209. 7. Big Spring, 212. 8. Wyomissing, 221. 9. Eastern York, 231. 10. Lancaster Catholic, 252. 11. West York, 256. 12. Trinity, 259. 13. Berks Catholic, 278. 14. Kennard-Dale, 284. 15. Susquenita, 299. 16. Susquehannock, 390. 17. East Pennsboro, 401. 18. Milton Hershey, 446. 19. Schuylkill Valley, 481.

Class A

Top team and the next top five individuals qualify for next week's state meet.

Individual

State Qualifiers: 1. Jordan Haberstroh, Col, 19:15. 2. Allison Einig, CH, 20:15. 3. Nicole Shelton, CSY, 20:17. 4. Leigha Martin, VA, 20:24. 5. Leanne Sneeringer, DC, 20:30. 6. Erika Echternach, VA, 20:46. 7. Kate Mowrey, DC, 20:50. 11. Hannah Martin, VA, 21:46. 13. Sydney Rawlings, VA, 22:12. 22. Katherine Parker, VA, 22:43.

Did Not Qualify: 8. Alyssa Alberghini, DC, 20:52. 9. Lindsey Lytle, F, 20:58. 14. Kayleigh Pokrivka, YC, 22:12. 18. Katelyn Macdougall, YC, 22:25. 19. Taylor Lescalleet, DC, 22:28. 23. Carlin Mayer, YC, 23:03. 24. Abbey Sweeney, DC, 23:15. 25. Kathryn Rader, YC, 23:17. 28. Caitlyn Havens, CSY, 23:27. 29. Maggie Wells, DC, 23:29. 31. Rachel Kordaz, YC, 23:42. 32. Megan Hale, YC, 23:58. 37. Olivia Speakman, DC, 24:54. 41. Beki Finafrock, F, 26:28. 42. Ally Wagner, F, 27:39.

Team

1. Veritas Academy, 40. 2. Delone Catholic, 48. 3. Kutztown, 80. 4. Camp Hill, 80. 5. York Catholic, 86.

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