CROSS COUNTRY: Chambersburg girls earn fifth-consecutive trip to PIAA tournament
NEWVILLE >> When the Chambersburg girls cross country team arrived at Big Spring High School on Saturday for the District 3 Class AAA Championships, the Lady Trojans were eying their second district title in three years.
But with 220 of the district's top female runners all competing for the same prize, Chambersburg settled for a fourth-place team finish and a ticket to its fifth-consecutive state tournament. For the boys team, Alex Hayden became the first Trojan to qualify without the team since 2011.
"It's not easy to qualify for states and fortunately we've been able to do it on a fairly regular basis," Chambersburg girls coach Chris Monheim said. "There was a lot of pressure on this team this year. My top three were phenomenal."
Despite not taking home a district championship, Chambersburg had three girls finish in the top 20. Abby Yourkavitch finished third with a 18:20 finish, followed by Kaylee Mowery in sixth place with a time of 18:55. Cadie Kiser rounded out the top 20 with a 20th-place finish, clocking in at 19:30.
"We had three district medalists, and that has only happened a few other times in program history so we were really strong up front," Monheim said. "My fourth and fifth held on and came out well. There was a ton of pressure on Cassie Essis and Sydney Parson, they knew going into the race that us moving on was more than likely going to come down to them and they ran well enough to get us through."
Essis and Parson finished 76th (20:41) and 96th (20:56), respectively.
Yourkavitch was a strong contender to win the race, but with stiff competition from Mady Clahane (Cumberland Valley, 1st place) and Alison Willingmyre (Wilson, runner-up) and an unfavorable course, Yourkavitch finished third for the second year in a row, but improved her time from last year's district race by 57 seconds.
"This definitely isn't my favorite course," Yourkavitch said. "I've never really gotten along with it, but I went out and hung back a little bit which definitely helped with my time."
Mowery, a sophomore, crushed her district time from last year, moving up 12 spots from an 18th-place finish in 2014, to sixth place in her second district appearance.
"She gets better as the season goes on," Monheim said. "At the end of every season I've coached her, she is running her best. Her sixth-place finish suggests that she has a shot at a state medal next week and I'm thrilled (for her). That was a big breakthrough for her in this race."
Mowery said, "Monheim (told me), 'All you need to do is finish fifth or sixth, and you're going to be in good shape. I just kept replaying that in my head and going through the finish line knowing I was sixth was a great feeling."
Kiser, the final top-20 finisher for Chambersburg, earned a place in the CASD Cross Country Hall of Fame, reserved for district medalists with a top-20 finish.
"It's really nice to be able to go back to states," Yourkavitch said. "We weren't sure once we all finished if we were, but the support is everything, knowing that I'm going to have them there to run the race with me means a lot."
The Chambersburg boys team did not make it to the state meet but senior Hayden qualified as an individual to attend the PIAA Championships in Hershey next week.
Hayden finished 27th with a time of 16:40 – at first, Hayden thought he had finished his last race of the year. But a score error had pushed him out of qualifying.
Once it was corrected, Hayden earned the second-to-last individual qualifying spot from District 3 AAA.
"It feels good to have one more race in my senior year of cross country," Hayden said. "I've put so much work in to it in all four years."
In four years, though, 2015 will be his first year competing at the state level.
Hayden hopes to break a personal record next week, but admits that it will be a difficult run without his teammates there.
"I'm going to enjoy the course," he said. "It's going to be weird (without my team). I'm going to have to push through it and do it on my own. I want to make my coach happy that I made it. Everyone on our team runs for our coach to make him happy. It's nice that we get to go to states because usually he just goes with the girls team, but now we will be competing."
DIST. 3 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, at Big Spring
1.Hempfield, 141, 2.Cumberland Valley, 167, 3.Carlisle, 211, 4.Wilson, 216, 5.Twin Valley, 242, 7.Chambersburg, 260.
1.Nathan Henderson (McCaskey) 15:38, 2.Nach Lefever (Ephrata) 15:52, 3.Justin Yurchak (Hemp) 15:57, 4.Morgan Cupp (Mechanicsburg) 16:00, 5.Kyler Shea (Lower Dauphin) 16:01, 6. Matt Wesner (Car) 16:09, 7.Zach Seiger (Red Land) 16:10, 8.Nate Becker (Eph) 16:14, 9. Yahya Soliman (CV) 16:16, 10. Jared Kearns (Northern) 16:16, 11.Jake Underwood (Wil) 16:19, 12. Mike Morris (Her) 16:21, Sam Mancuso (Garden Spot) 16:23, 14.Doug Kramer (Penn Manor) 16:24, 15.Colton Cassel (LD) 16:26, 16.Jared Giannascoli (LD) 16:26, 17.Rhett Hart (Ephrata) 16:27, 18.Joel Burkholder (PM) 16:30, 19. Jesse Cruise (Cedar Crest) 16:32, Liam Hodgson (Solanco)16:32, 21. Isaac Kole (Carlisle) 16:35, 22.Andrew Brown (CV) 16:37, 23.Owen Seeber (CV) 16:39, 24.Micah Bodisch (Red Lion) 16:40, 25.Patrick Jacobson (Dallistown) 16:40,
Other Chambersburg runners: 27.Alex Hayden 16:40, 35.Chris Wurtz 16:49, 46.Andrew Feldman 16:59, 65.Tanner Amsley 17:13
James Buchanan runners:
1.Wilson, 105, 2.Manheim Township, 135, 3.Carlisle, 192, 4.Chambersburg, 194, 5.Cumberland Valley, 237
1.Mady Clahane (CV) 17:55, 2.Alison Willingmyre (Wil) 18:18, 3.Abby Yourkavitch (Chbg), 18:20, 4.Ella Breidenstine (Lower Dauphin)18:38, 5. Jamie Zamrin (Cocalico) 18:47, 6.Kaylee Mowery (Chbg) 18:55, 7.Skye Christian (Red Land) 19:03, 8.Gabby Audi (Wil) 19:04, 9.Andie Demko (Hershey) 19:07, 10.Sydney Meyers (Central Dauphin) 19:09, 11.Cheyenne Hansen (Garden Spot) 19:10, 12.Marie Raulapaugh (CV) 19:14, 13. Lianna Tirado (McCaskey) 19:16, 14.Cat Shontz (Elizabethtown) 19:18, 15.Samantha Shields (Warwick) 19:20, 16.Molly Conrad (Hempfield) 19:23, 17.Kelsi Bixler (Palmyra) 19:24, 18.Courtney Johnson (Solanco) 19:29, 19.Maddie Kole (Car) 19:29, 20.Cadie Kiser (Chbg) 19:30, 21. Kira Jenkins (MT) 19:31, 22.Alyssa Koser (MT) 19:32, 23.Siena Gates (Hemp)19:36, 24.Meghan Horan (Twin Valley) 19:38, 25.Ashlie Kline (Gov. Mifflin) 19:38.
Other Chambersburg runners: 76.Cassie Essis 20:41, 96.Sydney Parson 20:56, 167.Olivia Sommers 22:07, 199.Rachael Sollars 22:46.
James Buchanan runners:
Waynesboro runners: 119.Chelsea Cover 21:24, 150.Chelsea Bricker 21:51, 163.Virginia Cooley 22:03, 164.Ashyln Beck 22:03
1.York Suburban, 45, 2.Trinity, 165, 3.Boiling Springs, 189, 4.East Pennsboro, 194, 5.Milton Hershey, 201
1.Jack Di Cintiro, (Wyomissing) 15:59, 2.Daniel Filler (Gettysburg) 16:05, 3.Sam Signor (East Penn) 16:08, 4.Jared Harnish (E.Lebanon) 16:13, 5.Donovan Mears (YS) 16:16.
1.Donegal, 88, 2.Bishop McDevitt, 157, 3.Boiling Spring, 160, 4.Northern, 165, 5.Oley Valley, 188
1. Maddie Ferner (Kennard Dale) 19:07, 2.Rebecca Snyder (OV) 19:10, 3.Maddie McLain (E.York) 19:12, 4.Cassidy Kuhn (Wyomissing) 19:18, 5.Shay Strawser (Susquenita) 19:39
1.Camp Hill, 24, 2.Tulpehocken, 70, 3.Delone Catholic, 84, 4.York Catholic, 128, 5.Kutztown, 140
1.Cooper Leslie (CH) 16:21, 2.Will Greene (Delone) 16:27, 3.Blake Behney (CH) 16:45, 4.Ian Gabig (CH) 16:59, 5.Evan Schlosser (York Cath) 17:28.
1.Veritas Academy, 40, 2.Delone Catholic, 48, 3.Kutztown, 80, 4.Camp Hill, 80, 5.York Catholic, 86
1. Jordan Haberstroh (Columbia) 19:15, 2.Allison Einig (CH) 20:15, 3.Nicole Shelton (Christian School of York) 20:17, 4.Leigha Martin (Ver) 20:24, 5.Leanne Sneeringer (Delone) 20:30