Chambersburg girls lock in key win over Carlisle
Saturday at the Carlisle Invitational, the Chambersburg girls team lost to the Thundering Herd by just one point - making Tuesday's Mid Penn Commonwealth dual meet all the more intense as the teams battled for the Commonwealth crown.
And even with a recent loss to Carlisle in the rear-view mirror, Chambersburg had the edge. As a team that thrives in dual meets and home course advantage, Chambersburg came out with a 24-31 victory over Carlisle to clinch at least a share of the Commonwealth title for the second-straight year.
Chambersburg (5-0, 5-0 MPC) has one challenge remaining in the division, Central Dauphin, a team the Trojans beat last year 18-45. The Chambersburg boys team fell to Carlisle 19-40.
"This puts us in a really good position to win it," Chambersburg girls coach Chris Monheim said. "I knew it would be a little difficult repeating, but we've had some kids step in and today was our best meet by far this season ... not even close."
Abby Yourkavitch finished just shy of her personal record on the Chambersburg course at 18:39 to clinch first place, her best finish of the season just three weeks after coming back from injury. Monheim said he had questioned whether Yourkavitch was fully recovered, but her performance Tuesday proved she was ready.
"That is not far off her course record and I never got the impression that she was killing herself out there today," Monheim said.
"Going into it I was a little nervous because I am three weeks back on training and I definitely felt that on Saturday," Yourkavitch said. "But I wasn't too far off my PR for the course, and it was a season PR for me, so I felt really good."
Kaylee Mowery crossed second at 19:09, but Chamberburg's No. 3 finisher Cadie Kiser (4th, 19:19) was beaten down the last stretch by Carlisle's Gracen Cabral (19:15) who broke up the Trojans' top three runners for the first time this season.
"We haven't broken up their top three in probably two years, so we had to do that and Gracen did that. It was a huge PR for her, but we had to sacrifice too much in the back to try to help her," Carlisle coach Ed Boardman said. "Chambersburg just wanted it more today and they worked harder."
Sydney Parson was Chambersburg's fourth finisher at seventh overall (21:10), while Olivia Sommers completed the Trojan top five squeezing into the top 10 at 21:29.
"Our top three did their normal thing, but today we had a lot of other kids contributing," Monheim said. "Sydney Parson was fourth for us and that's her highest finish and she couldn't have picked a better meet to do that. On paper it looked like we were going to crush them up front and then take a hit after that, but today we matched them pretty well throughout the race."
Feldman runs 8th fastest on home course
Heading into Tuesday's meet, the Chambersburg boys cross country team (2-3, 2-3 MPC) knew how it would match up against one of the top teams in the state, but the elevated challenge lifted one Chamberbsurg runner to his best run of the season, and one of the top course finishes in Chambersburg's history.
The Trojans' top runner Andrew Feldman worked to keep up with Noah Affolder, Carlisle's stud with national attention, and despite Affolder's "workout" pace, he led Feldman to the eighth-fastest finish by a Chambersburg runner on the home course at 16:48. He placed second, breaking up Carlisle's impressive top-five spread.
"I knew it was a good time and I figured it would be up there, but I didn't think it would be that high," Feldman said. "Going against one of the best guys in the country was pretty cool but it was kind of disappointing because you pretty much know he's going to win every time."
"Feldman had a really nice day, 16:48 puts him on the all-time list and it's by far a PR for him by a whole bunch on this course," Chambersburg boys coach John Ambrosio said. "And our next three guys (Trentin Overcash, Quin Mangan, Chris Diaz) did really well."
Overcash finished seventh overall at 17:21, Mangan followed at eighth at 17:29 and Diaz placed 12th with a time of 18:02.