NEWVILLE — Greencastle-Antrim sophomore Taryn Parks and Chambersburg senior Abby Yourkavitch battled to the very end of the girls race at the Mid Penn Cross Country Championships on Saturday afternoon.
Parks, the reigning PIAA champion, won the race in 18:26.97 to win by an eyelash over Yourkavitch (18:27.50) to claim the title after a huge finishing kick.
The field was startled when the favorite, Marlee Starliper of Northern York, was pulled from the race right before it started.
“That kind of threw a wrench into our plans,” Chambersburg coach Chris Monheim said. “When the runners hit the woods, Abby was first and Hershey’s (Andie) Demko was second. Parks was at least 50 yards back.
“At about two miles in, it was just Abby and Demko and I figured Abby would pull away, and she did. But in the last 600 meters, Parks was running like she was in a 4×4 and passed Demko. The last straightaway is about 150 meters and I heard Abby had about 5 seconds on Parks, but she reeled her in.
“It was so close at the end that the Greencastle coach (Rich Secrest) came over and congratulated me on Abby’s win, and I had to tell him that I thought Taryn won. It was crazy. She didn’t let up, but I just don’t think Abby realized Taryn was making up that much ground.”
Other finishers for Chambersburg, which placed fourth as a team, included Kiera Whitehead (14th, 20:00), Sydney Parson (34th, 20:40), Kyleena Purvis (42nd, 21:05), Maddie Hinton (45th, 21:09), Kaylee Mowery (60th, 21:32), Sarah Hunt (64th, 21:45) and Ana DeGrange (83rd, 22:32).
State College won the girls team title, followed by Hershey and Carlisle. The Thundering Herd took the boys team championship, followed by State College and Mechanicsburg, while Chambersburg placed eighth. The Wildcats’ Morgan Cupp won the boys race in 15:58.7.
Trojan boys runners included Trentin Overcash (16th, 16:59.01), Orion Kimberly (17th, 17:13.17), Joe Corwell (51st, 17:35.07), Matt Hoover (64th, 17:48.89), Donovan Hazelton (72nd, 17:57.74), Chris Diaz (74th, 18:02.13) and Patrick Zook (80th, 18:14.26).
The highest finishers among area girls teams included Teddi Powell of Shippensburg (71st), Ashlyn Beck of Waynesboro (91st) and Sarah Kimmel of James Buchanan (108th).
County boys teams were led by Ethan Lowman of Waynesboro (26th), James Buchanan’s Alex Giffin (45th), Rylan Hummer of Greencastle (77th) and Kyle Buchheister of Shippensburg (90th).