NEWVILLE — It was a beautiful Saturday for running at Big Spring High School, especially for a pair of Greencastle-Antrim athletes.
At the Mid Penn Championships, G-A junior Weber Long absolutely cruised on his way to the boys Class AA title, while freshman Claire Paci used a late kick to capture the girls Class AAA crown.
Meanwhile, the day was not so kind to Chambersburg. The girls team, one of the favorites for the team title, managed only fifth place and qualified just two runners for the District 3 meet. The boys team placed fourth, one spot away from a district team berth, and had two individuals advance to next week.
The Blue Devils’ Long blitzed the AA field with ease. He finished with a time of 15:48 and the runner-up hit the line in 17:01. Last year, Long was the runner-up with a time of 16:13.
“We expect that kind of result from him,” Greencastle coach Rich Secrest said. “He does all the work he has to do to run at that level.
“His big goal today was to turn it into a two-mile race. He went out with a 4:50 first mile. The second mile and first part of the third are challenging and that’s where he separated himself.”
Paci opened some eyes in her first big varsity meet, eventually winning by 16 seconds over State College’s Jordan Reed.
Secrest said, “Claire separated from the State College girl over the last half mile or so. She has had good workouts, so we knew she’d be in the mix, but she hadn’t run head-to-head against much top competition this year. She’d won all of the dual meets by over a minute.
“We know she’s a freshman, so really anything she does is icing on the cake. But we also knew she was strong enough to do well in this race.”
The Chambersburg boys finished behind State College, Carlisle and Hershey. Nick Monheim placed 13th (16:54) and Brayden Boyd took 18th (17:07) and both will move on to districts next week on the same course.
Trojan coach John Ambrosio said, “We needed to be third to qualify for districts, and we just didn’t have a fantastic day. I think of the five kids who scored, only two had good days. Nick had maybe his best day and Ben Colli did well. Also, I’m happy with Dakota Strait, who has been a good leader for us.
“This might be the first time in history that no Chambersburg team (boys or girls) is in districts. Then again, it has been such a messed up year, and (without the new qualifying rules because of COVID-19) normally, we would have.”
For the Chambersburg girls, only Camryn Kiser (9th in 19:35) and Olivia Rieck (16th in 20:20) were able to qualify for districts.
“That’s the first time in my 20 years of coaching that every girl was off in the same race,” Trojan coach Chris Monheim said. “If you had seen the workout we had Tuesday, you’ve have thought we would have been fine. I was pretty confident, even though I know Mechanicsburg and Hershey have good teams.
“But it was a very competitive meet and you couldn’t even have two of your girls off. And we weren’t anywhere near in it, even from the start. I guess the positive thing is both girls who run next week are underclassmen.”
In AAA girls, Shippensburg’s Samantha Herman took 61st in 22:32 and Waynesboro’s Cora Helman was right behind in 22:35. In AA girls, James Buchanan’s Hailey Embree was eighth in 22:33 and Sydney Fleming was 11th in 23:18 and both advanced to districts.
Shippensburg took 9th in the team race in AAA boys, as Elias Spence placed 7th in a time of 16:30 and Kyle Buchheiser was 42nd in 17:39. For Waynesboro, Isaac Moats ran in 17:42 for 44th place.
In AA boys, in addition to Long, teammate Caden Hudson took seventh in 17:39 and he will advance. For JB, Andrew Fleming was 50th in 21:42.
Mid Penn Championships
1.Claire Paci (Greencastle) 18:22.5; 2.Jordan Reed (State College) 18:38.0; 3.Marlee Kwasnica (SC) 19:01.7
Team:1.State College 61; 2.Mechanicsburg 69; 3.Hershey 96; 4.Carlisle 133; 5.Chambersburg 144
Chambersburg results: 9.Camryn Kiser 19:35.3; 16.Olivia Rieck 20:20.0; 38.Maddie Kinton 21:07; 40.Keira Whitehead 21:09; 41.Bethany Stacey 21:12; 44.Lexi Boyd 21:21; 63.Abi Bricker 22:36
1.1.Brady Bigger (SC) 15:49.1; 2.Brayden Harris (Mifflin Co.) 16:00.2; 3.Timothy Roden (Central Dauphin) 16:15.5
Team: 1.State College 59; 2.Carlisle 107; 3.Hershey 114; 4.Chambersburg 133
Also: 7.Elias Spence (Shippensburg) 16:30.2; 13.Nick Monheim (Chbg) 16:54.8; 18.Brayden Boyd (Chbg) 17:07.5; 28.Billy Prentice (Chbg) 17:20.7; 32.Ben Colli (Chbg) 17:27.4; 45.Dakota Strait (Chbg) 17:42.7; 53.Zack Yourkavitch (Chbg) 17:54.3; 54.Ari Snyder (Chbg) 17:54.5