HERSHEY — Greencastle-Antrim senior Claire Paci wrapped up her outstanding cross career with her fourth medal in the PIAA Championships on Saturday.
On a perfect day to run, and on a fast course at Hershey, Paci crossed the finish line line in third place in the Class 3A girls race with a time of 18:27.
In the boys 3A race, the Blue Devils’ Hayden Parks, also a senior, earned a medal with his 12th-place finish.
Chambersburg competed as a team in both the 3A boys and girls races — the girls took 11th and the boys were 12th.
Paci, a UConn commit, was fourth as a freshman in 2020 (19:08), and seventh as a sophomore (18:47.1) and junior (19:04.7).
The winner of the race was Logan St. John Kletter of Mt. Lebanon in a time of 18:13, followed by North Allegheny’s Eva Kynaston in 18:19. Paci did edge Hempfield’s Ella Wolfe (18:31), who defeated Paci in the District 3 race last week.
Greencastle coach Rich Secrest said, “Claire ran the toughest cross country race of her career and fought to a third-place finish.”
Chambersburg’s girls team did not have a finisher in the top 75, but had a gap of only 1:27 between its first and fifth runners that helped the team.
“The time gap was pretty small,” Trojan coach Chris Monheim said. “I was hoping for a top 10, but we got close. It was not our best day of the year, but but still pretty good.”
The placers for Chambersburg included Madelyn Koons (80th, 20:24), Lexi Boyd (81, 20:26), Samantha Faust (119th, 20:57), Brook Boone (151st, 21:21) and Dana Rosenberry (174th, 21:51). Natalie Quinn (175th, 21:51) and Raegan Hepner (190th, 20:22) also competed.
Monheim said, “We were 10th last year and lost quite a bit, so it was pretty good for us to get back to states. I feel bad for Lexi — her hamstring injury held her back the last two weeks. Faust had a nice day and our young kids were decent, and got some good experience in a meet like this.”
Greencastle’s Parks crossed the line in a time of 16:19, while the winner of the race was Drew Griffith of Butler with a fine time of 15:23.
The Blue Devils’ Joel Amstutz placed 72nd with a time of 17:07.
Secrest said, “Hayden ran a smart race and stayed within himself, and was able to move up later in the race for a high finish. Joel ran well and capped off an impressive junior season.””
Chambersburg’s boys, who won the District 3 title last week and were hoping for a top-5 finish, were not quite as sharp Saturday. They scored 303 points, while winner Council Rock North had 134. Manheim Township and Hershey also were ahead of the Trojans.
Chambersburg’s five runners scoring points included Ari Snyder (27th, 16:39), Liam Kirkpatrick (67th, 17:05), Aiden Alleman (133rd, 17:39), Kaden Rife (155th, 17:52) and Owen Shrader (160th, 17:56), while Julian Clark (172nd, 18:08) and Sam Kinton (200th, 18:23) also competed.
“The boys felt they were a little off; a little flat,” Trojan coach John Ambrosio said. “Ari was disappointed he wasn’t able to medal again — he could have been the first boy from Chambersburg to do that (he placed 14th last year).
“The course was fast and we had a tough time catching anybody. Kaden Rife had a good day; he had a big jump from last week. And the good thing is, of the seven guys who competed today, we have five back and three of those five are sophomores.”