PIAA cross country: No titles, but local runners bring home medals, team accolades
Some runners, like sophomores Landon Hostetter of Annville-Cleona and Victoria Rodriguez of Dallastown, like to run in the heat.
But what do you do if you prefer cooler weather and you get the opposite on the day of the biggest race of your high school career?
If you are anything like Chambersburg senior Camryn Kiser, you put it out of your mind, and remember that conditions are the same for everyone.
True, the temperatures that ranged from low to upper 70s Saturday were the same for the runners who competed in the six races that made up the PIAA Cross Country Championships.
Between the higher-than-normal temperatures, the hilly course on the former Parkview Golf Club and the significance of the races, the busiest people at the competition were the PIAA officials and the on-site medical and training personnel.
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He does it all:He sings. He plays violin. He runs fast.
“The course is very challenging, and we are very well prepared,” PIAA executive director Bob Lombardi said. “Our medical staff is second to none. Our EMTs and ambulance crews are terrific. We are in great hands.”
Those hands were vital when runners began collapsing after crossing the finish line. Despite the urgings for the runners to keep moving out of the finishing area, officials and medical personnel were kept busy picking up runners, helping them walk to safer areas, providing water and ice and getting them out of the way of other runners.
Local runners agreed there is little they can do to prepare for what constitutes for extreme temperatures for early November.
That preparation starts and stops with hydration. After that, there’s nothing left to do but run.
Best local finish – individual
That honor goes to Kiser, who ended her high school career with the kind of high note she hoped for – a runner-up finish.
She said her “nerves took over” at districts, and she wasn’t going to let that happen at states.
“I really focused on having fun today,” she said. “With my team and everybody because we are all here together. I think that helped a lot.”
Kiser, who admits she prefers to run in cooler weather, finished fifth at districts in 18:35.40. She ran 18.52.80 at states, but the course is .1 mile longer.
Best local finish – team
York Catholic is the answer here.
Led by Murphy’s seventh-place finish in the Class A race (20:14.00), the Irish finished third, well behind Notre Dame Green Pond and Montrose. Those teams tied, but Notre Dame was awarded the trophy on tie-breaker criteria by .03 second.
In addition to Murphy, York Catholic’s team members finished 16th (Sheila Driscoll in 21:03.00), 69th (Madelyn McKee in 22:30.00), 86th (Reagan Cheramie in 22:57.00) and 135th (Briana Bradley in 24:00.00).
The runners agreed that the last half mile was the worst part of the course for them.
“That part, where the crowd starts coming back into view, and they line the sides, that makes it tough,” McKee said.
Murphy was happy with her time, especially since it was faster than last year, when she finished 35th in 21:14.50.
How did champs fare?
Lampeter-Strasburg’s Colin Whitaker had the best finish among the runners who won District 3 titles last week at Big Spring. The junior finished fourth in 16:18.90, a slight improvement over last year’s 16:22.10, which put him in sixth place.
Hostetter and Dallastown’s Kailey Granger finished fifth in their respective races.
Hostetter ran Saturday’s course in 17:19.80, and said the last 200 yards were tough.
“I was able to do the long uphill, I had to drive through that,” he said. “Aside from that, it wasn’t too bad.”
That long uphill, longer than anything he’s done before, messed with his head a little bit, he said. And now that the season is over, he is weighing whether to wrestle or lift weights and do longer runs over the winter.
Granger is a big fan of cooler race weather, but felt “pretty good” after the race.
“I have a breathing problem, so I have to use an inhaler when it’s warm,” she said. “60 is perfect for me.”
Since this was her last high school cross country race, Granger wanted finish better than last year, and enjoy the day. Last year an injury kept her sidelined for five weeks of the season, and she didn’t medal at states.
“This year I wanted to push through to the end, and I did that,” she said. “I’m very happy with my day.”
For Susquehannock seniors Nicole Dauberman and Matt O’Brien, they ran in different classifications than last year.
Dauberman finished 27th last year in Class 3A, and ran 19:53.70 to finish seventh.
“I was really tired coming up that last hill, and trying to just get myself to the finish,” she said. “I’m just relieved it’s over now. The short hill, right before the 3200 mark, I really started to feel it in my legs and my breathing started to get a lot more labored.”
O’Brien did the reverse of Dauberman.
He ran 16:08.10 and finished fifth in Class 2A last year, but ran 16:43.50 this year to finish 19th in Class 3A.
Boys: 5. Landon Hostetter, Annville-Cleona, 17:19.80
Girls: 7. Madeline Murphy, York Catholic, 20:14.00; 16. Sheila Driscoll, York Catholic, 21:03.00
Girls: 7. Nicole Dauberman, Susquehannock, 19:53.70
Boys: 14. Ari Snyder, Chambersburg, 16:37.90; 19. Matt O’Brien, Susquehannock, 16:43.50
Girls: 2. Cami Kiser, Chambersburg, 18:52.80; 5. Kailey Granger, Dallastown, 18:58.70; 7. Claire Paci, Greencastle-Antrim, 19:04.70; 14. Victoria Rodriguez, Dallastown, 19:19.70
Boys: Class 3A, 13. Greencastle-Antrim.
Girls: Class A, 3. York Catholic. Class 2A, 13. Annville-Cleona. Class 3A, 4. Dallastown; 11. Chambersburg.
Shelly Stallsmith covers York-Adams high school sports. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ShelStallsmith.