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BY JEFF FALK

EPHRATA – There have been peaks and valleys, but predominantly a much greater majority of peaks. In runner’s terms, she’s heading down the home stretch.

Yet now is not the time for reflection. But when Gwyneth Young does allow herself that luxury, she will look back on one of the greatest female running careers in the history of Cedar Crest High School.

On a pleasant Wednesday evening at Ephrata Middle School, Young added another highlight to her stellar career resume by placing fourth at the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Girls’ Cross Country Championships. The Falcon senior covered the elevated 3.1-mile course in 19:49.9.

Young, who had captured the invididual title last season as a junior, helped Cedar Crest to a fifth-place showing in the team competition. Warwick took home the team championship, while McCaskey finished as the runner-up, followed by Manheim Township and Hempfield.

During the regular season, the Falcons had finished sixth in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

Lebanon County’s next highest individual finisher was Annville-Cleona junior Braeten Peters, who came in 24th overall. Cedar Crest freshman Maddie Lowe, Annville-Cleona sophomore Cassi Clemson and Cedar Crest junior Jillian Tobias ran 34th, 35th and 36th, respectively.

Young’s showing qualified her for the District Three Class AAA Cross Country Championships at Big Spring High School, on Saturday, October 31st. Previously during her career, Young finished second at the L-L League meet as a sophomore and tenth as a freshman.

“I’m definitely proud of the career I’ve had,” said Young. “In middle school, I didn’t even think I’d be in the top five of the varsity team. I’m just working as best I can to make myself proud of it.

“I’m just going to finish the season,” continued Young. “It’s full speed ahead. I’m not even going to think about this race. I’m going to start thinking about districts.”

“Gwyenth was a very middle-of-the-pack middle school runner,” said Cedar Crest head coach Brandon Risser. “But she always ran, she was always bubbly and she was always smiling. But something clicked in her freshman year.

“From there, she’s put quality season on top of quality season,” Risser continued. “Her sophomore track season was her break-through season. I felt she was ready for another really good season (in the spring), when COVID struck. I’m proud of where she got to today. I’m excited to see her finish this season strong.”

Young ran with the lead pack of Alyssa Fedorshak of Ephrata- the eventual winner – Warwick’s Anna Martin, Ava Shirk of Manheim Township and McCaskey’s Arielle Breuninger all race. But she never really pushed for the lead.

As Fedorshak, Martin and Shirk were finishing the race together, Young was kicking past Breuninger for fourth place. Young’s time was 20 seconds off Fedorshak’s winning pace of 19.29.8.

“I went off in 15th place,” said Young. “I had a bunch of girls cut me off at the start. I felt really claustrophobic, so I just wanted to relax. I wanted (Coach) Risser to take control of the race. But I was much better today than I was early in the season.

“I was eighth at Mile One, and then at Mile Two, some of the girls slowly started picking off,” added Young. “I tried to stay as close as I could to the girl in front of me. I had to put my best in. I had to push.”

“She followed the race plan pretty darn well,” said Risser. “She put herself in it. She went with the leaders. There was a move made in the last mile. She fell back a little, but she responded and she was charging at the finish line.

“Today was another step forward,” Risser added. “She extended her season. I expect it will be a stepping stone to another good performance at districts.”

Previously in her career, Young has finished second at the District Three Class AAA Championships as a junior, second as a sophomore and 20th as a freshman. At the PIAA meet, she’s taken home seventh-place hardware as a junior, a sixth-place medal as a sophomore and finished 40th as a freshman.

In the spring, Young is also an accomplished distance runner on the track, finishing fourth in the state as a sophomore in the 3200-meter run and eighth as a freshman. She lost her junior track and field season to the COVID-19 crisis.

“So it’s definitely disappointing,” said Young. “I was going to try and defend the title. I’m pleased with the season I’ve had. But I’m not ecstatic, looking at what I did the previous seasons here.

“My mental health has taken a toll this season,” continued Young. “I think being home (during the pandemic) didn’t help. I started seeing my psychologist, and it’s been helping. I want to talk about it because I don’t want people to think I’m some robot.”

“It wasn’t the best outing, but as always, it was a good effort,” said Risser of the team’s overall performance. “It was more of a continue-on-a-positive-trajectory performance. We wanted to see improvement. We knew we weren’t going to have a realistic shot at the top two places (and qualifying for districts as a team).”

To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com.

Annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Girls’ Cross Country Championships

(at Ephrata Middle School’s 3.1-mile course)

Place Team Place Number Name Year School Time
1 1 3002 Alyssa Fedorshak 12 Ephrata 19:29.8
2 2 3100 Anna Martin 12 Warwick 19:32.0
3 3 3063 Ava Shirk 9 Manheim Township 19:35.3
4 4 2980 Gwyneth Young 12 Cedar Crest 19:49.9
5 5 3024 Arielle Breuninger 12 J.P. McCaskey 19:54.3
6 6 3099 Ella Hartel 9 Warwick 19:59.0
7 7 3022 Ella Wolfe 9 Hempfield 20:10.1
8 8 3028 Isabella Shertzer 9 J.P. McCaskey 20:10.3
9 9 3025 Milana Breuninger 10 J.P. McCaskey 20:15.7
10 10 3000 Madeline Quinn 12 Elizabethtown Area 20:19.4
11 11 3029 Gabrielle Thiry 9 J.P. McCaskey 20:22.1
12 12 3062 Sarah Russo 11 Manheim Township 20:31.5
13 13 379 Grace Rudder 10 Warwick 20:51.0
14 14 3077 Abby Ames 10 Penn Manor 20:57.5
15 15 3018 Hannah Kilheffer 9 Hempfield 20:59.3
16 16 3098 Sidoney Freeman 9 Warwick 20:59.3
17 17 3021 Lily Williams 12 Hempfield 21:01.4
18 18 3019 Molly Siebert 9 Hempfield 21:03.0
19 19 2999 Sierra Kapcsos 11 Elizabethtown Area 21:08.8
20 20 2941 Myra Naqvi 12 Donegal 21:09.9
21 21 3061 Marina Papadimitrio 9 Manheim Township 21:12.6
22 22 3064 Jenny Weiss 11 Manheim Township 21:15.7
23 23 3092 Lilly Soulliard 9 Solanco 21:17.4
24 24 2971 Braetan Peters 11 Annville-Cleona 21:17.6
25 25 380 Alexa Wenger 11 Warwick 21:27.5
26 26 3057 Avery Ebersole 11 Manheim Township 21:27.7
27 27 3005 Kayla Reidenbaugh 9 Ephrata 21:29.1
28 28 3020 Isabel Smith 12 Hempfield 21:35.9
29 29 2916 Amanda Fry 12 Donegal 21:45.5
30 30 3023 Elili Ayana 11 J.P. McCaskey 21:47.0
31 31 2993 Jordan DiRisio 10 Elizabethtown Area 21:48.0
32 32 3058 Sabrina Hess 9 Manheim Township 21:52.1
33 33 3054 Julie Lindberg 9 Manheim Central 21:52.9
34 34 2976 Maddie Lowe 9 Cedar Crest 21:59.1
35 35 2966 Cassi Clemson 10 Annville-Cleona 22:03.6
36 36 2978 Jillian Tobias 10 Cedar Crest 22:06.3
37 37 3017 Gabriella Hollinger 12 Hempfield 22:06.7
38 38 2807 Kylynn Frankford Conestoga Valley 22:07.2
39 3075 Jessica Ferrara 9 Octorara 22:11.9
40 39 2883 Seana Dougherty Conestoga Valley 22:11.9
41 40 3033 Jaclyn Martin 9 Lampeter Strasburg 22:12.1
42 41 3039 Morgan Wright 9 Lampeter Strasburg 22:13.2
43 42 3027 Naomi Main 11 J.P. McCaskey 22:18.7
44 43 3032 Aubrey Magagna 10 Lampeter Strasburg 22:23.0
45 44 3089 Emma Baxter 10 Solanco 22:25.3
46 2992 Isabel Zwally 10 Eastern Lebanon Coun 22:25.9
47 45 2925 Hadley Shoaf 11 Donegal 22:26.0
48 46 2977 Grace Tadajweski 10 Cedar Crest 22:29.2
49 47 2879 Brittney Johns Conestoga Valley 22:33.1
50 48 3016 Paige Harrington 11 Hempfield 22:36.1
51 49 3095 Rachel Bonner 12 Warwick 22:37.1
52 50 3096 Sophie Brandwene 11 Warwick 22:37.1
53 2983 Paige Reeser 9 Cocalico 22:39.3
54 51 3006 Lexi Roe 11 Ephrata 22:45.4
55 52 3060 Chloe Kline 12 Manheim Township 22:55.3
56 53 2997 Lydia Heisey 9 Elizabethtown Area 22:56.0
57 54 2818 Kate Kmieczak Conestoga Valley 22:56.2
58 55 2874 Emily Castronova Conestoga Valley 22:58.7
59 56 2979 Elizabeth Vila 11 Cedar Crest 23:01.1
60 3084 Carly Anderson 9 Pequea Valley HS 23:02.6
61 57 500 Rachel Fernald 12 Donegal 23:12.9
62 58 3047 Ella Sheaffer 11 Lancaster Catholic 23:15.7
63 3087 Elli Stoltzfus 12 Pequea Valley HS 23:19.0
64 3088 Caleigh Vincent 9 Pequea Valley HS 23:20.7
65 59 399 Kendall Finicle 9 Donegal 23:22.5
66 60 3011 Nicole Kelch 11 Garden Spot 23:23.9
67 3048 Jillian Hargraves 12 Lancaster Mennonite 23:28.0
68 61 3067 Alyssa Marlowe 10 Northern Lebanon 23:30.7
69 62 398 Emma Myers 10 Donegal 23:33.9
70 63 2885 Kylee Antrim Conestoga Valley 23:34.4
71 64 3056 Savannah Semple 9 Manheim Central 23:34.9
72 65 2974 Sarah Durning 10 Cedar Crest 23:38.2
73 66 3026 Corinne deSyon 12 J.P. McCaskey 23:41.5
74 67 3049 Alaina Bruckhart 11 Manheim Central 23:43.1
75 68 3093 Christine Wagner 9 Solanco 23:48.3
76 69 2998 Katie Hook 11 Elizabethtown Area 23:49.6
77 70 3090 Nicole Dodson 11 Solanco 23:52.6
78 2984 Hana Schneider 10 Cocalico 23:57.6
79 71 3055 Jenna Moffet 10 Manheim Central 23:59.4
80 72 2975 Hannah Gerhart 11 Cedar Crest 24:01.6
81 3074 Peyton Demsky 9 Octorara 24:03.7
82 73 3031 Emma Drouillard 12 Lampeter Strasburg 24:03.7
83 74 3040 Ellie Bomberger 12 Lancaster Catholic 24:04.5
84 75 3009 Amanda Coblentz 12 Garden Spot 24:05.1
85 76 3007 Hannah Schwartz 9 Ephrata 24:07.5
86 77 2994 Lilah Drager 10 Elizabethtown Area 24:08.4
87 78 3012 Cloe Martin 12 Garden Spot 24:11.1
88 2990 Nina Milosevic 9 Eastern Lebanon Coun 24:12.7
89 79 3036 Tori Smith 11 Lampeter Strasburg 24:14.5
90 80 2970 Nory Mitchell 10 Annville-Cleona 24:21.3
91 81 3053 Emma Levitan 12 Manheim Central 24:21.3
92 82 3078 Becky Kramer 12 Penn Manor 24:22.4
93 83 3038 Molly Wissler 11 Lampeter Strasburg 24:24.0
94 84 3070 erin shuey 10 Northern Lebanon 24:27.4
95 85 2969 Emily Manwiller 11 Annville-Cleona 24:29.0
96 86 3079 Ana Martin 9 Penn Manor 24:31.1
97 87 3082 Lauren Zink 12 Penn Manor 24:37.0
98 88 2996 Kendall Hein 9 Elizabethtown Area 24:38.2
99 89 3051 Madelyn Hoffman 11 Manheim Central 24:43.9
100 90 3001 sara Brass 9 Ephrata 24:47.7
101 91 3044 Meghan Myers 11 Lancaster Catholic 24:50.9
102 92 3069 Faith Rhoads 10 Northern Lebanon 24:58.9
103 93 2968 Emily Maag 10 Annville-Cleona 25:12.4
104 2987 Emily Gambler 10 Columbia 25:18.6
105 94 3045 Hannah Postlethwait 12 Lancaster Catholic 25:28.5
106 95 3037 Megan Stratton 12 Lampeter Strasburg 25:38.6
107 96 3080 Arden Morgan 12 Penn Manor 25:40.8
108 97 2892 Samantha Herr Conestoga Valley 25:42.0
109 98 3003 Sarah Heberlig 11 Ephrata 25:42.0
110 99 3081 Mackenzie Nafziger 9 Penn Manor 25:43.0
111 2986 Cassidy Cook 12 Columbia 25:57.6
112 100 3041 Allie Cellucci 10 Lancaster Catholic 26:13.8
113 101 397 Olivia Zell 10 Donegal 26:21.6
114 102 2967 Emily Dietz 11 Annville-Cleona 26:27.2
115 103 2972 Emma Rexrode 10 Annville-Cleona 26:42.4
116 104 3072 Katelyn Tipton 11 Northern Lebanon 26:44.8
117 105 3052 Laura King 10 Manheim Central 26:49.6
118 106 3091 Olivia Singleton 9 Solanco 26:50.0
119 107 3065 toccoa boyer 10 Northern Lebanon 27:00.9
120 108 3083 Maleah zook 9 Penn Manor 27:06.5
121 2985 Mallory Conroy 10 Columbia 27:08.4
122 2981 Lahela Callan 9 Cocalico 27:09.0
123 109 3014 Bevalee Tshudy 11 Garden Spot 27:41.4
124 110 3094 Stella Woy 10 Solanco 28:06.6
125 3085 Victoria Beiler 9 Pequea Valley HS 28:22.9
126 111 3008 Miryam Ambriz 9 Garden Spot 28:26.5
127 112 3010 Samantha Davis 12 Garden Spot 28:26.7
128 113 3071 Kadence Shuey 10 Northern Lebanon 28:47.5
129 114 3042 Erin Haldeman 12 Lancaster Catholic 29:31.1
130 115 3013 Abby Rissler 10 Garden Spot 31:09.2
131 3076 Deanna Smoker 11 Octorara 31:59.6
132 3073 Chase Decker 11 Octorara 32:37.7
133 116 3068 Lauren Murray 10 Northern Lebanon 32:44.7

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