BY JEFF FALK
The Falcon didn’t fly. The Cougar didn’t prowl. The Cedar didn’t stand tall. The Dutchman didn’t dance.
It was the Elco Raider who emerged victorious at Saturday’s third annual Lebanon County mascot race, which was contested at South Hills Park during the county cross country championships. Following a strong start, the Raider pulled away from the other costumed contestants near the end of the 100-yard race.
Elco freshman Matthew Hentz was responsible for providing the energy that powered the Raider to victory. Moments earlier, Hentz had finished second in the boys’ JV race, without the costume,
“It was hot in there,” said Hentz of his get-up. “But yeah, I thought I was going to win.”
Though the effort was a personal best for Hentz as ‘The Raider”, he said he did little in the way of preparation for the event.
“No, I didn’t train for it,” said Hentz. “But I did carefully select the clothing. I didn’t want to get too bulky.”
Hentz doesn’t normally portray ‘The Raider’. Saturday was his first time in the costume. But he could be persuaded to at some point in the future.
“I don’t know. We’ll see,” said Hentz. “But yeah, I’ll probably be back next year to defend my championship.”