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L-L League Cross Country Championships 061BY JEFF FALK

EPHRATA – The more the Cedar Crest boys learn about cross country, the more they understand how much they don’t know. Or maybe the Falcons have just come to realize the sport is more about the heart than it is about the head.

On a clear Tuesday evening over Ephrata Middle School’s hilly 3.1-mile course, the Falcon males parlayed a little bit of guts and a whole lot of intestinal fortitude into a satisfying and gratifying performance at the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships. Spearheaded by front-runner Jake Barrett’s sixth-place medal, Cedar Crest finished a surprising runner-up to champion Hempfield.

Crest’s team total of 102 points was second only to the Black Knights, the Section One titlist who posted a team score of 72. Cocalico finished third, while Elco came in sixth.

L-L League Cross Country Championships 077Barrett, a sophomore, was supported by senior teammate Adam Wolfe, who captured the 13th-place spot, William Seffield, who was 22nd, Tommy Bildheiser, who ran 29th and D.J. Laliberte, who finished 32nd. Elco sophomore Mitchell Gray was the 24th boy to cross the finish line.

On the girls’ side, Cedar Crest freshman Lily Young impressed with a top-ten effort.

“The longer I’m around, the more I feel like I do a poor job, and they (his student-athletes) run out of their minds,” said Cedar Crest head coach Brandon Risser when asked about peaking. “Don’t give me too much credit for great runners. It’s about the kids. It’s about the mindset. It’s about the energy.

“We honestly were looking at a race strategy of ‘let’s go out controlled and run our race,'” continued Risser. “But we went out too hard and we fell back. After two miles, I had us over a hundred points. I didn’t know which way we were going. Getting under a hundred points would be a great effort. But we ran a great race.”

L-L League Cross Country Championships 066Barrett also overcame a minor injury to finish in a secondary pack, some 34 seconds off a pace laid down by winner Christian Groff of Hempfield and his 17:37.2.. Barrett was steady throughout, an approach that allowed him to pick off a couple of runners ahead of him.

“I thought it was a great day,” said Barrett. “Maybe I could’ve gotten one more spot, but I was right where I wanted to be. Coming in, I wanted to get it done for the team. It’s all about them. We wanted to be in the top two. The way Coach Risser was talking, we needed to have two guys in the top 12 or 13.

“It’s crazy,” added Barrett. “Coming into the season, this was definitely a goal of mine. But I didn’t know how things were going to come together.”

“Jake is a fierce competitor,” said Risser. “He was battling a little bit of an injury. But the test of a true champion is not falling down, it’s bouncing back up every time you fall. Jake ran great.

“Adam Wolfe ran great,” Risser continued. “That was a great effort from Adam. He beat a lot of people who beat him during the regular season. I’m proud of William Sheffield. He’s battled through some adversity. And the freshmen (Bildheiser and Laliberte) are still figuring it out.”

The key to Barrett’s race may have been his start. He went out strong, but not too hard, and had plenty left in the tank down the stretch.

But Barrett never seriously challenged the leaders – at least not this year.

“I knew if I wanted to have a chance I had to establish myself early,” said Barrett, whose next challenge will come at the District Three Championships at Big Spring High School in 11 days. “I knew if I hung with the pack I’d be OK. For most of the race, I was anywhere from sixth to eighth. That was a tough pack of guys. Up until today, I hadn’t had much success here. But it (course knowledge) helped me to know when to make moves.

L-L League Cross Country Championships 047“States would be a good goal,” Barrett added. “I haven’t been there yet. I’d like to go and take Adam along with me. He’s been my training partner all year long.”

“We went 9-1 in Section One,” said Risser of the regular season. “We’ve lost to Hempfield three times. They’re very good, and Cocalico was the Section Two champion, so we were ‘ranked’ third. But I felt confident we could put it all together.

“We’ve had some great senior leadership,” continued Risser. “We’ve had a young team. But we never put together our A-plus effort. Today we got our A-plus effort. Our guys just went for it.”

L-L League Cross Country Championships 044Spurred by Young’s tenth-place showing, the Falcon females finished sixth in the team standings. Elco junior Lily Brubaker came in 15th and was the only other Lebanon County competitor to medal.

“The girls ran great,” said Risser. “We were 4-6 in Section One, but we’ve improved a lot of things during the year. We could’ve finished tenth, and I would’ve been OK with it. Sixth was as high as we were going to be today. That’s a real accomplishment. On the bus ride home, we’re going to celebrate that as much as the boys’ performance.”








L-L League Cross Country Championships 030To purchase images in this article email jkfalk2005@yahoo.com, or to view more go to https://lebanonsportsbuzz.com/photo-gallery/.




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L-L League Cross Country Championships 056Annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Cross Country Championships
(at Ephrata Middle School’s 3.1-mile Course)
Boys Individual Results
(Top 30 and local finishers)
1. Christian Groff (H) 16:05.4, 2. Andrew Foster (Eph) 16:05.6, 3. Evan Kreider (Coc) 16:09.0, 4. Christopher Scharf (ET) 16:20.1. 5. Ian Miller (Manheim Township) 16:32.5, 6. Jake Barrett (CC) 16:40.1, 7. Nicholas Fafel (PM) 16:40.5, 8. Nathan Grucelski (CV) 16:43.1, 9. Max Lessans (H) 16:44.4, 10. Logan Horst (LM) 16:46.8,. 11. Noah Martin (W) 16:47.2, 12. Abenezear Abebe (LM) 16:47.4, 13. Adam Wolfe (CC) 16:47.5, 14. Justin Rittenhouse (H) 16:47.7, 15. Dylan Becker (C) 16:52.0, 16. Silas Buckwalter (D) 16:53.3, 17. Nathan Yoder (LM) 16:58.2, 18. Charles Scharf (ET) 16:59.4, 19. Ben Stickler (S) 16:59.9, 20. David Kramer (PM) 20:00.0, 21. Ryan Farmer (H) 17:01.7, 22. William Sheffield (CC)  17:02.5, 23. Connor Shields (W) 17:03.5, 24. Mitchell Gray (E) 17:04.6, 25. Jansen Miller (LS) 17:05.5, 26. Evan Trowbridge (Coc) 17:05.9, 27. Jack Mieszkalski (H) 17:06.3, 28. David Merkey (MC) 17:10.4, 29. Tommy Bildheiser (CC) 17:11.0, 30. David Jackson (H) 17:13.3, 32. Dj Laliberte (CC) 17:17.7, 37. Noah Bragunier (E) 17:17.7, 39. Justin Kegerise (E) 17:24.4, 41. Gage Krall (NL) 17:24.5, 42. Cole Nelson (E) 17:24.6, 44. Josh Rudd (CC) 17:27.7, 49. Ryan Mcallister (E) 17:35.5, 56. Dominique Smith-Rodrig (CC) 17:41.1, 57. Jordan Berger (NL) 17:47.7, 58. Ryan Scicchitano (CC) 17:48.7, 77. Gavin Knox (AC) 18:05.3, 78. Riley Klick (L) 18:05.4, 94. Doyle Shertzer (AC) 18;31.3, 99. Hunter Hartranft (E) 18:36.4, 102. Caleb Wenger (AC) 18:39.6, 108. Ethan Fortuna (AC) 18:48.5, 109. Jack Tshudy (AC) 18:49.2, 120. Vincent Krall (AC) 19:03.0, 123. Matthew Hoffman (L) 19:07.0, 126. Matthew Sweinhart (Elco) 19:09.6, 127. Xavier Carpenter (AC) 19:10.0, 136. Matthew Inman (AC) 19:30.7, 141. Chance Leed (E) 19:39.9, 146. Brandon Bomberger (NL) 19:59.1, 148. Angelo Bracero (L) 20;36.8, 150. Jacob Beidler (NL) 20:51.3, 158. Dustin Varvel (NL) 21:39.3, 160. Dante Diangelis (NL) 21:46.8, 163. Levi Arms (NL) 25:22.5
Team Standings
1. Hempfield 72, 2. Cedar Crest 102, 3. Cocalico 109, 4. Penn Manor 176, 5. Warwick 190, 6. Elco 191, 7. Elizabethtown 209, 8. . Manheim Township 228, 9. Lancaster Mennonite 252, 10. McCaskey 277, 11. Manheim Central 279, 12. Lampeter Strasburg 305, 13. Donegal 311, 14. Ephrata 317, 15. Conestoga Valley 334, 16. Lancaster Catholic 383, 17. Solanco 401, 18. Annville-Cleona 468, 19. Northern Lebanon 499, 20. Garden Spot 585


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Girls Individual Results
(Top 30 and local finishers)
1. Jamie Zamrin (Coc) 18:29.7, 2. Katie Locker (ET) 18:40.6, 3. Samantha Side (MT) 18:52.6, 4. Lianna Tirado (McC) 19:07.3, 5. Kira Jenkins (MT) 19:09.8, 6. Cat Shontz (ET) 19:17.9, 7. Mary Campbell (Ephrata) 19:24.2, 8. Madeline Quinn (ET) 19:24,4, 9. Cassandra Wilk (MT) 19:29.0, 10. Gwyneth Young (CC) 19:31.3, 11. Ava Pasewicz (MT) 19:34.0, 12. Alyssa Fedorshak (Eph) 19:34.1, 13. Siena Gates (H) 19:41.5, 14. Jordan Haberstroh (C) 19:46.0, 15. Lily Brubaker (Elco) 19:48.0, 16. Sydney Morgan (Eph) 19:49.9, 17. Anabelle Lapp (MT) 19:52.9, 18. Caitlyn Wagner (W) 19:54.1, 19. Kate Weissend (ET) 19:56.9, 20. Ella Kielmeyer  (H) 19:57.7, 21. Chloe Kline (MT) 19:59.8, 22. Arielle Breuninger (McC) 20:06.0, 23. Gabriella Hollinger (H) 20:09.8, 24. Hannah Graybill (H) 20:12.7, 25. Shannon Elias (MT) 20:15.1, 26. Lily Williams (H) 20:15.4, 27. Colleen Gilbert (LS) 20:16.8, 28. Nadine Eichenlaub (Eph) 20:28.3, 29. Isabella Fife (McC) 20:38.9, 30. Anna Martin (W) 20:42.4, 34, Shayla Bonzelet (CC) 21:00.2, 40. Taylor Laliberte (CC) 21:13.4, 53. Elizabeth Nazeeri (CC) 21:45.7, 56. Emily Williams (E) 21:52.0, 67. Mary Tshudy (AC) 22:18.5, 74. Mia Reigert (CC) 22:43.9, 76. Brenna Chernich (CC) 22:47.5, 79. Jessica Gutekunst (AC) 22:56.8, 86. Hannah McCurdy (CC) 23:02.9, 95. Brenna Troutman (E) 23:25.7, 96. Abigail Fischer (E) 23:26.7, 102. Jaya Hackman (E) 23:49.6, 108. Sarah Domencic (AC) 24:00.9, 109. Kaylin Nolt (E) 24:06.5, 112. Avery Atkins (CC) 24:20.9, 117. Julia Underkoffler (E) 24:57.1, 119. Peyton Arnold-Paine (L) 25:07.6, 122. Jalissa Nolt (E) 25:23.5, 130. Zoe Sweigert (AC) 26:52.6, 131. Brianna Seip (NL) 27:08..9, 132. Alyssa Clark (AC) 27:15.1, 133. Erin Ditzler (NL) 27:19.3, 135. Denise Colon Oliven (L) 27:22.1, 139. Emily Beare (AC) 29:26.8, 141. Ghada Mostafa (L) 29:38.5
Team Standings
1. Manheim Township 44, 2. Elizabethtown 100, 3. Hempfield 102, 4. Ephrata 133, 5. McCaskey 140, 6. Cedar Crest 200, 7. Warwick 204, 8. Penn Manor 217, 9. Lampeter Strasburg 231, 10. Conestoga Valley 294, 11. Donegal 324, 12. Solanco 329, 13. Elco 337, 14. Cocalico 373, 15. Lancaster Mennonite 418, 16. Garden Spot 426, 17. Lancaster Catholic 433, 18. Annville-Cleona 467

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