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It hasn’t necessarily been a memorable fall sports season for the Lebanon school district. The Cedars haven’t enjoyed a ton of athletic success or had much to celebrate.

But Caleb Hershey has been a bright light in a sea of darkness. And Tuesday was his day to shine.

At the Lancaster-Lebanon Cross Country Championships at Ephrata Middle School, the Lebanon senior ran a surprising and rewarding third in the boys’ individual race. It was one of the finest performances by a Cedar runner at the league meet in recent history, and quite possibly of all time.

Overcoming a bit of a sluggish start, Hershey worked his way up to the lead pack. Once there, he battled gamely with front-runners Aidan Hodge of Hempfield, Lampeter-Strasburg’s Colin Whitaker and Manheim Township’s Tyler Stevens.

As the finish line neared, Hodge and Whitaker broke away from Hershey, finishing one-two. Hershey out lasted Stevens for third, in a time of 16:33.8.

Hershey is a product of a Lebanon High cross country program that has made great strides over the past five years. On a personal level, Hershey, who only began running competitively in the seventh grade, has also made great strides individually, especially over the last year.

  • Jeff Falk

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