Lady Warriors riding momentum in AA

MARIA TROWBRIDGE

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge, at right, paces a pack of Lady Warrior runners. From left, are Emily Williams, Kelly Grosvenor, Lainey Bedell and Trowbridge. PHOTO COURTESY OF NORTHEAST EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Elk Lake’s girls’ cross country teams will enter today’s District II Class AA girls’ championship race having locked up the Lackawanna League title last Tuesday atBlue Ridgeto complete a 22-0 record for the third straight season.

Despite winning the PIAA Class AA state championship last season, the Lady Warriors had a disappointing team finish in districts as they were upset by Holy Redeemer.

However, coach Will Squier said he is confident in the girls’ ability.

JENNY VANETTEN

“My expectation is that the girls will stay right on track with how they’ve been competing all year,” Squier said. “They are continuously improving.”

The past few years, the core ofElkLake’s girls’ team has been the same, and the dynamic of the team has been one of its strong suits.

“The dynamic of his group keeps them moving forward,” Squier said. “They hold each other accountable.”

Senior Abby Zdancewicz agrees.

LUKE JONES

“Not only do we run to win, we run for each other,” Zdancewicz said. “I can honestly say that even outside of cross country we’re all really good friends.”

A new addition to the Lady Warriors this year has been freshman Jenny VanEtten, who burst onto the scene and took several first place finishes in the regular season.

“The impact that Jenny has made on the team this year is to make us all want to work that much harder,” Zdancewicz said.

VanEtten even took a few first place finishes over Trowbridge this season, but Squier is fine with that.

JAKE HINKLEY

“We looked at Jenny finishing first as an awesome thing,” Squier said. “It had nothing to do with Maria losing her speed. She just needed some relief, and she’s gotten back into her groove.”

Trowbridge said that she is lucky to be on such a great team.

“To go through everything we have and accomplish as much as we have coming from such a small school is great,” Trowbridge said.

And Trowbridge will look to end her senior season with a bang, and make a run at states.

“We’re all going to go out there and do our best and put together the best race we can,” Trowbridge said. “Being a senior it’s going to be bittersweet. But it would be a great experience to go to states one last time as a senior.”

Zdancewicz, who has been Elk Lake’s fifth runner throughout the season, said she’s happy with her performance this season, and hopes to help give the Warriors an edge in the district championship.

Boys’ Race

The Class AA boys’ race will see Blue Ridge come in with a 19-3 overall record, with Jake Hinkley running strong at the top of the Raider pack, followed by a cluster of Mike Robbs, Ethan Mansfield, Chris Carlsen and TJ Loomis.

ElkLake’s Luke Jones has been nearly unbeatable this season, with teammate Will Bennett nipping at his heels. The Raiders come in at 16-6 as a team.

The girls’ AA race will begin at2:15 p.m.on Wednesday, with the boys’ class AA race taking place beginning at12:45 p.m.atElkLakeSchool Districtin Dimock.