Elk Lake, Montrose girls’ move on to states

BY JOHN LUND

For the fifth consecutive year, the Elk Lake girls’ cross country is headed to the state championship after finishing second overall and will be joined by Montrose, who finished third in the Class A District 2 Cross Country Championships, held at Elk Lake High School Wednesday.

“In light of everything we’ve had happen to us throughout the season, things that have been out of our control, I’m really satisfied,” Elk Lake head coach Will Squier said. “We’ll go down there and do the best we can.”

Coming off a state title last year, Elk Lake was faced with high expectations this season. But a season-ending injury to junior Jenny VanEtten, who finished second overall in last year’s district meet, and a nagging injury to Liz Trowbridge, who finished first last year, left a repeat performance of last year in doubt.

But it didn’t faze the Lady Warriors.

Elk Lake had five of the top 13 finishers, led by sophomore Katie Bennett, who finished in fourth overall and a personal best at 20:24, to earn a trip to Hershey and a chance to defend its state title.

After Bennett, Elk Lake took spots 10-14, that included Lexi Hemingway at 21:06, Justine Johns at 21:12, Trowbridge at 21:13 and Julie VanEtten at 21:14.

“There’s a lot of potential on the team,” Squier said. “The girls could flip something on and run something that would compete in states. I don’t want to put the pressure on them but the potential is definitely there.”

Although District 2 is technically allowed to send only two teams to states, Montrose’s top five finishers in Wednesday’s race finished in the Top 16, and will also be going to states. (District 2 also sends to states the 10 best runners not on the top two teams.)

It’s affectionately know as the ‘Joe Macey Rule,’ stating that should a team qualify five individuals for states, it can be scored as a team.

Allison Lewis led the charge for the Lady Meteors and finished 5th overall at 20:34, and was immediately followed my teammate Samantha Bennici in 6th at 20:42.

“We knew going in that it was going to be tough competing against Holy Cross and Elk Lake, they’re both amazing,” Bennici said. “So we came into this race trying to qualify five individuals so we could compete on the state level as a team. That was our goal and it’s what we worked for our entire season.”

Angela Russell finished in 14th at 21:16 and Paige Dolaway and Emma Washo finished 17th and 18th at 21:40 and 21:41, respectively, to earn the Lady Meteors a trip to Hershey.

“I was so excited when I saw everyone crossing the line together,” Lewis said. “That was our goal, to qualify five individuals.”

Last year, Montrose qualified for states as a team and finished eighth in Class A. Coach Dean Brewer believes the Lady Meteors can improve on that this year.

“We’re better than we were last year,” Brewer said. “So being in the top five would really mean something. I think these two teams here (Holy Cross and Elk Lake) could be one-two. Central Cambria and North East are also out there and we kind of match up with them.”

Susquehanna’s Ivy Christenson also qualified for states and led the Sabers in 16th place overall at 21:32.

Holy Cross took first overall in the team standings with 26 points while the Lady Warriors finished with 42 points.

The Lady Meteors took third place with 54 points. Blue Ridge was fourth with 133, while Susquehanna finished seventh with 171.

The PIAA Class A state championship will take place in Hershey at the Parkview Cross Country Course on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Squier and the Elk Lake School District would also like to thank several sponsors for their help at the meet, including: Decker Farms, Meshoppen Stone, Willa Grove Farms, Cabot Oil and Fas, Linde Pipeline Corporation, Taylor Rental of South Montrose and the U.S. Army.

Times-Shamrock writier Scott Walsh also contributed information to the Montrose portion of this story.

A Girls’ Team Standings: 1- Holy Cross (HC) 26; 2-Elk Lake (EL) 42; 3-Montrose (MO) 54; 4- Blue Ridge (BR) 133; 5- Wyoming Seminary (WS) 152; 6-Lackawanna Trail (LT) 166; 7-Susquehanna Comm (SC) 171; 8-Mid Valley (MV) 187; 9-Dunmore (DM), 230; 10-MMI Prep (MM) 289. Forest City (FC), Lakeland (LK), Mountain View (MtV), and Riverside (RI) also had incomplete teams.

GIRLS’ A RACE
1-Tess Kearns (HC), 19:37; 2-Zoe Haggerty (HC), 20:11; 3-Mackenzie Greenfield (HC), 20:17; 4-Katie Bennett (EL), 20:24; 5-Allison Lewis (MO), 20:34; 6-Samantha Bennici (MO), 20:42; 7-Cassie Semyon (RI), 20:48; 8-Brooke Estadt (LK), 20:54; 9-Abby Guziewicz (HC), 20:56; 10-Lexus Hemenway (EL), 21:06.
11-Justine Johns (EL), 21:12; 12-Elizabeth Trowbridge (EL), 21:13; 13-Julie VanEtten (EL), 21:14; 14-Angela Russell (MO), 21:16; 16-Ivy Christensen (SC), 21:32; 17-Paige Dolaway (MO), 21:40; 18-Emma Washo (MO), 21:41; 20-Katie Seigle (LT), 21:56; 22-Jennifer Korty (FC), 21:58; 23-Lauren Whitney (BR), 22:07; 25-Kenzie Jones (EL), 22:19; 26-Mikayla hargett (SC), 22:25; 29-Casey Purdum (BR), 23:01; 30-Jessie Purdum (BR), 23:02.
Also, 31-Taylor Warner (MO), 23:04; 32-Isabella Cosmello (BR), 23:05; 35-Lindsey Burdick (BR), 23:49; 38-Alyssa Sweeney (SC), 24:09; 46-Amanda Moran (MtV), 25:06; 48-Charlotte Hall (BR), 25:37; 54-Avenlea Bixby (MO), 26:27; 56-Lauren Soden (SC), 26:42; 58-Jessica Lamb (SC), 27:00; 63-Jessica Plutino-Gille (SC), 29:04; 64-Hannah Day (SC), 29:04; 72-Lauren Cook (FC), 33:30.