Eva Lerch Wins D9 Championship, Girls Team Qualifies for States (10/29/18)

(By Coach Keith Murtha)

Evelyn Lerch, just a freshman at Clarion Area won the first District 9 individual championship by a female in school history, (at Ridgway on Saturday October 27th).

(Photos courtesy of Clarion Cross Country)

Cross Country started at Clarion in 1981 and a review of school record shows Roxanne Reinsel finished second and third at the D9 Championships in 1982 and 1983.  Clarion also qualified teams for States in both those years as the D9 runner up.

Fast forward to 2018, the Clarion girls aren’t even on the radar, they haven’t had a team in two years since seniors Katie Craig and Gabriella Fleming were freshmen.

This year, the Bobcats have added senior Phylicia Hockman, the 800 meter champion and track state qualifier.  The remainder of the roster is freshman Bella Scott, who consistently ran second on the team and made her mark for her freshman year, Grace Adams, Aailyea Dittman and Grace Schmader.

Not to be out done, senior Katie Craig sets her own school record when she becomes the first four time state qualifier!

A mere 6 points separated D9 powerhouse Cranberry and Clarion and both teams representing District 9 this year hail from the KSAC.

On the boys side,  District 9 boasts perhaps the strongest Single A district in the state, with 4 of the top 6 teams in the state competing for 2 spots to move on to Hershey.  Elk County Catholic, Cranberry, Smethport, and Clarion all ran well with the teams from ECC and Cranberry advancing to Hershey by a thin 2 point margin.

Junior Nathaniel Lerch, the first individual qualifier, will make his third trip while Noah and Nick Schill will make their second trip to represent Clarion in Hershey!

(The PIAA Championships will be held on Saturday, November 3rd.)

(Thanks to Coach Murtha for this article and to Clarion Cross Country for the photos.  CONGRATULATIONS TO EVA, NATHANIEL, NOAH AND NICK AND ALL THE BOBCATS AND LADY CATS!!!! HAVE A GREAT STATE MEET EVA, NATHANIEL, NOAH AND NICK!!!!)