Heartache, Pure Joy & Everything In Between Experienced at the District IX Cross Country Championship Saturday! (Posted 11/02/20)

(Thank you to all, for your pictures!) Above: Bobcats – Anna Hoover, JJ Wilson, Brady Pierce, Gavin Hoover, Zach Troese, Philip Bartley, Milt McElravy, Owen Wilson.

(By Clarion Area Coach Keith Murtha)

They often say sports is a microcosm for life and society, and that was certainly on display at Brookville High School on  Saturday afternoon, (October 31st) as the district 9 A runners gathered for their championship, with individual and team championships on the line, as well as State qualifying for 1 boys and girls team, as well 6 individual qualifiers for both boys and girls.  The total number of state qualifiers was cut in half this year due to COVID considerations statewide.

Brookville School District stepped up as host of the championships, taking over from the traditional host, Ridgway and did an amazing job!

First up was the girls race and top seeded junior Jenna Gregory of Smethport did not disappoint, leading the race wire to wire and finishing in 20:22 to secure the gold medal.

2020 District Nine Class-A Champion North Clarion: (L-R) Kaylee Castner, Katie Bauer, Jordyn Hendrickson, Rachel Bauer (Captain), Kayla Aaron, Nicole Fair, Emma Buckley, and Brynn Siegel

The Top seeded team, the North Clarion Wolves, led by Rachel Bauer, also did their job in large part due to their depth, finishing in first place and making a return trip to represent District 9.

Rachel Bauer

Anything can happen in a one day Championship/qualifier and for the Bobcats lightning struck twice!  Flashback to last year, Bella Scott missed the second half of the season with anemia and mono and made amazing effort at Districts to finish 20th, missing state qualifying by 1 spot.  Healthy and having a strong season, Bella is back! Bella got off to a slower start and was picking off runners 1 by 1 in the first two miles.

Bella Scott

In the final 600 meters it was a foot race between Bella and surprise freshman Elk County Catholic’s Sophia Billie. Bella was running her down, gaining ground and just ran out of real estate. Bille ran a heck of a race, a huge P.R. (personal record), quite an accomplishment for a freshmen.  “Bella showed so much heart and character I couldn’t be more proud of her.

Then it was the boys turn. It was a two man race, the two who finished 2nd and 3rd to Bobcat champion Nathaniel Lerch, last year. Matt Woolcock of the top seeded Cranberry Team and Joe Wolfe of Elk County Catholic battled with Matt leading thru the first half and Joe taking the lead to never relinquish it, finishing in 17:00. 

Bobcat Gavin Hoover finished 4th, punching his return ticket to Chocolate Town, making a trip with his team last year.

Gavin Hoover with his 4th Place Medal with Coach Murtha

Gavin has been running in championship style for the last 2 weeks and he ran another great race today.  It is pure joy, the moment you know your hopes and dreams have been realized and all your hard work paid off.

7Th Place Bobcat Boys: Gavin Hoover, Zach Troese, Phillips Bartley, Milton McElravy, Kaegan Phillips and Owen Wilson with Coach Murtha

The Bobcats finished 7th as a team with course personal records for Kaegan Phillips, Philip Bartley, Milt McElravy and  Owen Wilson.  All the boys gave a great effort and improved and we are so excited for what the future holds!

Clarion-Limestone: (L-R) Jack Craig, Braden Rankin, Ty Rankin, Corbin Coulson, Cody Whitling, Logan Leadbetter, Morgan McNaughton, and Madison Aaron. Boys finished in 3rd Place

We want to give a shout out to our traveling partners,  Clarion-Limestone,  for their fantastic team finish of third.  We maintain separate teams, score against in each other in our first home meet, but run all league meets at the same location so the runners, coaches and even the parents become quite close!

Start of Boys Race

Full results from districts can be found at

So for a second straight year, the KSAC will represent District 9 at the State Championship, with a girls team from North Clarion, a boys from Cranberry and a host of individual qualifiers. 

Girls race

The State Championship will be held Saturday, November 7th with the girls toeing the line at 9 AM and the boys to follow at 10! will have great coverage and results will be available at  Best of luck to Gavin and our KSAC & D9 representative in Chocolate Town!

Boys medalists: Gavin Hoover on left

(Thanks to Coach Murtha for this article and…..  Congratulations to All the local runners. All the Best to those who are advancing!!!!)