Clarion Has Strong Performances at Keystone Athletic Conference Championships

Photos by Diane Lutz – Above: The boys varsity field ready at the start!

The Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference held their 2023 Cross Country Championships on Thursday, October 19th, with the Clarion-Limestone Boys and the Cranberry Girls winning Varsity Championships. Cranberry also won both the Boys and Girls Junior High Championships.

C-L Boys with their KSAC Championship plaque L-R): Logan Meier, Drake Edmonds, Camden Coleman, Logan Lutz, Ty Rankin, Paul Craig, Riley Rinker, Logan Powell. Missing from Picture: Colton Keihl, Levi Bates, and Jack Craig.

Clarion Area Head Coach shares this fine summary of the Bobcats’ day as well as much more of the day’s action:

The KSAC cross country teams gathered at Clarion-Limestone Stadium on a beautiful fall day, for the 2023 Conference Championships, where all seven teams gathered to run head to head on the same course.

Varsity Boys medal winners

It was a good day on a fast course for the Bobcat harriers as Cece Bowser led things off and established a new Personal Record (28:20), by a minute. The sophomore, who has fought injuries and illness over the last two years, put an exclamation mark on her season.

Varsity Girls medal winners

Then, the largest race of the day, the Varsity Boys. Bobcat front runner and First Team All-Conference recipient, Jonas Wilshire battled it out with senior, KSAC MVP Johnny Hansford. The race went back and forth, with Hansford pulling it out in the end to establish a new P.R. In fact, the field was so deep, the top 7 boys all finished sub 18 Minutes.

The Bobcat Varsity Boys Team ready to roll!

Hansford led all runners in 17:27 with Wilshire in 17:50. Josh Turner had a monster run with a podium finish for 9th place in 18:10. The remainder of the Bobcats blended strong performances, with the trio of Caleb Turner, Wyatt Aaron and Tony Bartley finished in 23rd, 24th and 26th, all running season bests.

Junior High Boys medal winners

Missing two key runners, the Bobcats finished 4th as a team behind eventual champion Clarion-Limestone, Cranberry and North Clarion. The home-standing C-L Lions won the boys title behind senior Ty Rankin (6th – 14:54) and freshmen wrestler Drake Edmonds (7th – 17:57).

Bobcat senior Owen Wilson went out with a bang, finishing with a big P.R.

In the Junior High Boys race, 7th grade standout Blace Easlon (10:29) battled hard and finished in podium position, finishing fourth. The remaining boys, Noah Frederick, Cash Gilmore and Michael Troese all had strong performance running season bests!

Bobcat KSAC medalists Josh Turner, Jonas Wilshire, Blace Easlon

Girls junior high finished out the day, 7th grader Alissa Brooks just getting edged out for medal position finishing 6th. Elena Sheftic ran a strong 1st mile and finished 25th.

Returning KSAC champ, Adisen Jackson defended her crown in 20:24 with a good race for Clarion-Limestone in the girls varsity competition with Cranberry taking the team title behind the Hanna twins of Kelsey and Kayla.

Junior High Girls medal winners

8th Grader Cooper Matassa of Cranberry was your boys junior high champion to lead his team to the title. Not to be outdone, 8th Darien Wenner, sister of Dane and Dalton led her team to the Girls Junior High title.

Cranberry Berries, Varsity Girls Champions

All varsity teams now prepare for the District 9 Championships to be held in Ridgway on Saturday, October 28th, both races should be exceptional with team individual bids to the State Championship in Hershey on the line. The top two teams plus 10 individuals will advance to represent District 9. The Elk County Catholic girls and Brookville boys are odds on favorites to take home D9 titles in single A competition.

Some of the volunteers who helped to keep the meet running smooth

(Great Running!!!! Thanks to Diane Lutz for her great photos and to Coach Murtha for his fine summary!!)