Bobcats, District 9 Show Their Stuff At PIAA Class-AA Cross-Country State Meet

Photo courtesy of Clarion Area Cross-Country – Bobcats Head Coach Keith Murtha, Jonas Wilshire, Hayden Weber, Bobcats Assistant Coach Rosary Pennington

Clarion Area’s Jonas Wilshire and Haden Weber along with a number of District Nine runners competed in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) State Class-A Cross-Country Meet, at Parkview Cross-Country Course in Hershey, on Saturday, November 4th.

Clarion Area Cross-Country Head Coach Keith Murtha shares this summary:

Photo courtesy of the Clarion Area Cross-Country – Start of the Girls Class-A Race

After a strong showing at a tightly contested District meet, District 9’s best showed their stuff at the State level on Saturday)!

It all started with the girls A race which resulted in Elk County Catholic girls winning a team State Championship, taking places 2 (Grace Neubert – 19:14) , 4 (Sophia Bille – 19:42), 6 (Sami Straub – 19:56), 26 Gianna Bille – 20:52).

Photo courtesy of Clarion Area Cross-Country – PIAA Girls State Class-A Champions – Elk County Catholic

It is extremely unusual to have 3 runners in the Top 5 on the same team! ECC ran a masterful race in second place through 4 kilometers to Notre Dame Green Pond, the Cranberry team finished 5th. District 9 was the only district to put two teams in the Top 5 and the WPIAL (District 7) was the only other district to join them putting two in the Top Ten. Sophomore two-time Keystone Shortway Athletic Conference (KSAC) champion and State qualifier Adison Jackson, of Clarion-Limestone brought home a medal finishing 20th overall, with a time of 20:37!

Photo courtesy of Diane Lutz – Proud Clarion-Limestone Head Coach Nicole Oakes, with medalist and All-Stater Adisen Jackson

In the boys Class-A race, returning state medalist Kevin Sherry (16:22) from Coudersport finished 3rd with a strong race, District 9 Champion Eli Shreiber (17:12) from Ridgway medaled finishing 15th. The District 9 champion team Brookville finished 9th and Cranberry 14th of twenty-three teams.

Photo Courtesy of Clarion Area Cross-Country – Hayden and Jonas at the State Championship finish line

Bobcat runners, Jonas Wilshire finished 101st in a time of 18:33 on a challenging course and Hayden Weber was 151st in 19:06. The first year of experience is essential in learning how to compete in the state race. The level of competition and course are like no other! I’m thankful Jonas and Hayden are only sophomores and will get a couple more cracks at this.

Photo Courtesy Clarion Area Cross-Country – PIAA Girls State Class-A medalists, Adisen (eighth from left in back row)

To give you an idea of how fast and talented the field was, last year there were 3 sub 17 minute performances, this year there were 9! Last year 18:04 was the final medalist placing 25th, this year the last medalist finished in 17:15!!

(Congratulations to all the District Nine Runners!!!! Thanks to Coach Murtha for his summary and to Diane Lutz and Clarion Area Cross-Country for their photos!!)