By: Chris Manning | | October 17, 2020 | Photo courtesy Chris Manning


ROME — Athens sophomore Emma Bronson led for most of the girls’ race of the NTL Coaches’ Invitational Saturday.  She used that advantage to pull away for the individual title, winning in 21:31.90.

“It feels really good,” said Bronson. “It was my goal going into the season, to be able to win this and the season went pretty well … I got second a couple of times. So I knew this is the race that I had to beat those girls.”

The Wildcat boys took second to Wyalusing by 1-point, 46-47, but earned the NTL Large School title, their second in a row. Due to teams missing meets because of Covid-19, team titles were decided at the NTL Invitational.

The Lady Wildcats took fourth overall with 121 points while Wyalusing (42), Troy (52) and Wellsboro (78) were the top three teams.

Bronson won by 20 seconds, with Wyalusing’s Catherine Brown (21:51.60) taking second, but she wasn’t taking anything for granted.

“I knew that the really good runners can close really quick, so I tried to keep pushing as long I can and beat them to the finish,” remarked Bronson.

Sayre’s Carrie Claypool (22:34.30) was sevent,h while fellow Wildcat Thea Bentley (22:41.60) took eighth.

Rounding out the Athens scorers were Cailyn Conklin (25:26.70) in 26th, Macaria Benjamin (27:46.80) in 44th, and Abby Prickitt (31:09.40) in 55th.

Sayre had two other runners: Corey Ault (27:40.90) was 42nd and Deborah Shikanga (31:08.40) came in 54th.

The Athens has boys had four in the top 12 and three from 4-through-7, but couldn’t overcome Wyalusing going 1-2 in the invitational scoring format as they also had three in the top 10 and four in the top 14.

Wildcat Connor Dahl (17:28.70) was fourth to lead Athens, while Matt Gorsline (18:05.20) and Kyle Anthony (18:10.90) were sixth and seventh, respectively.

Justin Lynch (18:43.40) came in 12th, and Nate Prickitt (19:28.70) was 18th to round out their scoring five.

Sayre was led by Nathan Romano (21:01.10) in 36th, and Riley Parrish (26:52.80) came in 60th.

These runners will now move onto the District IV Championships, with Sayre in Class A and Athens in Class AA. The races will be on Thursday, Oct. 29 at Warrior Run High School with a 9 a.m. start.

Bronson will see some of the best runners in the state in Class AA, but believes she’s running well ahead of the race.

“We have a lot of really good runners right here, too,” said Bronson. “I think winning this race will help with confidence going into districts because we run against really good girls.”

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