TURBOTVILLE — Of all the NTL teams, the new pandemic changes to the PIAA Cross Country Championships hurt Athens the most.
Typically, Class AA takes two teams and 10 individuals from the District IV Championships, but this year, to keep the numbers down, only one team and five individuals are headed to States.
ATHENS — Carter Lewis won the boys race to lead Athens to a second-place
finish, and Sara Bronson finished second in the girls race here
Saturday morning in the NTL Junior High Cross Country Championships.
Northeast Bradford won the team titles in the boys and girls championships.
Lewis finished first and teammate Ethan Hicks was third but NEB runners finished second (Creed Dewing) and fourth (Ryan Jones), and all five scoring runners placed in the top 17 to lift the Panthers to the win.
NEB tallied 35 placement points, while Athens was second with 55 points, Towanda was third with 75, Sullivan County was fourth with 79, and Troy was fifth with 89 points.
Lewis clocked in at 8:56.8, while Hicks crossed the finish line in 9:00.2. Dewing was second in 8:58.3, and Jones was fourth in 9:07.6, while Troy’s Hart Houseknecht placed fifth in 9:07.9.
Peter Jones placed 14th for the Wildcats in a time of 9:49.1, while Pierce Oldroyd was 25th in 10:43.3, and Charan Venkatswamy (11:06.1), Aiden Oldroyd (11:13.7), and Ryan Gorman (11:15.2) finished 28th through 30th, respectively.
Jack Cheresnowsky was 34th in 11:40.9, while Ty Lezak was 38th in 12:34.8, and Ethan Talada was 43rd in 27.19.7.
Bronson and Addyson Wheeler finished second and ninth to lead the Lady Wildcats to a fourth-place finish, well behind NEB, which saw its five scoring runners all finish in the Top 11.
Bronson clocked in at 9:46.7 — three seconds off the pace of race-winner Gracelynn Laudermilch of NEB, while Troy;s Alyssa Parks was third in 9:55.5, NEB’s Lillian Hughes was fourth in 10:21.9, and NEB’s Anaiah Kolsea was fifth in 10:23.4.
Mackenna Patton (12:34.6), Olivia Cheresnowsky (12:34.9), and Victoria Gao (12:35.3) finished 23rd through 25th, respectively, for the junior Lady Wildcats.
Sayre’s lone runs ‚ Rose Shikanga finished 26th in a time of 12:43.1.
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.”
ATHENS — Athens capped an unbeaten regular season to defend its NTL boys
cross country title here Tuesday afternoon with wins over Northeast
Bradford, North Penn-Mansfield, and Wellsboro.
NP-M’s Noah Shedden kept the Wildcats from shutting out all three teams. Shedden placed first in a time of 17:20, and Athens runners finished second through sixth, respectively, to top the short-handed Tigers, 15-50.
The Wildcats swept the top five spots in a 15-48 wins over NEB, and a 15-50 victory over Wellsboro.
Connor Dahl paced the Athens effort in a time of 17:48, while Kyle Anthony clocked in at 17:57, Matt Gorsline finished in 18:21, Justin Lynch crossed the finish line in 19:20, and Ethan Denlinger clocked in at 19:43.
Izaak Hobday finished 10th for the Wildcats in a time of 20:06, while Nate Prickett was 12th in 20:31, Mason Henderson was 13th in 21:05, and Connor Brown (22:22), Brendan Jones (22:31), and Jon Ayers (22:55) finished 16th through 18th, respectively.
SHORT-HANDED LADY WILDCATS DROP THREE DECISIONS
Emma Bronson and Thea Bentley finished 2-3, but with just four runners in action, the Lady Wildcats dropped 15-50 decisions to NEB, North Penn-Mansfield and Wellsboro.
Bronson clocked in at 21:52, while Bentley crossed the line in 23:36.
Cailyn Conklin finished 12th in 26:39 for the Lady Wildcats, and Macaria Benjamin was 20th in 29:34.
Athens returns to action Saturday morning at the NTL Coaches Invite.
WAVERLY - River Road Media Group, parent company of Valley Sports Report, and Circle W Sports announced a partnership Sunday with the Athens Area School District to provide an athletic web site for all Wildcat sports.