PITTSBURGH — A trio of area cross country teams — DuBois Central Catholic, elk County Catholic and Clarion — hit the road this past weekend to compete at invitationals, and all three schools had runners bring home some high finishes at those respective events.
Elk County Catholic and Clarion each had runners compete at the 17th Annual Red, White and Blue Classic in Pittsburgh and placed four runners in the Top 25 in races that combined athletes from Class A and 2A schools. There were 276 boys and 259 girls in those combined events.
Elk County’s Ben Hoffman collected the best finish, placing eighth overall in the boys A/AA race with a time of 16:57.80. Clarion’s Nathaniel Lerch, the lone Bobcat to compete, crossed the line in 16th place (17:16.19), while ECC’s Joe Wolfe was 21st in 17:27.24.
Hoffman was third among all Class A runners, while Lerch and Wolfe were sixth and eighth, respectively. Beaver’s Will Lamb (16:19.44) was the overall boys winner, while Riverview’s Mason Ochs (4th overall, 16:44.32) was the top Class A runner.
Other Crusaders to compete were Alex Miller (90th, 19:12.44), Adam Straub (116th, 19:43.95), Julian Funaki (221st, 22:39.19), Owen Daghir (230th, 23:00.58) and Jacob Ingram (250th, 24:36.86).
Elk County finished fifth in the team standings (148) among Class A teams. Riverview won the Class A title with a 42.
On the girls side in Pittsburgh, Lady Crusader Chelsea Hunt finished 22nd (21:06.39), while teammate Mara Lecker was 247th (32:23.17). Hunt was 10th among the Class A girls.
Brownsville’s Gionna Quarzo was the overall girls winner at 18:05.40. OLSH’s Haley Hamilton (4th overall, 19:31.70) was the top Class A girl.
Meanwhile in West Middlesex, both DuBois Central Catholic teams as well as the Clarion girls competed the 29th Annual Big Red Invite.
Central Catholic’s best finish came from Jaci Mennetti (35th, 22:17) on the girls’ side. She helped the Lady Cardinals to a 27th-place finish in the team standings with a 663.
Wilmington (133) won the girls title, while Clarion was 25th (608).
Joann Case was the second Lady Cardinal to cross the finish line in 164th place (27:19.54), while Maia Cogley (167, 27:33.68) and Maddy Miscavich (176th, 28:36.32) weren’t far behind her. Other DCC girls to compete were Madison Miller (202nd, 34:36.51), Rachel Miller (203rd, 34:48.18)
As for the Cardinals, they finished 29th in the team standings with a 798.
JP Piccirillo was the Cardinals’ top finisher in 77th place (19:04.36). Other Cardinals to compete were Dylan Foser (162nd, 21:22.69), Angelo Piccirillo (174th, 21:37.43), Dante Armanini (196th, 23:11.68), Aaron Gankosky (211th, 24:19.57), Loren Way (225th, 27:04.28) and Tristen Engle (228th, 34:19.80).
The Clarion girls got a Top 25 finish from Bella Scott, who was 23rd in 21:44.80. Teammate Grace Adams (24:49.86) was 110th.
Other Lady Cats to run were Aliyah Dittman (157th, 26:56.33), Corina Curry (180th, 29:09.83), Abi Frederick (196th, 31:35.69) and Grace Troese (204th, 36:39.46)