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By Mike Copper, Tom Reisenweber, Jeff Kirik Erie Times-News staff bloggers
The Varsity blog is the 2013 winner of an international EPPY award for best sports blog. EPPYs are awarded to media-affiliated websites by Editor & Publisher, an industry trade publication. Varsity is primarily maintained by Times-News sports writers Mike Copper and Tom Reisenweber and sports editor Jeff Kirik.   Read more about this blog.
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Posts categorized "Cross country"
Posted: February 2nd, 2014

Union City cross country coach Jeannette Boyd reverted to competitor mode for Saturday’s Run Through Little Russia 5K Run-Walk.

Boyd, 38, did more than participate in the eastside Erie event, she was an overall winner. She broke the tape for the women’s running title with a low time of 20 minutes, 3 seconds.

Erie’s Pamela Wassell, 50, was second (21:44) and Kate Amatuzzo, 28, third (22:23).

– Mike Copper

Posted: January 25th, 2014

Hershey has been the ultimate destination for most of the PIAA’s fall athletic programs over the years. It will remain that way after its board of directors voted where to stage upcoming finals during that season at its Jan. 22 board of directors meeting.

State championships in football, soccer, cross country and tennis will be determined in Chocolatetown each year through 2017. Hersheypark Stadium will host the football and soccer finals, cross country at the Parkview course outside the Giant Center, and tennis at the Hershey Racquet Club.

The PIAA golf tournament returns to York’s Heritage Hills Golf Resort for another three seasons. Field hockey, a sport not played in northwestern Pennsylvania, will hold its state finals at Whitehall High School.

A site for the PIAA girls volleyball finals, held at Central York High School in recent seasons, wasn’t voted on during the meeting. The board will announce in March where those future matches will be held.

– Mike Copper

Posted: January 1st, 2014

Here’s a look at the District 10 champions from the fall season:

Class A – Lakeview
Class AA - Hickory
Class AAA – Cathedral Prep
Boys soccer
Class A – Mercyhurst Prep
Class AA - Harbor Creek
Class AAA – McDowell
Girls soccer
Class A – Wilmington
Class AA – Hickory
Class AAA – McDowell
Girls volleyball
Class A - Cochranton
Class AA – Conneaut
Class AAA – McDowell
Girls tennis
Class AA singles – Lauren Petrella, Mercyhurst Prep
Class AA doubles - Katie Elia and Brittany McBride, Mercyhurst Prep
Class AA team – Mercyhurst Prep
Class AAA singles - Adrianna Jeffress, McDowell
Class AAA doubles – Lauren Fadden and Larissa Chen, McDowell
Class AAA team – McDowell
Boys cross country
Class A individual – Sebastian Curtin, Mercyhurst Prep
Class A team – Saegertown
Class AA individual – Aaron Benka, Grove City
Class AA team – Grove City
Class AAA individual – Bobby Danielson, Central Tech
Class AAA team – McDowell
Girls cross country
Class A individual – Reilly Walsh, Cambridge Springs
Class A team – West Middlesex
Class AA individual – Lexi Bible, Hickory
Class AA team – Villa Maria
Class AAA individual - Kelsey Swantek, McDowell
Class AAA team – McDowell
Boys golf
Class AA individual – Matt McCord, Titusville
Class AA team – Titusville
Class AAA individual – Andrew Britton, Cathedral Prep
Class AAA team – Cathedral Prep
Girls golf
Class AA individual – Megan Moylan, North East
Class AA team – Villa Maria
Class AAA individual – Megan Kaverman, McDowell
Class AAA team – McDowell

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: January 1st, 2014

We’ll be wrapping up the fall season today with several posts. Here is a look at the District 10 Player of the Year for each sport:

Football – Blake Reddick, Lakeview
Boys soccer – Eric Campbell, Harbor Creek
Girls soccer – Sara Suler, Hickory
Girls volleyball – Challen Litwiler, Conneaut
Girls tennis – Katie Elia and Brittany McBride, Mercyhurst Prep
Boys cross country – Sebastian Curtin, Mercyhurst Prep and Jeremy Parsons, Maplewood
Girls cross country – Reilly Walsh, Cambridge Springs
Boys golf – Andrew Britton, Cathedral Prep
Girls golf – Megan Moylan, North East

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: December 23rd, 2013

Runners with current ties to District 10 cross country swept the top three spots in the female open division at Sunday’s Miller Mistletoe Mile. The race was connected by Heard Park and Gibson Park in North East.

Villa Maria junior Grace Trucilla was the women’s overall gold medalist with an even time of 5 minutes, 51 seconds. Trucilla is a returning PIAA track champion for the Victors.

Second place went to Jeannette Boyd. The Union City girls cross country coach crossed the finish line in 6:02.3.

Third went to Taylor Pletz (6:10.3), who recently completed her junior cross country season at Mercyhurst Prep.

– Mike Copper

Posted: December 15th, 2013

Morgan Schenberg, who led the Saegertown boys cross country team to the 2013 PIAA Class A championship, was an age-group winner at Saturday’s Snowflake 5K. The race, sponsored by the Erie Runners Club, was held at Presque Isle State Park.

Schenberg easily won the event’s male 16-19 division with a time of 18 minutes, 46 seconds. Erie’s Sam Chodubski was the silver medalist in that group at 29:13.

Morgan Schenberg and his brother Matt are seniors at Saegertown. They led the Panthers to the school’s first PIAA team title of any kind when they respectively placed 14th and 37th in the Class A boys race at Hershey on Nov. 2.

– Mike Copper

Posted: November 29th, 2013

Four District 10 runners had significant results during Thursday’s Turkey Trot 5K at Presque Isle State Park.

Juniors Dan Wilcko of Fairview and Grace Trucilla of Villa Maria each placed third overall in the Thanksgiving morning event. Wilcko was timed at 17 minutes, 35.6 seconds in the men’s open standings, while Trucilla was the bronze medalist in the women’s open division at 20:49.1.

Cambridge Springs junior Reilly Walsh was the event’s fastest runner in the age 13-19 female division. The Erie Times-News female cross country runner of the year for 2013 crossed the finish line in 21:18.2.

Nick Samsel, a senior teammate of Wilcko at Fairview, was the male 13-19 titlist at 18:09.9.

– Mike Copper

Posted: November 3rd, 2013

The Saegertown boys cross counry team made history inside and outside the school when it claimed the 2013 PIAA Class A team title Saturday.

Saegertown, with 60 points, won the state’s small-school team trophy at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey. That made them the first Panthers’ athletic program of any kind to receive a PIAA team trophy, according to coach Bill Hetrick.

Saegertown’s achievement also made the team the first from District 10 to win a state cross country championship since the North East boys (Class AA) in 2007. The Panthers are the first Crawford County boys program to do that, with the Titusville girls (Class AA) victorious in 1977 and 1994.

– Mike Copper

Posted: November 2nd, 2013

Updates from today’s PIAA cross country championships in Hershey:

The PIAA cross country championships have concluded. Not a great ending for District 10 in the Class AAA boys race. McDowell finished 18th out of 19 teams. The top D-10 runner was Cathedral Prep’s Pat Kloecker in 113th place with a 17:32.

The District 10 Class AA boys didn’t fare as well as Class A down in Hershey. Grove City finished in fifth place and General McLane was 19th. Ryan Budnik finished in eighth place with a 16:50, while Aaron Benka was in 10th with a 16:51. That was it for the top 50 as Slippery Rock’s Andrew Maxwell was 53rd with a 17:38. General McLane’s Lukas Hallett finished in 63rd with a 17:42. Grove City had a third finisher in the top 100 as Braydon Pyle ran a 17:47 to take 73rd, while Meadville’s Kyle Rose was 77th with a 17:48.

District 10 runners dominated the PIAA Class A race, as Saegertown claimed a state title.  The Panthers, led by Morgan Schenberg’s 17:01, had five runners finish with sub-18-minute times as their 60 points outdistanced second-place Masterman (93) by 33 points. Meanwhile, Mercyhurst Prep placed fifth (199) and Seneca took sixth (200). In the individual race, D-10 again dominated, as three D-10 runners finished among the top six and five placed among the top 14. Maplewood’s Jeremy Parsons led the way with a second-place finish and a time of 16:25. His twin brother, Jake, placed sixth in 16:47. District 10 champion Sebastian Curtin of Mercyhurst Prep closed an outstanding season with a third-place fi

Central Tech’s Colleen Campbell led all District 10 girls in the Class AAA race with a time of 21:26 and a 162nd-place finish among 220 runners. McDowell’s Kelsey Swantek (21:53) finished 180th as the Trojans placed 18th among 18 teams. Strong Vincent’s Courtney Sargent finished in 22:12.

Villa Maria put together another impressive performance at the PIAA cross country championships today in Hershey. The Victors finished in third place as a team behind Dallas and Archbishop Wood. Claire Brown led Villa by running the race in 20 minutes, 27 seconds to finish in 38th place, while freshman Carlee Constable was 40th with a 20:29. Grace Trucilla ran a 20:42 to finish in 53rd place, while Bernadette Prichard was one second behind to take 55th.

Also in Class AA girls, Hickory finished in 10th place. Lexi Bible led the Hornets with a 20:10 to finish in 31st place, while Jackie Abraham ran a 20:40 to finish in 50th place. Bible was the top District 10 finisher in the Class AA race, followed by Grove City’s Catie Jaskowak in 36th place at 20:25. Slippery Rock freshman Tabitha Donaldson (20:50) finished in 70th place, and Haley Boyd (20:56) of Hickory took 78th. Taylor Pletz (21:04) of Mercyhurst Prep also finished in the top 100 in 86th place, and Franklin freshman Savanna Carr (21:10) in 95th place.

In the Class A race, Wilmington finished fifth to pass up District 10 champion West Middlesex, which came in seventh. Allison Baldwin led Wilmington by running a 21:17 to finish in 55th place, and Hannah Winters was 62nd with a 21:25. Freshman Lexi Brumbaugh ran a 21:37 to finish in 73rd, and Kate Robb ran a 21:56 to come in 90th place. Chloe Tyillian paced West Middlesex by running a 20:28 to finish in 25th place, and Kristen White was 58th with a 21:20. Alyson Pierce ran a 21:34 to finish in 69th place for the Big Reds.

Cambridge Springs junior Reilly Walsh was the top District 10 finished by running a 20:02 and finishing 11th place. Rocky Grove’s Maggie Prorok was right behind in 12th place with a 20:10. North East freshman Kate McIntosh ran a 20:23 to take 23rd, while Olivia Mamula of Cambridge Springs was 29th with a 20:42. Kelsey Leasure of Seneca finished 35th with a 20:49, and Youngsville’s Brooke Messinger wasn’t far behind at 21:02 to take 42nd. Maplewood’s Savannah Phillips was 48th with a 21:08, while Sharpsville’s Maddie Przicina ran a 21:27 to take 64th place. Freshman Emma Verdonik (North East) and Alyssa Boyd (Union City) capped a successful day for District 10 runners finishing in the top 100. Verdonik ran a 21:48 to come in 80th, and Boyd was 87th with a 21:55.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Cross country
Posted: October 27th, 2013

Lexi Bible of Hickory wins the District 10 Class AA championship. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Nick Mays

I’ve been covering the District 10 cross country championship meet for five years now and I’ve never seen the Buhl Park course in better condition than it was on Saturday. Usually rain makes the course muddy and hard to compete in, but a lack of rain helped the course stay almost mud-free throughout the afternoon. Despite chilly temperatures, D-10 runners took advantage of the solid conditions to produce impressive times. Hickory sophomore Lexi Bible won the Class AA race with a time of 19 minutes, 37 seconds. Her teammate, Jackie Abraham broke 20 minutes by running a 19:53 to finish third, while Villa Maria’s Claire Brown took second at 19:45. Villa Maria overcame injuries and illness to win the Class AA team title and will get a chance to finish in the top 5 again next weekend at the Parkview Course in Hershey at the PIAA meet. The Victors finished in fourth place last fall. Villa will send Brown, Carlee Constable, Catie Cacchione, Bernadette Prichard, Alison Carson, Grace Trucilla and Olivia Messina to Hershey. Hickory came in second and will be represented in Hershey by Bible, Abraham, Haley Boyd, Bailey Brown, Kyra Henderson, Christa Marrie and Paige Brown. D-10 also qualified 10 Class AA individual runners. Taylor Pletz (Mercyhurst Prep), Brie Sutherland (Corry), Catie Jaskowak (Grove City), Morgan Price (General McLane), Savanna Carr (Franklin), Brooke Phelps (Conneaut), Meredith Prather (Meadville), Tabitha Donaldson (Slippery Rock), Gina Majczyk (Mercyhurst Prep) and Victoria Evankovich (General McLane) are headed to Hershey.

•In an interesting format this year, the Class A and AAA fields combined to run in the same race. Cambridge Springs junior Reilly Walsh won the combined race with a 19:37, while Chloe Tyillian (West Middlesex) came in second with a 19:44. Tyillian’s effort helped the Big Reds win the team title by edging Wilmington by 15 points. West Middlesex will send Tyillian, Kristen White, Alyson Pierce, Sophia Kachulis, Jordan Aubel, Anna Zrile and Helena Zrile to Hershey, while the Greyhounds will be represented by Hannah Winter, Kate Robb, Hannah Drake, Lexi Brumbaugh, Allison Baldwin, Rikki Brumbaugh and Isabel Sherwood. Along with the Big Reds and ‘Hounds, District 10 qualified 10 Class A runners in Walsh, Brooke Messinger (Youngsville), Olivia Mamula (Cambridge Springs), Kelsey Leasure (Seneca), Maggie Prorok (Rocky Grove), Kate McIntosh (North East), Emma Verdonik (North East), Maddie Przicina (Sharpsville), Alyssa Boyd (Union City) and Savannah Phillips (Maplewood).

•In Class AAA, McDowell’s Kelsey Swantek won her second District 10 championship. Swantek won the title as a freshman before having a down sophomore year. She stormed back this fall to run the course in 20:26 and beat the field by 20 seconds. Swantek’s efforts helped the Trojans win the team title by five points over talented DuBois. Kaitlin Daubert, Ashley Buseck, Francesca Sicari, Marissa Flagg, Alina Nieratko and Jamie Laughlin are headed to Hershey for McDowell. Qualifying as individual runners were Colleen Campbell (Central Tech), Stephanie Graham (DuBois), Brittany Gunsallus (DuBois), Nicole Althof (Strong Vincent) and Courtney Sargent (Strong Vincent).

Jeremy Parsons, left, and Sebastian Curtin battle for position during the District 10 Class A, AAA race. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/Nick Mays

•One of the most impressive races of the day was the Class A, AAA boys race. Mercyhurst Prep’s Sebastian Curtin ran a 15:57 to win the race and beat out Maplewood’s Jeremy Parsons, the defending D-10 champion. Curtin has lost one race all season, a loaded invitational that includes top runners from six states earlier this year. He was right behind Parsons throughout the first two miles before making his move and running a time that would have won the PIAA Class A title last fall. Jeremy and Jake Parsons, who finished 1-2 ahead of Curtin last year, both qualified as individual runners after finishing 2-3 this year. Their teammate, Hanz Wentz, finished fourth and will also head to Hershey. Class A individual qualifiers also include Dan Wilcko (Fairview), Nick Samsel (Fairview), Dylan Foley (Greenville), Devin VanGuilder (Eisenhower), Nathan White (Commodore Perry), Gary Olson (North East), Connor Walsh (Cambridge Springs), David Johnson (West Middlesex), Logan Herzberger (Cochranton), Levi Canon (West Middlesex), Nathan Kline (Cochranton) and Daniel Gardner (Union City). While Maplewood had several top runners, it was Saegertown’s depth that handed the Panthers the D-10 Class A team title. Brendon Barclay, Morgan Schenberg, Brad Amy, Matt Schenberg, Wyatt Fleischer, Garrett Johnston and Chris Guy are headed to Hershey for the Panthers, while Mercyhurst Prep and Seneca also qualified as teams. Sean Patrick Brady, Noah Curtin, Nick Scrimenti, Luke Cancilla, Aaron Haas and Max Wasielewski will join Sebastian Curtin in Hershey for the Lakers, while Phoenix Myers, Paris Enterline, Donovan Myers, Corey Nadolny, Adam Hanes, Andy Hanes and Jake Law will run for Seneca.

•Central Tech’s Bobby Danielson had a big performance Saturday to win the District 10 Class AAA championship. He finished the course in 16:48 and Cathedral Prep’s Pat Kloecker was second. Both qualified as individual runners for the PIAA meet, along with Curtis Royek (Corry), Jacob Ames (Central Tech) and Micah Cantaral (DuBois). Like the girls, the McDowell boys won the team title and will head to Hershey. Dante Stefanelli, Zach Dulabon, Keegan Fordyce, Nathan Moisier, Ben Nichilo, Michael Brink and John Paul Bielanin will represent McDowell.

•Grove City continued its tradition of dominant performances in the D-10 meet Saturday. Aaron Benka won the Class AA race, while Ryan Budnik was second and Braydon Pyle was fourth. The trio helped the Eagles easily win the team title, while Ryan Whiteman, Dillon McConnell, Jordan Powell and John Paul Depew contributed for Grove City. All seven runners are headed to Hershey with General McLane, which finished in second place. Lukas Hallett, Grant Shields, Ian Parker, Ryan Goff, Hunter Hendricks, Matt Bucko and Ryan Sibbald will represent the Lancers in the PIAA meet. D-10 also had individual qualifiers in Andrew Maxwell (Slippery Rock), Calvin Gealy (Wilmington), Austin King (Oil City), Kyle Rose (Meadville), Matt Svetz (Meadville), Christian Ladabu (Conneaut), Jake Lehotsky (Fort LeBoeuf), John Danvers (Franklin), Matthew Wheeler (Northwestern) and Logan Griffen (Hickory).

PIAA Class AA champion Mercyhurst Prep girls tennis team

•A big congratulations goes out to the Mercyhurst Prep girls tennis team. The Lakers ran their winning streak to 38 matches by winning their second straight PIAA Class AA championship on Saturday. The outcome was never in doubt as Mercyhurst Prep clinched every match with straight-set wins. The Lakers have produced one of the strongest tennis programs in the state the past few years. Mercyhurst Prep has the longest active winning streak in the state and seems to reload every year no matter who graduates.

•Links galore: Here are links to the football, soccer and volleyball brackets. The District 10 soccer playoffs officially began Thursday as McDowell beat Strong Vincent 3-0 in the Class AAA girls soccer championship. The soccer continues Monday, while volleyball begins Tuesday. The football brackets were announced late Saturday night and still have one spot left to be decided in Class A. If Maplewood beats Kennedy Catholic, they are in the playoffs. Iroquois can get in with a win over Lakeview and Maplewood loss to Kennedy Catholic. Mercyhurst Prep would need a small miracle to get into the postseason. The Lakers need all three teams to finish with the same overall record then win a coin toss. Also, here is a link to video highlights of the District 10 cross country meet.

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted: October 26th, 2013

–Tom Reisenweber

Posted in: Cross country
Posted: October 15th, 2013

Cross country
Region 1
Commodore Perry swept Jamestown
Kennedy Catholic at Lakeview, 4 p.m.
West Middlesex swept Sharpsville
Region 2
Grove City at Reynolds, 4 p.m.
Greenville swept Slippery Rock
Hickory swept Wilmington
Oil City at Youngsville, 4 p.m.

Girls soccer
Region 1
Sharpsville 3, Kennedy Catholic 0
Mercer 5, Sharon 1
Wilmington 10, West Middlesex 0
Region 2
Slippery Rock 5, Meadville 0
Grove City 6, Oil City 0
Hickory 14, Titusville 0
Region 3
Seneca 1, Fairview 0
Conneaut 3, Maplewood 0
North East 9, Eisenhower 0
Region 4
Villa Maria 15, Corry 0
Mercyhurst Prep 3, Bradford 1
Region 5
Fort LeBoeuf 8, Cambridge Springs 4
General McLane 3, Girard 0
Region 6
Strong Vincent 2, Central Tech 1
Harbor Creek 3, Iroquois 0

Girls volleyball
Region 1
Sharpsville def Commodore Perry 25-12, 25-15, 25-10
Reynolds def Jamestown 23-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-8
Farrell def Kennedy Catholic 25-16, 26-28, 25-18, 25-18
West Middlesex def Lakeview 25-21, 26-24, 26-24
Region 2
Cambridge Springs def Saegertown 25-22, 25-16, 17-25, 25-18
Union City def Eisenhower 25-8, 25-23, 25-15
Cochranton def Rocky Grove 25-8, 25-7, 25-10
Maplewood def Youngsville 25-12, 25-17, 25-11
Region 3
Wilmington def Greenville 25-15, 25-12, 25-13
Hickory def Mercer 27-25, 26-24, 25-9
Slippery Rock def Sharon 25-10, 26-24, 25-15
Region 4
Corry def Oil City 25-12, 25-11, 25-18
Conneaut def Franklin 25-11, 25-8, 25-17
Titusville def Warren 27-25, 26-24,25-16
Region 5
Fort LeBoeuf def North East 25-22, 25-19, 25-17
General McLane def Girard 25-15, 25-15, 23-25, 25-22
Iroquois def Seneca 25-23, 25-22, 25-18
Fairview def Northwestern 25-19, 26-24, 25-17
Region 6
McDowell def Harbor Creek 25-12, 25-15, 25-27, 25-15
Mercyhurst Prep def Central Tech 25-17, 25-17, 25-21
Villa Maria def East 25-11, 25-9, 22-25, 25-21

Girls water polo
Western Conference
McDowell 11, Fairview 9

–Tom Reisenweber

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