T-D HS Cross Country

55 local athletes to compete at cross country state meet

By: Cory Isenberg

JOHNSTOWN — Cross country runners know that the success they achieve in October and November is directly attributed to the hard work that they put forth in the summer and during the regular season.
All of those workouts come to fruition today at the PIAA Cross Country Championships in Hershey.
Fifty-five area runners – 25 boys and 30 girls – will represent the area in Class A and AA competition against the rest of the state’s best when the races get started at 9:30 a.m. on the Parkview Course.
Four of the area runners are district champions, with three of them from the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference.
From District 6, sophomore Will Kachman of Bedford is the boys Class AA champ while Westmont Hilltop senior Hannah Dorian is the Class AA girls winner and Penn Cambria junior Arlee Simendinger is the Class A girls titlist. All three runners are making a return to the PIAA championships.
The District 5-A girls champion is Windber senior Annalee Tokarsky, who is also returning to the state meet.
Dorian expressed the sentiments of the other champions.
“I’m excited to be returning to states,” said the Hilltoppers’ runner, who has also been in the PIAA Swimming and Diving Championships, after the district championships.
The other area girls racing for individual crowns in Class A are: Allyson Kopera of Northern Cambria, Tori Kocsis of Richland, Ryleigh Ludwig of United, Harley Nelen of Cambria Heights, Kimberly Bischof of Chestnut Ridge, Meyersdale’s Marsha Baker, Rockwood’s Karen Dice and Johnstown Christian’s Maddie Sprankle.
In Class AA, Westmont junior Maura Glennon and Forest Hills freshman Tricia Varner will also be racing for individual titles.
The other Class A boys headed to the state meet are Julius Eckroth and Andrew Murtha of Richland and Grant Gagnon and Lewie Buchovich of Westmont Hilltop along with Shanksville’s Joseph Swank. Bedford’s Zane Baker will join his teammate in the Class AA race.
The girls of Central Cambria and Penn Cambria will be running for team titles in Class A and Somerset will be racing for a team title in Class AA.
Team members for the Red Devils include four freshmen – Samantha Koss, Emma Wess, Sydney Gilkey and Kaitlyn McKeel along with sophomores Jackie Bracken and Hannah Swope and junior Jordan Hayward.
The Panthers in addition to Simendinger are Sara Clauto, Shelly Pompa, Danielle Pompa, Monica Lee, Sarah Hurley and Alli Reese.
The Golden Eagles team members are Jane Woy, Haylee Rohrer, Rebecca Herwig, Caroline Heckman, Lexi Overcash, Sarah Strope and Anna Chan.
The boys of Central Cambria and Meyersdale will be racing for Class A team crowns while Somerset’s boys will be in the battle for a Class AA crown.
The Red Devils are Javaunte Neumann, Justin Jeffers, Logan Brandis, Bryce Descavich, Mike Walwro, Max Murin and Dave Barnes. The Red Raiders who will compete at the state meet are Christian Hutzell, Tanner Hetrick, Jacob Knotts, Kendall Swick, Evan Shankle, Addison Holyfield and Max Caton.
From Somerset are Nick Bastian, Ravi Desai, Shane Ickes, Jake Waggle, Jim deVries, Daniel Meyer and John Nicholson.

Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/coryisenbergTD.