T-D HS Cross Country

Kachman tops field in AA boys

By: Cory Isenberg

SIDMAN — Bedford’s Will Kachman won his first District 6 Class AA individual cross country title on Saturday at the Forest Hills Middle School.
But the talented sophomore, who won in 16:18.6 and will make his second trip to the state championships set for Saturday in Hershey, had a little left in the tank at the end of the run.
“I also have a soccer game today so I didn’t want to push it too hard,” said Kachman, whose Bisons were set to defend their District 5-AA crown against Somerset on Saturday evening. “I didn’t want to not be able to play in that because that’s districts, too.
“I just run and want to get to the finish line as fast as I can without anyone passing me.”
Kachman said the start of the race was tough for him.
“The course here was wet again, but not as wet as last week at the Laurel Highlands meet,” said Kachman, who hopes to work on his hills training and finish this week in preparation for the state meet.
The Somerset boys were the Class AA team champs, finishing with 41 points and qualifying for the state championships. Bedford was second with 69 points followed by Bellefonte (81), St. Joseph’s Catholic (87) and Forest Hills (155).
“This is the second straight year that the boys have won at District 6, but they won the last two in District 5, too,” Somerset coach Tom Minnick said. “This group of seniors has won four straight so it’s a big thrill. The credit goes to them. They put a lot of work into it for four years. It’s going to be sad to see this bunch graduate.
“The kids believe in themselves and believe in their training. It wasn’t just starting to work in August when the season began it was working all summer long where we met several nights a week and kids did a lot of work on their own. It’s not a sport you win in September or October, you win by putting in the work all summer long.”
Nick Bastian was the top Golden Eagles finisher, second in 16:53.8. The other Somerset runners are: Ravi Desai (third), Shane Ickes (seventh), Jake Waggle (14th), Jim deVries (15th), Daniel Meyer (16th) and John Nicholson (35th).
The other area Class AA qualifier was Bedford’s Zane Baker.
In Class A, Central Cambria made it a sweep for the school, winning the boys title to go with the girls crown, which was won earlier in the day.
“I probably haven’t been this happy at districts in a long time,” Central Cambria coach Randy Wilson said. “This year’s boys’ team, in the past we’ve had to wait for the results. This year, they won with 42 and second place had 100 points. The boys were a non-factor last year and we barely had a .500 record. This year, they lost one dual meet, they won the conference meet and they just won districts. They just put in a hard five months of running. They all vowed that no individual goals were more important than the team goals. It’s a testament to hard work.”
Penns Valley was second followed by Westmont Hilltop (116), Blairsville (120) and Richland (138).
“The last time they won it was when these seniors were freshmen,” Wilson said. “This is the best boys team that I’ve ever coached, work ethic-wise and attitude-wise. The nicest thing about this season is that the teams got along so well and there is zero drama. They are just into running. (The late Houston Oiler coach) Bum Phillips said winning is only half of it and the other half is fun and that’s what this team is about.”
The highest Red Devils qualifier was Javaunte Neumann, who was third. The rest of the qualifiers for Central Cambria were: Justin Jeffers (fourth), Logan Brandis (eighth), Bryce Descavich (11th), Mike Walwro (21st), Max Murin (24th and Dave Barnes (31st).
Bryce England of Williamsburg was the Class A champion in 16:44.8, the second straight title for a runner who comes from a school that doesn’t even have its own cross country team.
The other area qualifiers are: Julius Eckroth and Andrew Murtha of Richland along with Grant Gagnon and Lewie Buchovich of Westmont.