UNION >> Even before the race, it figured to be a good meet.
Russell Keith maintained that opinion following the four-school Berks Conference meet Daniel Boone hosted Tuesday afternoon…even as his boys and girls teams ended up 1-2 in the final order of a competition dominated by Wilson and Gov. Mifflin.
The Boone boys, led by Ethan Shane and Zach Murray, outran Fleetwood 19-42 but were headed by Wilson (22-37) and Mifflin (26-29). The Bulldogs swept the four-way with help from a 21-35 win over the Mustangs.
As a result, the boys record moves to 4-2 in the Berks Conference and 9-3 overall.
On the girls’ side, the Blazers controlled Fleetwood, 18-45, with Lauren Reightneour’s ninth-place finish leading the way. But they lost to overall winner Wilson (17-40) and second-place Mifflin (15-44), the difference between the front-runners the Bulldogs’ 27-28 victory.
The girls move to 3-3 in the Berks Conference and 9-3 overall.
“The girls race was a good one, Mifflin and Wilson being the top teams in the county,” Keith said afterward. “The boys was the same, with them being the top teams in the county. We were a darkhorse.”
Jacob Underwood was literally the runaway winner on Boone’s home course, covering it in 17:33. Teammate Evan Royko was a somewhat distant second at the 18-minute mark, but only seconds ahead of GM front-runner Josiah Mansell, who placed third in 18:03.
Shane was one tick behind Mansell in fourth, clocking an 18:04. Murray followed as the overall fifth-place runner in 18:10.
“I think I ran good and hard,” Shane said. “I wish it was faster, but I got what I got.”
Diego Santos gave Boone another Top 10 finisher, placing ninth in 18:57. The rest of the Blazers’ pack was further down in the order, Jack Zummo 18th in 19:20 and Nathan Weaver 19th in 19:28.
“We knew their top people,” Shane said of the ‘Dogs, whose Top 10 finishers included Jared Baksic in seventh place (18:35), Matthew Witman in eighth (18:52) and Daniel Wegman in 10th (18:59). “We felt we could ran with them. I started out first over the first 800 yards but settled into fourth.”
Mifflin’s Luke Myers completed the Top 10, coming in sixth in 18:24.
“I feel we’re running well, making progress each week,” Keith said.
In the girls’ race, Wilson scored three of the first four spots around GM’s Ashlie Kline placing second. That, coupled with claiming the 10th and 11th places, gave the Bulldogs the edge over a Mustang unit that went 5-8 ahead of Boone’s Reightenouer, who clocked a 21:11.
Like Underwood on the boys’ side, Alison Willingmyre dominated the girls’ race. Willingmyre finished in 20:02, more than a minute ahead of Kline’s 20:10.
After Lindsay Sanger and Gabby Audi, a respective 3-4 for the ‘Dogs with times of 20:24 and 20:26, Mifflin’s Andrea Miller (20:30), Kelly Moyer (20:47), Nicole Moyer (21:02) and Joi Carter (21:04) scored the next four spots for the Mustangs.
Behind Reightneour, Boone got a 12th from Maeve Piccariello (22:08), a 15th from Emily Scott (22:46), a 17th from Hannah Moyer (22:54) and a 19th from Jules Wanner (23:28).
With its last home meet in the books, Boone now looks to next week’s four-way at Twin Valley which will also include Hamburg and Tulpehocken. After that will be the county, District 3 and PIAA meets.
“We’re definitely focused on the conference and district meets,” Keith said. “We’re getting to that point.”
NOTES >> Fleetwood’s boys fared slightly better than its girls on the day. The boys’ highest finisher was Shawn Delay, 11th overall in 19:02, while Izzy Oulette led the Tiger girls with her 14th-place (22:42) effort. The boys, however, had their top five runners place in the first 29 while the girls only had three finishers in their top 30. … Keith, sizing up Boone’s home course — one that boasts numerous hills as part of the layout: “Our kids are used to going up and down. We get a lot of hill training.”
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