The rain could not stop Cardinal O’Hara’s Olivia Arizin Thursday afternoon. Neither could the muddy conditions at Belmont Plateau nor the other runners in the field at the District 12 cross country championships.
The same can be said for Anthony Harper and David Whitfield of Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast.
None were going to be denied.
Arizin cruised to her third straight girls Class 3A individual title to pace the Lions to their fifth consecutive team title with yet another dominating performance.
A little while later, Harper and Whitfield finished 1-2 to lead the Friars to their third consecutive boys Class 2A team title.
Arizin, the 2015 Daily Times Runner of the Year in cross country, made a run at Grace Mancini’s course record (18 minutes, 48.79 seconds) despite the conditions. Arizin crossed the finish line in 18:51.30 — 83 seconds ahead of Jessica Nangle of Archbishop Wood.
Arizin’s teammates were not far behind. Christine, Eleanor and Elizabeth Mancini, and Sara Hayes all finished in 20:33.90 to help O’Hara easily win the team title (19 points) and earn a trip to next week’s PIAA Championships in Hersey. All five earned first-team All-Catholic honors.
Tess Gibbons of Archbishop Carroll also earned first-team All-Catholic honors and is headed to Hershey. She was 10th overall (20:44.80) to claim the last individual spot in the state championship from District 12.
In Class 2A, Jenna Rastatter placed fifth as Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast earned a third straight trip to the state meet the hard way.
The top two teams automatically qualify for the state meet. The next 10 runners not affiliated with those teams also advance. Corrina O’Lock (ninth), Charlotte McDermott (10th), Brigid O’Dea (11th), Maggie Salter (12th) and Hannah Bierling (21st) all made their way to Hershey along with Rastatter.
Harper topped Whitfield by 48 seconds to take the 2A individual boys title. It marked the third straight year that a runner from Bonner & Prendie won the individual title. Ryan Rastatter claimed the title in 2014 and Sean Sullivan won it last year. That 1-2 finish also helped the Friars edge Conwell-Egan, 69-71, for the team title.
In boys 3A, Cardinal O’Hara finished second behind La Salle to earn a trip to the state meet. Ryan James, Gavin Inglis, Patrick James, Jack Becker and Billy Donovan finished ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 14th, respectively, for the Lions.