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Perkiomen Valley’s Glodek takes fifth at PIAA Championships

HERSHEY >> Annie Glodek finished her scholastic cross-country career in fine fashion Saturday.

At the same time, the Perkiomen Valley star helped her program cap an equally-productive season with a run that could continue at a fast pace even after she’s gone.

Glodek claimed fifth place in the Class AAA race at the PIAA State Championships. She emerged as the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s lone medal winner in the event, covering the Parkview Course in a time of 18:32 to improve on last year’s 10th-place showing in the state meet.

“It’s good. It’s kind of what I wanted,” she said.

Glodek also factored prominently in PV’s third-place team finish. Though it didn’t meet the expectation, the showing nonetheless proved to be an all-time best for the program.

“This is our highest finish,” head coach Ryan Sullivan said of his squad, which came into the state meet as champions of both the PAC and District 1. “I’m proud of the girls.”

Glodek’s Top Five bid was contested by Abington Heights’ Katie Dammer, who finished two seconds behind her in sixth place, and Oakland Catholic’s Lauren Finikiotis, another two seconds back in seventh. But the PAC’s three-time individual champion, who placed third in District 1’s 3A race last Friday, kept on track in a race dominated by Downingtown West’s Aislinn Devlin (17:44) and North Allegheny’s Lauren Finikiotis (17:46).

“By the end of the first mile, I was running maybe 10th,” Glodek recalled. “I went through the next mile fast, progressively passing girls on the hills and flats. Once I got ahead of the girls from Abington Heights, I was running scared to the end of the race.”

“Annie’s time was down 20 seconds,” Sullivan added. “That was one of the positives today.”

Behind Glodek, PV’s team of Teaghan Schein-Becker (27th, 19:57), Michele Daniels (33rd, 20:05), Julia Dorley (45th, 20:18) and Jocelyn Rotay (54th, 20:35) combined for a team score of 164 points. Cardinal O’Hara (107 points) was the team champion, with Oakland Catholic (146) runner-up.

“It’s definitely great,” Glodek added. “The team had its ups and downs, but it was focused for today. I’m proud of everyone.”

Glodek and Michele Daniels are the lone seniors in that group. Two other underclassmen, freshman Liz Gama (64th, 20:51) and sophomore Rachael Daniels (89th, 21:29) were part of the Vikings’ solid crew this fall.

“We have a lot of talent coming back,” Sullivan said.

The PAC’s next highest finishers, behind Glodek, were Owen J. Roberts’ Allison Brunton and Mary Bernotas. Brunton, a senior, finished her time in the Wildcat program with a 30th-place (19:27) showing while Bernotas, a junior, was 40th in 19:43.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Brunton, who ran a 19:42 in placing 48th as a junior, said. “I wish I could have done better on the hills. But it was better than last year.”

Bernotas made even more improvement from 2015, when she was a distant 159th in a time of 20:38.

Boyertown senior Gillian Kasitz, who returned to the sport after being away from it her junior year, was 58th in 19:59. Phoenixville’s Natalie Serwatka and Spring-Ford’s Isabella Marchini, both seniors, placed 79th and 91st in respective times of 20:12 and 20:20.

Spring-Ford’s Gabriella Bamford and Emily Smith followed in 132nd and 138th place with times of 20:52 and 20:55.

In the girls AA race, the PAC’s lone qualifier — Serena Detweiler of Upper Perkiomen — placed 171st with a time of 22:21.

The boys AAA race saw Spring-Ford’s Shane Ainscoe place 104th in 17:18. Owen J. Roberts junior Liam Conway, the PAC’s individual champion, was 111th in 17:20, and Boyertown junior Dominic DeRafelo placed 176th (18:01).

In the boys AA event, Upper Perkiomen senior Landon Detweiler finished 46th with a time of 17:11. Teammate Sam Daub came in 147th with an 18:25 clocking.

Pope John Paul II’s John Schiele, running at the state level the first time, was 161st in 18:36.

The top 25 boys and girls runners in each class received medals. The members of the champion and runner-up teams were awarded medals, with the teams receiving trophies.

Elsewhere across District One:

Boys

Connor McMenamin literally wanted to cover lost ground.

He did it in a big way Saturday.

The Souderton senior scored a sixth-place finish in the PIAA Class AAA race at Hershey, covering the Parkview Course in 16 minutes to barely become the highest-finishing Suburban one League runner in that event. It turned out be a marked improvement over his previous state-level runs.

“My sophomore year, I was 31st,” McMenamin recalled. “My junior year, I was running in the Top 10, but over the last 100 meters I fell and finished 41st.”

There was no stumbles for him this time around. Running fifth after the first mile, McMenamin ran in a pack behind race leaders Noah Affolder of Carlisle (15:33), Nathan Henderson of J.P. McCaskey (15:48) and Sam Affolder of Carlisle (15:50).

Ephrata’s Zach Lefever and Butler’s Noah Beveridge (both 15:59) had the edge on him at the finish. But McMenamin had an equally-close edge on Council Rock North’s Ryan Campbell (16:01), who followed him in seventh place.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of movement,” he said. “It was a pack of me and five others. Toward the end, we got spread out.”

Henderson’s Spencer Smucker was 12th in a time of 16:17, and Downingtown West’s Jake O’Neill finished 17th in 16:24. Council Rock North had other high placers in Bryan Keller (23rd, 16:28), Sam Early (25th, 16:30) and Tim Haas (26th, 16:30).

McMenamin’s Souderton teammate, Joe Breen, placed 99th. North Penn’s Brendan O’Toole (155th) and Colin Grace (194th) were other individual runners in the 214-contestant Class AAA field.

Council Rock North was the big-school team champion with 76 points. Downingtown West was third in the AAA standings (158 points), with West Chester Henderson eighth (247) and Central Bucks West ninth (249).

In the Class A event, Christopher Dock’s Tim Kennel was eighth in 16:51.

Girls

Aislinn Devlin improved on her previous finish in the PIAA Class AAA race at Hershey Saturday.

It may have been only a one-place improvement, but it was the biggest step up possible.

The Downingtown West senior capped her scholastic cross-country career by winning a state championship. A second-place finisher last year, Devlin (17:44) crossed the finish line two seconds ahead of North Allegheny’s Clara Savchik, completing a near-perfect 2016 campaign that culminated with her winning the Ches-Mont League and District 1-AAAA races.

“I came in here with goals,” Devlin said. “I’m pretty excited about this.”

Taking the lead with 1,000 meters in, Devlin was challenged Savchik as they approached the final stretch of the Parkview Course. But she got back in front with about 150 meters to go, her kick sewing up the big win.

Unionville’s Anna Juul (18:11) finished a distant third, with North Penn’s Ariana Gardizy (18:47) ninth. Conestoga’s Dominique Shultz (18th, 19:00), North Penn’s Olivia Dyer (22nd, 19:13) and Unionville’s Madison McGovern (23rd) 19:13) were other 3A medalists.

in the Class AA race, Lansdale Catholic’s Kayla Connelly placed fourth in 19:18.

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