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2017 Mercury-Area Girls Cross Country Preview

Boyertown

Head coach: Ryan Knox, third season.

Last year’s record: 2-3 PAC Liberty Division.

Runners to watch: Danielle Elsier, Sr.; Alyssa Mraz, Sr.; Amanda Murray, Sr.; Maddie Pratt, Sr.; Madalyn Hunsberger, Jr.; Mallory Schmidt, Jr.

Outlook: Hunsberger marked her sophomore season by finishing 13th in the PAC meet and 40th in District 1’s Class AAA race. … We have many returning runners and many seniors on our squad,” Knox said. “This is a tight-knit group of girls who have improved tremendously over their running careers at BASH. Our top female is expected to be Maddie Hunsberger, coming off a significant injury, with senior leadership coming from Amanda Murray, Danielle Elsier, Maddie Pratt and newcomer Alyssa Mraz. Junior Mallory Schmidt will be contributor to our varsity scorers. We have a very strong younger class coming into our program that will grow this season and beyond.”

Daniel Boone

Head coach: Russ Keith, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 3-4 Berks Division 1, 11-4 overall.

Runners to watch: McKalley Bolam, Sr.; Ashley Cimino, Sr.; Belle Okkerse, Sr.; Maeve Picariello, Sr.; Jocelyn Shank, Jr.; Noelle Sprenkle, Jr.; Abby Bulufka, Soph.; Carlina Davis, Soph.; Vivian Kase, Soph.; Sierra Rivera, Soph.

Outlook: A freshman, Ashley Benoit, is also in the mix for the Blazers. … Picariello placed 73rd in last year’s District 3-AAA meet, helping Boone to a 19th-place team finish. … “Very young team with lots of depth,” Keith said. “Boone is expected to have a strong pack, but team success will be based on a few to step up and be strong front runners. The girls’ team is hoping for a top 5 finish in the Berks League.”

Hill School

Head coach: Daniel McMains, eighth season.

Last year’s record: 2-1 Mid-Atlantic Prep League, 4-2 overall.

Runners to watch: Caroline Lee, Sr.; Jessica Hess, Jr.; Paige Barcus, Soph.; Ally Lomire, Soph.; Chevelle Obuobi-Donker. Soph.; Olivia Tullman, Soph.

Outlook: A freshman, Cassidy Beeding, is also working with the Blues. … “Last year’s team was very talented and graduated only one of our top five runners,” McMains said. “We return two All-League selections and add several new, young and talented girls to the team. If we can gain some experience early in the season, and go into league and state championships with some confidence, we will be very strong this year.”

Methacton

Head coach: Steve Mahan, 35th season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Liberty Division.

Runners to watch: Maura Duffy, Sr.; Mira Erzhanova, Sr.; Julia Foley, Sr.; Sarah Nicoletti, Sr.; Anna Price, Sr.; Olivia Leber, Jr.; Julia Malachowski, Jr.; Becky Sobeck, Jr.; Mia Sheldon, Soph.; Carly Ukalovic, Soph.; Maddy Ziegler, Soph.

Outlook: Freshman Maya Leber is also in the mix for the Warriors. … “This is a hard-working team that has put some miles on during the summer runs,” Mahan said. “They have been dedicated to their training during the preseason part of the schedule. We hope to develop some mental toughness and make our opponents race when they meet us out on the course.”

Norristown

Head coach: Bill Schearer, second season.

Last year’s record: 0-5 PAC Liberty Division, 0-6 overall.

Runners to watch: Valaria Sanchez, Jr.; Yamilet Munoz, So.

Outlook: The Eagle roster features a pair of newcomers in Mariela Moran and Valerie Tellez. … “We will continue to recruit and grow this part of our team,” Schearer said.

Owen J. Roberts

Head coach: David Michael, 42nd season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Liberty Division, 7-1 overall.

Runners to watch: Mary Bernotas, Sr.;  Madison Frederick, Sr.; Erica Hild, Sr.; Alex Glasier, Sr.; Quinn Kratz, Sr.; Samantha Muntzer, Sr.; Autumn Sands, Sr.; MacKenzie Kurtz, Jr.; Hanna Pugh, Jr.; Emma Torak, Jr.; Linette Fogwell, Soph.; Maddie Friel, Soph.; Hannah Kopec, Soph.; Charley Lustig, Soph.; Mikayla Niness, Soph.

Outlook: The team’s roster is bolstered by freshmen Emily Glasier and Jeanne Tokay. … “We are working hard and looking to be a very competitive team in the PAC and District 1,” Michael said. “We have a strong core group with great leadership abilities, and they have been working hard to be able to compete at a high level again this season.”

Perkiomen Valley

Head coach: Ryan Sullivan, 16th season.

Last year’s record: 5-0 PAC Liberty Division, 9-0 overall.

Runners to watch: Rachele Daniels, Sr.; Julia Dorley, Sr.; Teagan Schein-becker;  Jocelyn Rotay, Jr.; Elizabeth Gamma, So.

Outlook: Freshmen Anna Marie Bonner and Delaney O’Sullivan are also running with the Vikings. … Schein-becker placed third in the PAC meet. Daniels (fifth), Rotay (10th), Dorley (11th) and Gamma (19th) were other high PV finishers behind graduated champion Annie Glodek. … The girls return five of top seven from last year’s undefeated PAC championship team that placed third at states. … “We enjoyed a productive summer of training, led by Julia Dorley, Teagan Schein-becker and Rachael Daniels,” Sullivan said. “A large portion of the team is back and has also added some new talent to fill out top seven. We’re looking for competition within league to build to big things at the end of the season.”

Phoenixville

Head coach: Colleen Murphy, second season.

Last year’s record: 3-2 PAC Frontier Division, 4-2 overall.

Runners to watch: Emily Visnov, Sr.; Julia Hihi, Jr.; Madison O’Neil, Fr.

Outlook: “While we lost a lot of senior leadership from last year,” Murphy said, “our upperclassman have stepped up as leaders. We also have some strong freshman talent to help make what looks like a strong year for our program.”

Pope John Paul II

Head coach: Matt Kavanagh, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Frontier Division (0-5?).

Runners to watch: Grace Cobaugh, Sr.; Caroline Frattone, Sr.; Lauren Nicholas, Sr.; Julia Costello, Jr.; Natalie Florig, So.

Outlook: Cobaugh was 38th in last year’s District 1-AA. … “For the girls’ season,” Kavanagh said, “they look to rebound from last year’s finish. Between the seniors — and especially for junior runner Julia Costello — they look to take charge in leading a charge for a good season. Sophomore runner Sarah Abruzzo is a new runner to watch. She’s set to do really well.”

Pottsgrove

Head coach: Larry Rechtin, 25th season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Megan Czerpak, Jr.; Molly Neeson, Jr.; Abie Wildermuth, Soph.

Outlook: The Falcons’ roster is bolstered by freshman, 5-2 Naomi Hilen. … “Our numbers are very small,” Rechtin said, “but the quality is good. Still looking for a girl to step into that No. 5 role for us. They all ran consistently over the summer and are fit. Once we add in the final components to their training cycle, I am confident these ladies will compete well in our division. I am very excited to see how this group develops over the next two years.”

Pottstown

Head coach: Mary Ann Hill, 15th season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Alyssa Dlutz, Sr.; Claire Fetterman, Sr.; Mary Gery, Jr,; Hannah Shankle, Jr.; Nyeli Cruz, So,; Adrianna Hayward, So,; Lol Johnson, So,; Abby Parson, So,; Winni Wang, So,

Outlook: “The girls have good numbers and hope to improve on their 1-4 record,” Hill said.

Spring-Ford

Head coach: Brian Sullivan, seventh season.

Last year’s record: 3-2 PAC Liberty Division, 5-2 overall.

Runners to watch: Gabriella Bamford, Sr.; Sydney Galster, Sr.; Rachel Moyer, Sr.; Julia Vledder, Sr.; Ahila Moorthy, Jr.; Rachel Murphy, Jr.; Meaghan Richter, Jr.; Emily Smith, Jr.; Devin Pytel, Soph.

Outlook: Two freshmen, Brook Donoghue and Kali McCann, are also in the running with the Rams. … “The Spring-Ford girls also bring back a majority of their varsity team from last year, led by returning state qualifiers Gabriella Bamford and Emily Smith,” Sullivan said. “Other girls from last year should round of the depth to make us a strong group of five. Contributions to varsity are expected from Sydney Galster, Julia Vledder, Rachel Moyer and Rachel Murphy.”

Upper Merion

Head coach: Michael Francis, second season.

Last year’s record: 5-0 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Alexis Anderson, Sr.; Jessica Bowe, Sr.; Carley Cirafesi, Sr.; Kristen Lee, Sr.; June Sanchez, Sr.; Amber Strouse, Sr.; Danielle Crowers, Jr.; Grace Hamaday, Jr.; Morgan Miller, Jr.; Emily Rotz, Jr.; Kaci Walters, Jr.; Veronica Sanchez, Soph.

Outlook: Strouse placed 23rd in last year’s PAC meet, the Vikings’ highest finisher. … “Have fun and finish the season strong and healthy” are Francis’ hopes for the upcoming campaign.

Upper Perkiomen

Head coach: Todd Niemann, 15th season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Sara Adamkovic, Sr.; LeeAnn Markhalter, Sr.; Alexa Banner, Jr.; Serena Detweiler, Jr.

Outlook: The Indians’ roster is bolstered by freshmen Naomi Brooks, Natalia Curley, Carolena Glackin and Dana Meyer. … Detweiler is coming into the season after placing 25th in the PAC meet and eight in the District 1-AA race last year, qualifying for states. … “The team remains relatively small,” Niemann said, “but has some pretty competitive runners who have really put in the work over the summer. The freshmen girls will need to step up to help the upperclassmen. We were pretty competitive in the dual meet season; we were in every race. I’m hoping the same will be the case this year.”

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