TOWAMENCIN >> Souderton Area coach David Klein told his team to “look for blue jerseys today.”
Big Red chased down a little piece of history in the process.
“I’m so glad it came to fruition,” said Klein, whose team raced to a 27-32 victory over rival North Penn, Big Red’s first win over the Knights in over 20 years. “We knew certain girls we had to be with and trying to pack run as best we could. We had goals for ourselves for different places on the course and it really just came together.
“This is a really big deal for us,” Klein said. “We got a lot of momentum to build upon.”
Paced by Emily Bonaventure’s second-place finish in 18 minutes, 46 seconds, the Indians squeezed their pack tighter and came away with a well-earned split in the Suburban One League Continental Conference tri-meet at NP.
“We were excited. We knew the course would be fast and we knew we would drop time,” said a smiling Lael Flores, the Indians’ No. 2 runner on Wednesday.
The Central Bucks East girls went 2-0 on the day with wins over the Knights (23-37) and Indians (21-40), as did the Patriot boys, winning 23-36 over North Penn and 15-49 over Souderton. The Knights won 18-37 over Souderton on the boys side.
A sign that fall is fast approaching, Souderton hosts its annual Twilight Invite Saturday, complete with hay bales and pumpkins. Big Red’s times are ahead of schedule.
“We had a good race at PTXC (at Kutztown University Saturday), as a team, placing better than we did last year,” Bonaventure said.
“(North Penn) always goes out hard and we told our girls to keep in contact,” said Klein, “and I think we did a pretty good job of that today. (The win) still hasn’t hit me. On the bus ride back I’ll be like ‘wow, okay.’”
Brittany Hayden crossed 13th, Rosy Moody placed 16th and Jennifer Sidarious was 17th to complete a determined pack.
The Knights’ Ariana Gardizy took the lead from the start and never let go, crossing the finish line first in 18:22.
Gardizy and Bonaventure, a familiar combination, also went one and two at last year’s SOL Continental Championships.
“It’s nice to see competition because we’ve been running teams from other leagues and this was probably our biggest dual meet of the year,” Gardizy said. “We have a good, strong team coming back, just have to get through injuries.
“We only really lost one person from last year so hopefully our team morale can get up as the season goes on.”
Maeve Gimbert also ran a nice race for the Knights, pushing to fifth with a 20:12.
The Knights and Indians alternated finishers before Big Red pushed both its fourth and fifth runners across before NP’s fourth girl.
“We just don’t have it yet,” North Penn coach Jim Crawford Jr. said. “We have to count on some new people to move up.”
On what was a cool, wet day on the course at NP, Brendan O’Toole was the first to emerge from the mist.
“I knew it was gonna come down to that,” O’Toole said of the final straightaway. “I was definitely tired but I heard (CB East’s (David Endres) coming on. I just prepared myself for battle.”
O’Toole pulled away to a first-place finish, crossing in 16:03 to lead the Knights. Josiah Moyer pushed the pace for Big Red, clocking in at 10th.
“The guys ran hard,” coach John Donahue said. “This was our first conference competition so we know we still have a lot of work to do after losing so many guys to graduation, but the kids put in a lot of time this summer and they know that’s the nature of our league.
“We gotta keep working hard and try to get that pack a little bit further up.”
The NP boys travel to the White Clay Creek Classic Friday in Delaware and the girls squad is at Briarwood on Saturday. Big Red is back on the course Saturday, the boys and girls teams hosting the Twilight Invite.
Boys Cross Country
North Penn 18, Souderton 37
Central Bucks East 23, North Penn 36
Central Bucks East 15, Souderton 49
1. B. O’Toole (NP) 16:03; 2. D. Endres (CBE) 16:20; 3. C. Sands (CBE) 16:28; 4. N. Demis (NP) 16:29; 5. A. Conte (CBE) 16:46; 6. C. Sands (CBE) 16:51; 7. D. Earles (CBE) 17:05; 8. B. Johnson (NP) 16:59; 9. A. Bardwell (CBE) 16:59; 10. J. Moyer (S) 17:07; 11. J. McManus (CBE) 17:09; 12. S. Razi (NP) 17:10; 13. T. Kannel (S) 17:18; 14. J. McCall (NP) 17:22; 15. C. Williams (S) 17:30.
Souderton-17. P. Boehm, 17:38; 19. B. Bruno, 17:55.
Girls Cross Country
Souderton 27, North Penn 32
Central Bucks East 23, North Penn 37
Central Bucks East 21, Souderton 40
1. Ariana Gardizy (NP) 18:22; 2. Emily Bonaventure (S) 18:46; 3. Makenna Brophy (CBE) 20:01; 4. Cameron Billingsley (CBE) 20:02; 5. Maeve Gimbert (NP) 20:12; 6. Claudia Eder (CBE) 20:27; 7. Elizabeth Shewbrooks (CBE) 20:35; 8. Lael Flores (S) 20:47; 9. Nicole Schmauck (CBE) 21:04; 10. Katie Hagerich (CBE) 21:06; 11. Jenna Webb (NP) 21:09; 12. Julia Wiegers (CBE) 21:16; 13. Brittany Hayden (S) 21:27; 14. Campbell Seguine (CBE) 21:38; 15. Annie Senour (CBE) 21:44.
Souderton-16. Rosy Moody, 21:46; 17. Jennifer Sidarious, 21:55.
North Penn-25. Jaime Diedel, 22:36; 26. Ximena Trejo-Mora, 22:37.