FRANCONIA >> Michael Samson called the wins “two more steps.”
Add them to the staircase — Central Bucks has now won 25 consecutive dual meets dating back to 2013, the latest a pair of hard-earned victories in the heat, 25-31 over Souderton Area and 22-33 over Pennridge on Wednesday.
“Hopefully we stay unbeaten,” Samson said after crossing first in 16 minutes, 41 seconds, helping the Bucks improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season. “Pretty good course. Pretty flat, and the wind today was pretty nice, had some cloud-cover, no difficult hills and a track finish.”
Samson and teammate Ben Bunch were the first two onto the track and the first two to cross, Carter Laatsch (fifth) and Brian Baker (8th) pushed into the top 10, and Owen Schiele filled in admirably at the No. 5 spot, making sure West locked up the pair of Suburban One League Continental Conference victories.
The West girls followed in the second race, taking the top seven spots in 15-50 victories over Pennridge and Souderton Area. The Big Red boys and girls each picked up wins over the Rams, the boys winning 23-34 and the girls racing to a 20-43 victory.
The West boys looked strong from front to back in setting up a first-place showdown with CB East (5-0) Wednesday at Peace Valley Park.
“These guys ran pretty well together,” Bucks coach Greg Wetzel said. “They executed the plan that we hoped they would and we were able to get another two wins. Michael had a strong effort. It’s been so hot that I think it’s been tough for the time to reflect the effort.
“But we were pleased with the way he ran today. Ben Bunch defeated some good runners to be the second guy across the line. Carter’s been battling some back pain but seemed to be pretty good today. Brian Baker’s coming on strong for us and then we had Owen, who stepped up. Credit to him because he kind of controlled the impact of losing our fifth runner (sprained ankle).”
Josiah Moyer finished strong for Big Red, crossing third in 17 minutes, with Pennridge’s Matt Eissler pushing to fourth in 17:10.
Souderton bunched two runners together in sixth and seventh with Tim Kennel and Paul Boehm, then had Connor Williams and Brian Bruno finish back-to-back in 11th and 12th.
“The guys ran well. We know West is very good but we gave them a battle,” Indians coach John Donahue said. “Their pack’s just a little bit better right now but I was happy with the effort. It was good for the guys to get out and compete.”
In the second race, the West girls also improved to 5-0, led by freshman Emmi Simon in first with a 20:32. The Bucks’ top four had a gap of just nine seconds and one through seven was just 44 seconds apart.
“We really stay together as a pack,” Simon said.
Souderton, battling through some injuries, was led by Lael Flores’ 10th-place finish and Nicole Dehaven (8th) pushed the pace for the Rams.