Central Bucks West sweeps North Penn, Central Bucks South in SOL Continental meet

DOYLESTOWN — All cross country teams strive to have a tight pack.

On Tuesday at Lake Galena, it was difficult to tell where the Central Bucks West pack began and where it ended.

A parade of West runners dotted the home course, all bunched together and crossing the finish line in spectacular time. The Bucks put forth one of their best efforts of the season, with both the boys and girls teams earning impressive wins over visiting North Penn and Central Bucks South.

“It’s exciting. Good to get this one under our belt,’ said West runner Rock Fortna, who helped the Bucks earn a 15-49 victory over the Knights and a 20-43 victory over the Titans. “All of the guys raced really well today. This, along with the CB East meet (earlier this month) were the two meets we were really focused on and looking forward to.’

West (4-0) won them both, and will be tough to beat the rest of the way.

The Bucks dominated this Suburban One League Continental Conference race, against two outstanding opponents in North Penn and South. After Matt Scarpill crossed first for South in 16 minutes, 1 second, the next six finishers were all West, led by Brian Mass (second) and Fortna (third), each finishing their jaunt around Peace Valley Park with a time of 16:16.

“I’m really proud of the guys and the way they raced today,’ said Bucks’ ninth-year coach Greg Wetzel, who notched his first dual-meet victory over perennial power North Penn. “We were aggressive today. The pack really closed in and the depth came through. And we wound up with a really nice result.’

The Bucks’ historic win over NP, and the fact that there was just a 24-second gap between the Bucks’ first and fifth runners, underscored just how special this West group is starting to become.

The West girls were just as tough on this warm, picturesque afternoon at the lake, hammering the home course and taking six of the top 10 spots.

After Phoebe Clowser crossed first for the Maidens with a solid winning time of 18:24, Maddie Villalba took second for the Bucks in 18:32. The battle continued back and forth, as the Maidens’ Ali Valenti placed third, West’s Olivia Berry crossed fourth, and North Penn’s Sarah Tung placed fifth.

But after South’s Brynne Mulloy raced to a sixth-place finish, it was all West, as the Bucks (4-0) finished almost as a group, taking places seven through 10.

“It was a great day,’ said Bucks coach Kiki Bell, whose team earned a 27-32 win over North Penn and a 18-44 win over South. “It was a team goal coming in to get a lot of bodies up front and the girls came through. They really raced well.’

The North Penn girls (3-1 in conference), led by Clowser, won 19-39 over South to earn a split at the tri-meet, as did the Knights, who won 20-43 over the Titans.

The North Penn boys (3-1 in conference) were led by Nick DiCerbo’s eighth-place finish.

“Some guys ran well, and there are also some things we need to work on,’ said Knights coach Mike Werner. “We ran into the Central Bucks machine today and they showed why they’re ranked eighth in the state. We wanna grow from this and continue to get stronger.’

North Penn hosts CB East next Wednesday while West heads to Hatboro-Horsham that afternoon.

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