CB West pulls out a close one over Souderton

DOYLESTOWN — In a meet decided by just two points, Central Bucks West needed every last push — every last kick — to pull out a victory against rival Souderton Area.

With two laps to go in the 3,200 meters, the Bucks’ Brian Mass provided his.

“I knew it was gonna be a tight pack. I saw (Souderton’s Connor) McMenamin take the early lead, Brian (Iatarola) and I hung tough with him, and with 800 to go, I was like okay, I’m gonna make my move here,’ Mass said. “I felt pretty good. I’ve got a good team around me too, so that definitely helps.’

Pulling away from an elite pack of three, Mass raced to the finish line and earned a key victory for the Bucks, helping West win in a battle of unbeatens, 76-74, over surging Big Red.

Mass, a sophomore, was one of the multiple young contributors that helped allow West to stay undefeated at 4-0.

“We have a deep team,’ said Bucks coach Greg Wetzel. “And we’re trying develop our weaker events. Our star power is not quite as strong as some other teams’ star power, so it’s important for us to win these dual meets because we’ll have to have a little bit of a lead going into the (SOL Continental) meet.’

Distance events continue to be a strength for the Bucks, and with the sixth best cross country team in the state taking a good part of their roster, the Bucks raced to victories in the two mile, mile, 4×8 relay and half mile, including a sweep of the 800.

Rock Fortna put in a lot of laps around the West track, crossing first in the 1,600 and the 800, as well as anchoring the Bucks to a victory in the 4×4 relay.

“Having a whole bunch of teammates who you can run with, train with, race with — it just really makes a difference,’ Mass said.

Strength in the distance events was complemented by up-and-coming performances in the sprints.

Jake Claricurzio, just a freshman, hammered his 400 in 51.9 seconds for another first place for the Bucks, and Christian Bobowicz, a sophomore, took care of the 100 and 200 dashes in the Suburban One League Continental Conference clash.

“A lot of people stepped up,’ Wetzel said.

That allowed the Bucks (4-0 in the Continental) to overcome some outstanding jobs in the field by Big Red, as well as Souderton’s domination of the hurdles.

Against strong competition, Big Red swept the 110 hurdles and went one and two in the 300’s, led by Colin Harker’s victories in both.

“The hurdlers really came up big today, and we knew that was an event we were strong in, but they’ve been working real hard all year,’ said Indians coach John Donahue, whose team is out to a 3-1 start — both in the conference and overall. “I’m really excited about them — all underclassmen and that’s really something to build on for us.

“Going in, we were hoping to give (West) a battle and we certainly did. But they’re a very talented team. We have the rest of our schedule to contend with and we’ll try to bounce back at championships.’

Both squads will have another conference dual meet next Tuesday, as the Bucks have a home showdown with defending conference champion North Penn while Big Red gets ready for a home meet against rival Pennridge.

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