Council Rock South runners beginning to excel

NEWTOWN – While she didn’t enter Council Rock South’s recent tri-meet with sister school North and Neshaminy expecting to win, CR South senior Elizabeth Sauers said she had high hopes.

In third place at the two-mile mark behind teammate Brittany Gable (4th, 21:01) and CR North junior Kate Mullen (2nd, 20:54), Sauers (20:49) closed the gap in the final stretch and won the race by five seconds over the Lady Indians runner. Neshaminy’s Kabrina Weaver (20:56) finished third, coming in two seconds behind Mullen.

“I didn’t feel well in the beginning,” admitted Sauers, afterward. “I just didn’t feel fast.”

“But I started to feel better as the race went along and we helped each other through the last mile.”

Sauers also finished first in a dual meet with Bensalem which was also held at Tyler Park since the Owls course is under construction. After winning this meet a second consecutive season, Sauers says she really enjoys the rivalry with North.

“I don’t know if this is my favorite (meet) but I really do look forward to the competition with North,” explained Sauers. “We’re a good match for each other. It’s always a fun, competitive rivalry.”

Along with classmates Emily Kockott (21:33) and Georgina Garvey (21:35), Sauers is one of three senior tri-captains on the girls team. Ironically, the trio finished in the top ten in this race with Kockott taking sixth and Garvey finishing seventh.

South sophomores Brittany Gable (4th, 21:01), Megan Blaustein (5th, 21:33) and Carolyn Ludes (10th, 21:46) along with junior Ellen Kravchenko (9th, 21:45) also finished in the top 10, helping the Hawks to a 19-42 win over North and a 19-44 victory over Neshaminy.

“We’ve had some kids all of a sudden really start performing well for us,” stated CR South head coach Joan Thornton. “They’ve really been a bonus.”

Formerly a soccer player for the Hawks, Blaustein, after running spring track, decided to come out and run cross country this fall.

“She’s been terrific,” said Thornton. “It’s been a big boost for us to get her.”

Together with classmate Kristen Wandling, who posted a top 25 finish in the Council Rock Invitational, the sophomores have the Hawks firing on all cylinders.

“They pack it in really tight and it’s great,” said Thornton, “to actually see them doing what you hope they can do.

“They’ve been doing that consistently which can help in a big meet because they can – hopefully – displace other runners.”

The only team South has lost a dual meet to this season was Pennsbury, which of course, is a front-runner to win the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference Championship and maybe even districts.

“We just want to drop our times and finish stronger than we ever have,” said Thornton. “This is a real solid group.”

The SOL meets are scheduled for Oct. 23 at Lehigh University while the District 1 race is set for Oct. 30, also at Lehigh.


While Council Rock South senior Joe Maguire was the first runner to cross the finish line in the 30th annual Council Rock Invitational held late September at Tyler Park, Oct. 7 was the time to shine for Neshaminy sophomore Rusty Kujdych.

In a tri-meet featuring North, South and Neshaminy, Kujdych shaved two seconds off the sixth-place pace he turned in at the Invitational and finished seven seconds ahead of the Golden Hawk runner in this event.

“It was a tough race; Maguire is a very good runner,” said Kujdych, afterward. “He won the Invitational here but he tripped up about a mile and a half in and that’s when I pulled away and separated myself.

“I finished first but it was close; he almost caught me. He had a very strong finish.”

A varsity runner for the past two years, this was the first race Kujdych ever won at Tyler Park.

“It feels really good to win here,” he said. “This is always a more challenging course but I felt good today, honestly.

“The weather was perfect for running. It was fast – I felt pretty good.”

This is the second cross country race Kujdych has won this fall. He also finished first at the Mill Street Run in Bristol.

“I’ve made some good improvements this year; my times have been lower,” said Rusty. “I’m satisfied and I’m working hard; the entire team is. We’re excited to see what’s going to happen.”

The Skins are not the same squad that took the field last fall. Neshaminy is missing now-graduated runners Dustin Willing and Eric Chapman, who is now running for West Chester University.

Stepping up for the Skins this season are Will Krimmel, Matt Bush and Jason Edelman.

“Everyone is progressing; everyone has gotten a lot better this year,” stated Kujdych.

While Rusty wants to make a name for himself on the circuit over the next three seasons, he has his team in mind when setting those goals for himself.

“I have some goals in mind about getting really fast; I want to be ranked in the state,” he said. “For now, I’m just taking it week by week, trying to get better and working hard during practices.

“I want to take the team with me and I want to have fun. It’s all about having fun.”

While CR South captured the team title in this meet, sister school North put seven runners in the top 10 starting with senior Ben Heintz (3rd), sophomores Ethan Koza (4th), Ryan Campbell (5th) and Sam Early (6th) along with juniors Tim Haas (7th), Rohan Bhandarkar (8th) and Bryan Keller (9th).

Andrew Zawodniak finished tenth for Rock South with his time of 17:50.

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(Oct. 7 at Tyler Park)

Council Rock South (CRS), Council Rock North (CRN), Neshaminy (N)

  1. Rusty Kujdych                N                16:23
  2. Joe Maguire                CRS                16:40
  3. Ben Heintz                CRN                16:58
  4. Ethan Koza                CRN                17:03
  5. Ryan Campbell                CRN               17:11
  6. Sam Earley                CRN               17:16
  7. Tim Haas                CRN               17:22
  8. Rohan Bhandarkar                CRN               17:38
  9. Bryan Keller                CRN               17:39
  10. Andrew Zawodniak                CRS                17:50


CR North 20, CR South 43

CR North 20, Neshaminy 43

CR South 20, Neshaminy 43


(Oct. 7 at Tyler Park)

Council Rock South (CRS), Council Rock North (CRN), Neshaminy (N)

  1. Elizabeth Sauers CRS 20:49
  2. Kate Mullen CRN 20:54
  3. Kabrina Weaver N 20:56
  4. Brittany Gable CRS 21:01
  5. Megan Blaustein CRS 21:33
  6. Emily Kockott CRS 21:33
  7. Georgina Garvey CRS 21:35
  8. Katie Booth CRN 21:42
  9. Ellen Kravchenko CRS 21:45
  10. Carolyn Ludes CRS 21:46


CR South 19, CR North 42

CR South 19, Neshaminy 44

CR North 21, Neshaminy 34

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