Christopher Dock girls, Jenkintown boys impressive at BAL Championships

NEWTOWN >> It didn’t take long to tell that Christopher Dock was in attack mode.

Lael Flores, just a freshman, took things out and led the pack early. Her teammates would follow, pushing each other along the course as the Pioneers would place five runners in the top eight, racing away to the Bicentennial Athletic League title on a sunny Wednesday afternoon at Tyler State Park.

“We knew we had a good squad this year,” said Dock senior Maddison Landis, “and we had two solid weeks of training before this race.”

Both rested and prepared, the Pioneers finished with a winning score of 24, topping the 49 by New Hope Solebury, the 62 by Lower Moreland, and the 102 by Jenkintown, as Dock claimed the BAL crown in convincing fashion.

In the earlier race, the Dock boys raced to the runner-up spot in the Constitution Division, finishing with 104 points, outdone only by Jenkintown (62).

Kerry Kovars of Lower Moreland won the girls race in 19 minutes, 56 seconds.

And then came a whole bunch of runners in green and black.

Landis raced to second in 20:16 and Flores was right behind in 20:19.

“She did amazing,” Landis said of the newcomer. “We pace off each other and that allows us to get P.R.’s.”

Lindsey Bernd finished fifth for Dock in 20:45, followed closely by teammate Cameron McCloskey (20:48), and Erica Gunden of the Pioneers outraced Lower Moreland’s Mary Kate Barton for eighth, by two seconds.

“They ran really hard,” Pioneer coach Justin Feil said of his team. “They did what they were supposed to — stayed up front and really pushed each other and worked together.

“Today was really encouraging. We hadn’t raced in a week and a half, so we had time to train hard and we had a pretty intense week last week. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for districts — this was a good sign today. There were some really good runners up front and they pushed our top girls a lot.”

Also looking ahead to districts is the Jenkintown boys, who — as a program — have been chasing their first district crown for years.
Based on Wednesday’s performance, it looks like this year, the Drakes might catch it.

“They all ran super close together. They ran great today,” coach Nate Twer said of his squad, which was led by Christian Geer’s third-place finish in 17:22. “I was really happy with it. In the past, our problem has been that fifth runner, which is the problem for a lot of teams.

“You can have as good a front four as you want, but if your fifth guy is not there, that can cost you the whole race. But now, we have three different guys who could be our fifth man any given day. We just need one of them to have a great race.”

Dock’s Michael Grunden enjoyed a solid performance at Tyler State Park, battling to sixth place in 17:30.

“Michael had a good race,” Feil said. “The guys wanted to win, but Jenkintown ran really well today. They were terrific up front. We’ll see them at districts and hopefully we’ll get better.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply