Seifried, Arizin, Mansaray finish strong at state meet

HERSHEY >> Sacred Heart’s Emma Seifried came within a few steps of making history at the PIAA cross country championships Saturday morning.

Cardinal O’Hara’s Olivia Arizin and Penn Wood’s Agnes Mansaray did chalk up one for the books.

Seifried nearly became the first Delco female to win a PIAA championship when she finished second for the second year in a row in the Class A race, just a few steps behind two-time champ Marianne Abdalah of Vincentian Academy.

Meanwhile, Arizin became the first O’Hara runner to place in the top 10, while Mansaray became the first Penn Wood athlete to medal at the state meet. Arizin finished eighth, while Mansaray was 17th in the Class AAA final.

In all, it was a good day for Delco runners as Strath Haven placed seventh in the Class AAA team competition. O’Hara was 14th and Bonner-Prendergast took 18th in the girls Class AA race.

The day, though, belonged to Seifried, Arizin and Mansaray.

A year ago, Seifried lost to Abdalah by 54 seconds in the Class A championship. This time around it was a completely different story. Seifreid stayed with Abdalah throughout the race. Seifried was 11 seconds behind at the one-mile mark and even by the two-mile standard.

Abdalah needed a late push in the final few meters to edge Seifried at the tape to win her second straight state crown.

“The hills are what I’m good at, and I enjoy it, so I would pass her on the hills and try to hold her off, but you get tired and she was able to catch up,” Seifried said. “I guess if I could have pushed a little harder, maybe I would have got her, but it’s all good.”

Seifried ran 39 seconds faster than she did in the state meet a year ago, and 24 seconds better than she did when she finished second in the girls white race at the PIAA Foundation Invitational at the Parkview course to finish with a time of 18 minutes, 50 seconds. Her twin sister Hannah was 43rd in 20:55.

“Running here last year and running in the (PIAA) Foundation (meet) earlier in the year, I knew the course and I knew more what my strengths were and I could use them on the course,” Seifreid said. “That was an advantage with me.”

Arizin, a junior, is no stranger to the Parkview Course. This was her fourth time on the course and the third trip to the state championships. She was 14th a year ago and 77th as a freshman. Her time of 18:43 was 20 second better than her previous best at Parkview, which came in the Class AAA final last year.

“I’m happy with it,” Arizin said.

In track, Arizin likes to run from the front and put the pressure on her opponents. In cross country, though, she uses a different strategy. She held back for the first mile.

“It was hard to sit back,” Arizin said. “You know you want to go, but you also know you still have all the hills and everything so you don’t want to burn yourself out. I know I can go faster in the beginning, but it’s a three-mile race. It’s a lot different than track, but I’m happy. That was my best finish and my best time on this course.”

Mansaray and Turner made history last week when they became the first Penn Wood female athletes to qualify for the PIAA cross country championships. Neither runner, though, was satisfied with merely getting to Hershey. They wanted to make a statement and did.

Mansaray went out fast. She was 10th and the two-mile mark and finished 17th in 18:59.

“I just tried to run my best,” Mansaray said. “The hills were a little too much for me. By the finish, I was really tired.”
Turner, a transfer from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, was 50th in 19:43.

“I thought I ran a good race,” Turner said. “This is a tough course, a lot of hills, and coming from Springside, I wasn’t used to running with this many girls, but that really pushed me to run better.”

No one had to motivate Maia Mesyngier or her Strath Haven teammates to turn in their best performance of the season.

Qualifying as a team gave the Panthers another shot at Cardinal O’Hara in the team competition. The Lions topped the Panthers by 14 points at the Delco Championships to win the county title. Strath Haven, with Mesyngier (36th, 19:28) and Isabel Cardi (78th, 20:05) leading the way, gained a bit of revenge at the state meet. The Panthers topped the Lions by seven places.

“In the beginning of the year, we looked good, but we didn’t know how good we could be,” Mesyngier said. “To finish seventh is amazing.”

Sophomore Jamie Green made history when she became the first Ridley athlete to qualify for the PIAA Championships. She showed she belonged. Green was 63rd in 19:51.

“The course was tough, but I liked it,” Green said. “I felt I ran a pretty good race.”

Bonner-Prendergast was happy with its performance in the Class AA race. Sophomore Samantha Gliwa led the way for the Pandas. She was 94th in 21:04. It was her best time by 40 seconds in four races at the Parkview Course.

“I’m real happy,” Gliwa said. “That second mile is really tough. It’s one hill after another. It’s real hard, but you just have to push your way through it. We all did. Everyone on the team ran really well.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply