BETHLEHEM >> Delaware County Christian School senior Charlie Schaefer covered more than 500 miles in the course of his summer training.
He will only have to cover about 3.1 miles to conclude his scholastic cross country career in Hershey next Saturday.
Schaefer finished sixth in the District 1 Class A championship race at Lehigh University’s Goodman Campus Friday morning. He was the first runner not wearing a Jenkintown uniform to cross the finish line.
Junior Jack Miller, who finished in 16 minutes, 29 seconds, led Jenkintown to a sweep of the first five places.
Schaefer, who took eighth place in the 2016 district meet in 18:24, came in in 17:50 Friday to qualify again for the PIAA Championships in Hershey.
“I tried to start out in the middle of the pack,” Schaefer said. “After the first mile, I wanted to pick up the pace and start passing people. When we went up the hill at the cornfield, I told myself I really had to go for it.
“There was a (Christopher Dock Mennonite) runner (Isaiah Denlinger) trying to pass me. He got by me, but then I pushed it in and got past him.”
Randy Hooks, running for Chester Charter School, placed 16th in that Class A race. In the Class AA race, Interboro’s Tylee Alston took 44th.
Ridley’s Zach Forney, who finished second at the Delaware County Championships, 20 seconds behind winner Avery Lederer of Penncrest, was the top Delco finisher in the Class AAA race Friday.
Forney took 19th place with a time of 16:05, 54 seconds behind the pace set by winner Rusty Kujdych of Neshaminy. Lederer placed 24th in 16:09.
Joining Forney and Lederer at the PIAA Championships will be sophomores Patrick Theveny of Penncrest (29th) and Mike Donnelly of Haverford (31st). Garnet Valley sophomore Sean Garrett (44th) and senior Justin Senackerib of Penncrest (47th) came up short in their bids to qualify for the state meet.
“It’s unbelievable and it feels great,” Forney said. “I’ve been trying to make this since my sophomore year.”
Downingtown West, which did not place a runner in the top 10, captured the AAA team championship for the second time in three seasons. The team is coached by former Strath Haven runner Scott Burns.
“We only had a 40-second difference from our No. 1 runner (junior Payton Sewall, 15:54) and our No. 5 runner (Joseph Chamoun, 16:34),” Burns said. “And it will be the first state meet for all but one of these guys.”
Penncrest finished eighth in the AAA boys team race.
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