CROSS COUNTRY: Boyertown’s Albanese, Muthersbaugh win races as Bears split meet with Upper Perk

RED HILL >> In this unusual cross-country season, Pioneer Athletic Conference schools are facing a different scenario for the postseason.

New standards will be in force to decide how individuals and teams qualify in the absence of a league meet. As such, duals are carrying considerable weight in the process.

The Boyertown boys and girls teams came into Tuesday’s meet with Upper Perkiomen looking to improve their standings. They acquitted themselves well in a split of the events with an Upper Perkiomen program sporting equal designs.

The Bear girls ran strong over the previously-unbeaten Indians, scoring a 21-34 win behind the 1-2 finish of Alyssa Albanese and Rachanee Tith. The boys, in turn, were part of an exciting 28-29 finish that went in UP’s favor.

“The girls did really good,” Boyertown head coach Ed Baghdasarian said. “We knew Upper Perk had a couple good girls, and a good pack. We wanted to insure we stayed with the UP pack.

“We came with a mission, and we accomplished it.”

Albanese literally ran away with the girls’ competition, covering Upper Perk’s scenic course in 21:37. It was a personal best for the Boyertown sophomore, shaving seven seconds off her previous PR.

“I’ve been PRing every time,” she said. “I want to get a qualifying time for districts. I want to hit 20, but with invitationals, it’s tough.”

Tith was almost 40 seconds behind her teammate, clocking a 22:16 that was one second above her own PR. Natalia Curley was the Indians’ top finisher, going third in 22:28.

“It’s a really fast course, compared to ours,” Tith said. “It’s pretty, too.”

Eric Muthersbaugh took the boys’ race over teammate Cameron Kratz, going 16:41 to Kratz’s 16:42. It was even more of a runaway by the top finishers, UP’s Donnie Miller third in a 16:45 that put him across the line almost 1-1/2 minutes ahead of Indian teammate Blandon Conklin (18:10).

“Every week, he keeps creeping up on me,” Muthersbaugh said of Kratz. “He’s been consistent, which is something I struggle with.”

But UP (3-0) compensated for the Bears’ low score at the top — James DeSanto was fifth in 18:36 — by placing fifth through ninth with Jon Carnesi (18;38), Wlll Daub (18:56), Austin Shanley (19:06) and Charles McGillen (19:14) displacing Boyertown’s fifth runner, Austin Holiday, out of the Top 10. Holiday (19:21) came in 11th behind teammate Lucas Famous (19:15).

“The boys race was exciting,” UP head coach Todd Niemann said. “We were missing one of our top five runners, Hunter Adelsberger, so I was nervous.

“But I had hope. Donnie was right there with their (Boyertown) top runners, and Austin and Charles came up big at the end, passing their kid.”

Tamara Engler and Gabriela Martin enhanced the Bear girls’ dominance with their 4-5 finish, Engler finishing in 23:12 and Martin in 23:23. Alexa Guerrero (23:31), Lauren Donahue (23:38) and Abby Fox (23:45) went sixth through eighth for UP (2-1), but Zora Bergey broke the swing with a ninth-place (23:45) run for Boyertown (3-1).

Baghdasarian noted district qualifying will be determined by the top three schools from each division, with the next five to be determined. In a switch from the traditional venue of Lehigh University’s Goodman Complex, the 2020 districts will be held at Tyler State Park in Newtown; it will run the boys’ and girls’ races on separate days the same weekend.

NOTES >> Upper Perkiomen marked its Senior Day gathering in conjunction with Tuesday’s meet. It had been scheduled to run Methacton Friday, but a COVID-19 case resulted in the postponement. … Albanese had one unexpected encounter on the course during the girls’ race. “I saw a deer pop its head out,” she said.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply