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Cross Country: Spring-Ford boys, Perk Valley girls open with victories

LOWER FREDERICK >> It was a different start to a season they hope will resemble those of the pre-COVID past.

Perkiomen Valley and Spring-Ford opened their Pioneer Athletic Conference seasons Wednesday on PV’s home course at Perkiomen Valley Middle School-West. They were joined by non-league entry Souderton, a member of the Suburban One League, which bolstered the fields for the boys and girls races.

The Spring-Ford boys and PV girls were the day’s big winners. Quinn Smith scored overall race honors for the Rams, who claimed five of the top six finishes in their 19-40 win over the Vikes, and PV swept the first eight spots against Spring-Ford en route to a 15-50 victory.

Against the Souderton girls, PV (17-48) and Spring-Ford (21-36) were solid winners. On the boys’ side, the Big Red was outrun by the Rams (21-36) but it edged the Vikes (26-29).

Smith covered the PV course in 17:14, putting him across the line five seconds ahead of Viking front-runner Thomas Bricker. On the girls’ side, the Vikes’ Summer Watts and Sienna Miller went 1-2 in respective times of 20:17 and 20:30, followed a half-minute later by teammate Allie Matasich (21:00).

“We work off each other,” Miller said. “As a team, we work hard and train hard.”

Smith admitted he and his Spring-Ford teammates learned of Souderton’s involvement in the meet as they were heading to it.

“I didn’t expect it,” he said. “My mindset was I had to work harder. I didn’t know the (Souderton) team as well as PV.”

Smith and fellow Ram Ryan Kovaleski led the way around Bricker, Koveleski placing third in 17:44. Jacob Delgado followed in fifth, his 18:28 clocking sandwiched between Souderton’s Manny Rota-Talarico (fourth, 18:26) and Adian Kearns (sixth, 18:38).

“I just ran the race and did everything I’ve run and trained for,” Smith said.

Souderton’s Francie Flores made the lone break in the Perk Valley girls’ race-heading sweep, placing fourth overall in 21:02. Elyse Tancini, Emerson Whetstone, Megan Furlong and Sydney Fitzpatrick ran 5-8 overall in a time span of 21:38-22:10.

Spring-Ford’s fastest female was Julia Breisch, 11th overall with a 21:44 that was one second off the 10th-place run of PV’s Allie Hurd.

“We take our easy days easy,” Miller said.

“We push each other in our work,” Watts added.

The Big Red had other boys and girls finish in the Top 15 overall. Devon Mause was 12th in 18:47 for the boys, and Allison Malmquist was ninth (22:36) in the girls’ race.

“We have great competition in Suburban One,” Souderton head coach Dave Klein said, “but it’s nice to see new faces and courses. I wanted to see them compete, and they did.”

The Spring-Ford girls’ number-two finisher was Kayla Croiger, 12th overall in 23:30. On the boys’ side, PV’s Evan Romano (19:00) and Jason Clifford (19:18) were a respective 10 and 11.

As a whole, the local runners relish the possibility of a season where schedule staples of previous years will be back on after being cancelled by the pandemic in 2020.

“We have the Abington Invitational Saturday,” Smith said. “It felt dry last year, running only PAC schools. It will push me to get better times.”

For Watts and Miller, having a PAC championship meet will be a nice accompaniment to the season … that and invitationals.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Wednesday’s Meet

PAC

Spring-Ford 19, Perk Valley 40

Non-League

Spring-Ford 21, Souderton 36

Souderton 26, Perk Valley 29

1. Quinn Smith (SF) 17:14, 2. Thomas Bricker (PV) 17:19, 3. Ryan Kovaleski (SF) 17:44, 4. Manny Rota-Talarico (So) 18:26, 5. Jacob Delgado (SF) 18:28, 6. Adian Kearns (So) 18:38, 7. Braden Krjachovic (SF) 18:40, 8. Devon Mause (So), 18:47, 9. Gus Smith (SF) 18:49, 10. Evan Romano (PV) 19:00, 11. Jason Clifford (PV) 19:18. 12. James Kuduk (So) 19:20, 13. Jack Stanick (SF) 19:27, 14. Ethan Tharp (SF) 19:30, 15. Tristan Watts (PV) 19:33.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Wednesday’s Meet

PAC

Perk Valley 15, Spring-Ford 50

Non-League

Perk Valley 17, Souderton 48

Spring-Ford 21, Souderton 36

1. Summer Watts (PV) 20:17, 2. Sienna Miller (PV) 20:30, 3. Allie Matasich (PV) 21:00, 4. Francie Flores (So) 21:02, 5. Elyse Tancini (PV) 21:38, 6. Emerson Whetstone (PV) 21:40, 7. Megan Furlong (PV) 22:06, 8. Sydney Fitzpatrick (PV) 22:10, 9. Allison Malmquist (So) 22:36, 10. Allie Hurd (PV) 22:43, 11, Julia Breisch (SF) 22:44, 12. Kayla Croiger (SF), 23:30, 13. Tatiana Velicer (So) 24:12, 14., Kikayla CHomo (PV) 24:38, 15. Ryann Short (SF) 25:00.

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