Two Chester County runners placed in the top eight at the PIAA 3A girls cross country championships at Hershey Saturday.
West Chester Rustin senior Ellie Keefer finished fourth, completing the 5K course in 18:58.70, behind Pine-Richland senior Natalie McLean (first place, 18:46.10), Chambersburg senior Camryn Kiser (second, 18:52.80) and North Allegheny sophomore Wren Kucler (third, 18:58.50).
The other local runner who placed in the top eight was Downingtown West senior Carolyn Tarpley, who finished eighth with a clocking of 19:06.30.
West Chester Rustin girls’ cross country coach Andrew White said, “Ellie ran a terrific race today. She’s coming off a really strong series of races this season and hasn’t been afraid to mix it up with the top girls in the state in each of them. She played it smart with the pack through the early hills at Hershey and kept moving well through the last K of the race.
“I’m really proud of the work she’s put in to end her cross country season on a high note. She’s worked tirelessly all fall while also juggling a busy soccer schedule, and I can’t wait to see what she does on the track (in the spring).”
Other top local finishers in the field of 233 runners at the PIAA 3A girls cross country state championships included Avon Grove sophomore Lily Schindler (31st place, 20:16.40), West Chester Rustin junior Maddie Miller (33rd, 20:18.50), Conestoga senior Julia Harris (43rd, 20:30.20), Unionville senior Becca Harkness (69th, 20:55.90), Downingtown West senior Taylor Rochon (83rd, 21:08.20), Downingtown East junior Madison Brown (87th, 21:12.50), Oxford junior Jessie Cox (94th, 21:20.00), Conestoga sophomore Elizabeth Gares (99th, 21:24.40), Conestoga freshman Alexia Tubbs (104th, 21:26.20), Kennett senior Ella Burnham (123rd, 21:38.60) and Avon Grove junior Ava Pfaff (126th, 21:45.30).
In the girls’ 3A team competition, Conestoga finished 12th and Downingtown West 14th. North Allegheny won the girls 3A team title, with five runners in the top 20.
In the PIAA 3A boys cross country state championships Saturday at Hershey, Unionville senior Aryan Abbaraju finished ninth, with a clocking of 16:31.30. “Aryan ran a really smart race,” said Unionville cross country coach Mark Lacianca. “At one point, he was in the 30s (place) and he moved up really well as the race went on.”
The champion of the boys’ 3A race was Hatboro Horsham senior Brian DiCola, who ran the 5K course in 15:24.20.
Other top local finishers in the field of 236 runners in the boys’ 3A race included Avon Grove junior Connor Britton (13th place, 16:36.50), Conestoga freshman Parker Warkentine (30th, 17:07.10), West Chester East senior Gavin Hefferan (56th, 17:23.10), Downingtown East junior Nick Steinfeldt (63rd, 17:27.60), Great Valley sophomore Ryan Pepperman (84th, 17:43.20), Unionville junior Lucas Siepser (87th, 17:45.30), Downingtown West junior David Whitford (91st, 17:48.40) and Unionville sophomore James McGlynn (100th, 17:52.40).
In the boys’ 3A team competition, Unionville finished 12th. North Alleghney, which had five runners in the top 30, finished first.
In the boys’ 2A cross country championships, Bishop Shanahan senior Jameson Todd finsihed in 75th place (18:15.30) out of a field of 247 runners, while Shanahan sophomore Stephen Todd placed 99th (18:35.50).
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