The Elk County Catholic cross country teams opened their home seasons on Tuesday when they played host to the Punxsutawney teams.
The Crusaders beat the Chucks by a 24-31 score, while the Lady Crusaders defeated the Lady Chucks 27-30.
In the boys’ race, Caleb Lecker of ECC won the event with a time of 17:33. Dane Baker of Punxsy was second in 18:3, followed by his teammate Nathan Ward in third in 18:43. The next three runners to cross the finish line were all from Elk Catholic, as Drew Bille was fourth in 18:44, followed by Joe Hoffman in 18:58 and Ryan Detsch in 19:14. Derick Kelly of the Chucks was seventh in 19:40, followed by Elk’s Peter Cooney in eighth place in 19:47 to give Elk their 24 points.
Punxsutawney took the next six spots before ECC’s Lucas Knight finished in 22:05. He was followed by teammates Ryan Jacobs in 22:31, John Kaul in 22:56 and Luke Hoffman in 23:24. Elk’s Lorenzo Dingcong finished in 24:59.
The girls’ race saw Elk’s Kennedy Weisner taking first in 19:40, followed by her teammate Maggie Sorg in 21:37. Alexis Young and Juliann Boddorf of Punxsy were third and fourth in 22:25 and 22:28, respectively. Elk’s Cassie Thompson was fifth in 22:29.
Punxsy’s Ala Small was sixth in 22:38. Victoria Dippold of the Lady Crusaders was seventh in 23:26. Four Punxsy runners crossed the line before Nicole Florio finished in 12th place in 25:46.
Also for ECC, Maria Scacchitti finished in 28:16, Maddie Ehrensberger in 29:03 and Kylee Proudfit 31:17.
The ECC squads return to action next Tuesday when they travel to Brookville for a 4 p.m. meet.
ECC at Big Valley Invitational
The Elk County Catholic cross country teams competed in the Big Valley Invitational Saturday at Reedsville, where the Lady Crusaders placed second in the team event and the Crusaders placed third in the team event.
Elk’s Kennedy Weisner took first in the girls’ race with a time of 18:39. SMA’s Adair Gennocro took second in 19:36.
Third place went to ECC’s Maggie Sorg with a time of 20:51. Next for ECC was Cassie Thompson in 21:44, good for ninth place. Victoria Dippold finished in 22:23, good for 14th place. Nicole Florio crossed the finish line in 25:15 in 47th place. Hannah Pontzer was 48th in 25:28 and Maria Scacchitti was 61st in 26:49.
In the girls’ junior varsity race, Kylee Proudfit finished in 29:50 and Maddie Ehrensberger completed the course in 29:57.
Caleb Lecker led the Crusaders with a fifth-place finish in 17:23. Ryan Detsch was next in 18:15, good for 11th place. Drew Bille placed 19th in 18:31 and Joe Hoffman was 24th in 18:43. Pete Cooney placed 40th in 19:51. Lucas Knight finished in 22:24 for 94th place and Ryan Jacobs was 107th in 23:19.
In the boys’ junior varsity race, John Kaul finished in 22:56, Luke Hoffman 23:27 and Lorenzo Dingcong in 26:25.
“It was a good start to the season,” said ECCHS coach Wee J. Fernan.
“This was the first varsity cross country race for 10 of our runners. They performed admirably. Now, we have a baseline and can work from here. The whole group seems to be willing to work and eager to improve, so the rest of the season should be enjoyable.
“Our veterans and leaders are setting a good example and their results seem to be indicative of the work they are putting in. We’re happy with where we are and where we seem to be heading.”