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West Branch and P-O split meet
Friday, October 12, 2012
By Andy Stine Sports Writer
ALLPORT - Cross country coaches like to see their runners hit their peak around the middle of October.
With just one more appearance before districts, Philipsburg-Osceola and West Branch both knew that improving was important on Thursday afternoon.
West Branch took the boys meet over the Mounties, 19-36, while P-O defeated the Lady Warriors, 22-33 on Senior Day at West Branch High School.
"Both of our teams are getting better," said P-O head coach Doug Perry. "They've put in the hard work at practice, and now it's paying off."
"I'm pleased that the girls have been coming along during the year," said West Branch head coach Jane Catanzaro. "They're good leaders and they're good encouragers. My girls run hard, but they have a couple of injuries here and there. I haven't had my top runner for a couple weeks now, and I've really missed her.
"The boys run hard for me. I can't ask for anything more than that. I love this sport and I love the kids that commit."
In the boys competition, the Warriors found places in the top three spots from Abe Albright, John Clark and Jared Turner.
Albright crossed the finish line at 17:42, outdistancing Clark (18:15) by 33 seconds for the win. Turner finished in third at 18:43. Dustin Deliman (20:23, fifth) and Wyatt Sankey (21:17, eighth) were the only other West Branch runners in the top 10.
"That's just like it's been this year," said Catanzaro. "It's just a phenomenal 1-2-3 combination. You can't beat it.
"Abe's time was a little bit up today. John's was steady and Jared is really coming along. He's a sophomore and it's nice to watch that.
Kaleb Bennett was the first Mountie to finish in the meet. Bennett came in fourth place at 19:53, while teammates Peyton Moor (20:45) finished sixth and Dallas Kephart (21:01) placed seventh. Bryce Bennett (21:40) and Michael Shimmel (21:53) rounded out the top 10 for the Mounties.
"Kaleb is a hard worker," said Perry. I still think his best races are ahead of him. It's good that we have a couple more left to go."
On the girls side of action, P-O's Cheyenne Hutton won the competition in 22:33. Perry said it was an excellent time and has been impressed with Hutton.
"She's been getting a lot better late in the season," said Perry of Hutton. "She has improved greatly, but it's been these past couple weeks. She ran in the 22s today and that's great. She's really working hard, and her confidence level is up. That's probably the biggest thing."
West Branch's Brianne Nye (23:03) edged out Lady Mountie Teisha Harden (23:05) for second place. Nye passed Harden in the final 100 yards of the race.
"P-O's girls ran really well," said Catanzaro. "That's a real credit to them. I know they started out slow this year, and it's nice to see them come along. I love to see girls do well in this sport. This is a hard sport and people don't give it enough credit. There's no sitting down when you get tired."
Kylie Whitehead (23:38) placed fourth for the Lady Mounties, while Melanie Boop (23:44) finished just six seconds behind Whitehead in fifth. Cheyenne Cowfer (26:28) finished in ninth place for P-O.
"Our girls team is in a different place right now," said Perry. "The boys are just really, really young. We had three freshmen boys run today, and one boy was brand new to the team. We're young there, but we'll get better."
The Lady Warriors picked up a sixth-place finish from Kelley Sharer in 23:48, while Lexi Turner (24:37) and Maria Handel (25:45) placed seventh and eighth, respectively. Hayleigh Estright placed 10th with a time of 26:32 for West Branch.
The meet was the last home competition for eight West Branch seniors. Catanzaro said she would miss the camaraderie that they bring to the team and the friendships that they've developed over the years.
They're good academic kids and I know are going to do well whatever they choose to do in life," said Catanzaro.
"Usually when a kid comes out for cross country, you keep them. They're always back, year after year. That's what I'm seeing and I'm going to miss them a lot. They're always so loose, but when they line up to race, it's all business."
The Warriors finished the regular season at 6-1 while the Lady Warriors are 4-3.
P-O's boys are 3-10, and the girls are 6-5.
Both teams are back in action on Wednesday. P-O will travel to the Mountain League meet at Penns Valley, while West Branch goes to the Inter-County Conference meet at Juniata Valley.
"I'm waiting to see how we run up at districts," said Catanzaro. "It's phenomenal to run District 6. Over the years, I've watched state champions come out of there and I've seen state team champions come out of districts.
"What you learn in cross country is no matter how it looks, you never quit."

West Branch 19, Philipsburg-Osceola 36
1. Abe Albright, WB, 17:42; 2. John Clark, WB, 18:15; 3. Jared Turner, WB, 18:43; 4. Kaleb Bennett, PO, 19:53; 5. Dustin Deliman, WB, 20:23; 6. Peyton Moor, PO, 20:45; 7. Dallas Kephart, PO, 21:01; 8. Wyatt Sankey, WB, 21:17; 9. Bryce Bennett, PO, 21:40; 10. Michael Shimmel, PO, 21:53. 11. Cecil Hall, WB, 22:06; 12. Hunter Galley, WB, 22:40; 13. John Orichosky, WB, 23:53; 14. Hayden Bock, WB, 24:42; 15. Dylan Van Dyke, WB, 25:32.

Philipsburg-Osceola 22, West Branch 33
1. Cheyenne Hutton, PO, 22:33; 2. Brianne Nye, WB, 23:03; 3. Teisha Harden, PO, 23:05; 4. Kylie Whitehead, PO, 23:38; 5. Melanie Boop, PO, 23:44; 6. Kelley Sharer, WB, 23:48; 7. Lexi Turner, WB, 24:37; 8. Maria Handel, WB, 25:45; 9. Cheyenne Cowfer, PO, 26:28; 10. Hayleigh Estright, WB, 26:32; 11. Missy Croyle, WB, 27:07; 12. Taylor Kolesar, WB, 27:27; 13. Taylor Hall, WB, 27:55; 14. Kierstan Stewart, WB, 27:57; 15. Sierra Sankey, WB, 35:24.

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