Everything from a busy day in Centre County high school sports for Sept. 2, 2017:
Penns Valley boys, State College girls run to season-opening wins
The start of the high school cross country season delivered wins for the Penns Valley boys and State College girls at the annual Big Valley Invitational on Saturday.
The Lady Little Lions had four of the top five runners to easily take the girls’ title with 20 points.
The Rams had four of the top 10 boys, all breaking the 17-minute mark, to pick up the top overall spot with 44 points. They outdistanced runner-up Mifflin County’s 85 points and third-place State College’s 120 on the course at the Indian Valley Elementary Center.
“It’s always a benchmark race for us,” Penns Valley coach Terry Glunt said. “This is where we start and see where we go from here.”
Leading Penns Valley was freshman Brendan Colwell in 16 minutes, 38 seconds over the 5-kilometer course. His brother, Chris, a senior, was sixth in 16:49. Freshman Colton Sands (16:53) and junior Mark Bierly (16:56) were seventh and 10th, respectively. Sammy Gray’s 17th-place finish rounded out the scoring runners.
“The guys were great today,” Glunt said. “Our freshmen were a nice addition to our team — which could be one of my greatest understatements of all time.”
State College was paced by an 18th-place finish for freshman Bennett Norton in 17:35, while Preston Gardner (22nd), Ari Gluckman (23rd), Nicholas Banerjee (27th) and Brent Carpenter (30th) all had top-30 finishes.
Jersey Shore’s Isaac Davis won the race in 15:54.
The State College girls were paced by race champion Cailin Saylor, who was clocked in 19:47. On her heels were Emma Simon (19:53) in second, freshman Jordan Reed (19:58) in third, Kileigh Kane (20:16) in fifth and Gabbi Bock (20:44) in ninth.
“This is a really strong start for us,” Lady Little Lions coach Rebecca Gilkes said. “Probably one of the strongest starts we’ve ever had. To have three breaking 20 (minutes) and our fourth in the low 20s on a very rainy day, that was definitely a strong performance by our varsity squad.”
Lewisburg was a distant second at 89 points. Penns Valley took seventh with 192 points, and was third among Class 2A schools. Freshman Kelsey Hull took 10th to lead the Lady Rams in 20:56. Karly Smith was 18th, Alexis Witherite was 41st, Catherine Bierlein was 52nd and Alicia Yoder took 71st to round out the scoring.
Pope takes 3rd at Bear Mountain race
LOCK HAVEN Bellefonte’s Brett Pope captured third place in the Lock Haven Bear Mountain Invitational at Lock Haven University on Saturday.
Pope finished the 5-kilometer course in 15 minutes, 51 seconds. He finished behind only a pair of runners from General McLane, including winner Nate Price’s 15:43.
General McLane won with 101 points. Bellefonte was 17th with 376.
The Lady Red Raiders were also 17th with 376 points, while Elmira Express won with 61. Amber Shirey’s 20:25 time was good for 28th and led Bellefonte.
State College shuts out state champs
STATE COLLEGE It wasn’t a win, but State College played toe-to-toe with the nation’s No. 6 team, playing Lower Dauphin to a 0-0 tie Saturday at South Track Field.
The defending PIAA Class 3A champions, who finished last season 28-0 and ranked third in the nation, are No. 6 in the USA Today/United Soccer Coaches Super 25 preseason poll.
“I think we played really well,” State College coach Danny Orton said. “We competed for every ball, we were combative and fought for each other. As a benchmark we set the bar high for our season.”
The Little Lions were outshot 6-2, and the Falcons held an 8-2 edge in corner kicks to add to the pressure, but Jason Keller made five saves for the State College half of the shutout. Connor Buggy made two saves for Lower Dauphin.
State College falls on road
SOUTH PARK State College saw a halftime lead evaporate in a 4-2 loss to Peters Township in the South Hills Kickoff Classic on Saturday.
Myca Ingram and Emma Kerber scored first-half goals for the Lady Little Lions, who held a 2-1 lead at intermission before the Indians rallied after the break.
Kristen Lenze was in goal for State College.
Bellefonte drops pair
BELLEFONTE Juniata defeated Bellefonte 4-1 and Selinsgrove dropped the Lady Red Raiders 5-0 Saturday in the Raider Classic Soccer Tournament to open the season.
Freshman Madalyn Morelli scored the lone Bellefonte goal of the day, with help from classmate Mia Johnson, in the loss to Juniata. Gabbie Pighetti made eight saves in the loss.
Caitlyn Findlay’s hat trick led the Seals, who outshot the Lady Raiders 20-8. Pighetti made 15 saves.