Several local cross-country teams kicked off their seasons in a big way last week at the Big Valley Invitational in Reedsville, Mifflin County.
State College ran away with the competition, placing first in both the boys’ and girls’ overall divisions, with 40 and 59 points, respectively.
Penns Valley senior Colton Sands came in first place on the boys’ side, with a new school record of 15:48, while State College’s Ben St. Pierre was right behind him with 15:52. Penns Valley Brendan Colwell came in fifth with a time of 16:12, and Little Lions Bennett Norton placed seventh with 16:34, Brady Bigger ninth with 16:44 and Sean Adams 10th with 16:49.
The Rams placed fourth overall at the event, but were the top Class A team.
Bellefonte and Philipsburg-Osceola also competed, and finished 11th and 17th, respectively.
The Lady Little Lions posted a dominant victory with 59 points, defeating Forest Hills in second with 90 points, and Westmont Hilltop in third with 93 points.
Junior Jordan Reed led the field and successfully defended her 2018 title with a time of 19:21, followed closely by freshman Marlee Kwasnica in 19:23, taking second overall, and senior captain Elly Haushalter in 19:27, taking third overall.
“We have lots of work yet to be done. We’re in a great position with our top four girls capable of having as little as a 10 second spread all with super solid times,” coach Rebecca Donaghue said in an email. “We need to close the gap between our No. 4 and 5. Once we do that, we’ll be in a phenomenal position.”
Penns Valley came in eighth overall with 205 points, and was led by junior Kelsey Hull, who finished ninth with a time of 19:59. P-O finished 14th with 359 points.
The State College girls followed up that dominant performance on Tuesday by beating Mifflin County and Cumberland Valley in a tri-meet held at Circleville Park in State College to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Kwasnica took the individual win with a 20:14, while Reed was a close second with 20:16. Junior Karsyn Kane finished seventh overall with a 21:11, senior Mihret Strauss was ninth overall with a 21:54, and senior Maryanne Knappenberger rounded out the team’s top 5 as 10th overall with a 22:29.
P-O boys and girls also each won their meets against Cambria Heights on Thursday. The boys took the top 4 overall with Scotty Frantz, CJ Muckey, Cole Hoover and Josh Rea. Sam Bainey and Manna Potter took first and second in the girls race.
The Bald Eagles are off to a strong 3-0 start to the season, including a dominant win over crosstown-rival Bellefonte.
With a at trick by Falen McHenry, BEA posted a 4-1 victory over the Red Raiders at Alumni Stadium on Tuesday, while Addison Proctor added the fourth goal. Sierra Surovec and Maura Cingle each had assists. Head Coach Jared Moore praised his team’s defensive effort, especially the shadowing effort by Grace Wagner, who was able to limit Bellefonte senior Mallorie Smith to just one goal.
BEA goalkeeper Rachel Veneziano tallied nine saves, while Bellefonte keeper Emily Culp also made nine saves.
The Bald Eagles followed up that victory with a thriller at Huntingdon on Thursday. The two teams were neck-and-neck, until a penalty kick save by Veneziano energized the team. Zoey and Falen McHenry each recorded goals, while Veneziano went on to make 13 total saves.
“The girls played with a lot of heart and fire,” coach Moore said. “After Rachel’s PK save they flipped the switch and dominated the action. It was one the most exciting wins of my coaching career.”
Veneziano got her third shutout on Saturday against Moshannon Valley (4-0), while Falen McHenry added two more goals. Addie Proctor, and Anna Cingle also scored.
Despite putting up a remarkable 26 shots, Penns Valley lost 3-2 in double overtime against Central Martinsburg on Tuesday. However, the Rams were able to bounce back with a big 6-1 win over Bellefonte on Thursday.
Katie Martell turned a hat trick, while Hannah Montiminy score two and Hannah Denger added another. Smith scored for Bellefonte, while PV’s Kylie Auman had nine saves and Bellefonte’s Culp had 10.
“Playing Bellefonte is always a tough game and we had to be ready right from the start,” Penns Valley coach Andrew Beverly said in an email. “The girls did a great to come out strong and we created several early chances and capitalized on them. This was a great team performance for us and a great response after a disappointing loss on Tuesday.”
Bellefonte and State College have struggled to find wins so far this season, while St. Joe’s got in the win column by defeating Johnstown Christian School after two previous losses.
The BEA boys’ team also had a hot start to the season, winning its annual Kick-Off Tournament for the first time since it began hosting it 13 years ago. To do so, the Bald Eagles had to survive double-overtime scares and win in penalty kicks against St. Joe’s in the opening round, and then against Bellefonte in the final.
Dillon Barnyak scores in regulation against St. Joe’s while he, Dylan Hess, and Noah Giedroc scored PKs, and Connor Robinson had two big saves to win 2-1.
BEA outscored the Red Raiders 4-2 in PKs, with goals by Carter Stere, Shane Eveleth, Noah Giedroc and Hess.
Those two teams clashed again just a four days later at Rogers Stadium. After trailing at the half, the Bald Eagles rallied to a 2-1 win with two goals from Eveleth. BEA’s winning way, however, were stopped on Thursday when they were shutout 4-0 by Huntingdon.
Meanwhile, State College added wins over Cumberland Valley and Wiliamsport to improve to 2-1 on the season, and Penns Valley is 2-1 after wins over Central and Meadowbrook Christian and a double-overtime loss to Bellefonte.
The defending PIAA champion BEA volleyball team survived a scare from Dallastown on Aug. 30 to eventually pull out the win in five sets. Grace Hugar lead the Bald Eagles with 17 kills, followed by Lacee Barnhart with 13 and Taylor Kilmer with 10.
The Bald Eagles recorded another win on Thursday in three sets against Central. Katelyn Smitchko led the team with seven kills, while Claire Andrews had five and Taylor Kilmer 4. Madison Rockey led the way with 16 assists, while Madison Eckley added 14.
“Tonight was a great opportunity for a lot of our players to get some varsity experience.” Coach Larry Campbell said. “Everyone contributed to the victory.”
BEA then went on the road to Reading where it played in the Bulldog Invitational Tournament with a total of 20 ranked PIAA teams. The Eagles’ day came to an end in the semifinals as they fell to the state’s top-ranked AAA team Southern Lehigh, by identical 25-18 scores.
The Philipsburg-Osceola boy’s golf team continues to dominate with another perfect 7-0 mark in its second Mountain League meet of the season, defeating Tyrone (331), Central (353), Huntingdon (359), Bellefonte (371), Clearfield (408), BEA (435) and Penns Valley (465) with a score of 315.
Keegan Soltis placed first individually with 72, one stroke ahead of Tyrone’s Jake Taylor. The Mounties were also helped by Ky Bender (78), Brandon Singer (80) and Chad Frank (85).
With an 11-0 record in Week 2 and 14-0 on the season, boy’s golf was named the school’s Mountie Team of the Week, and Singer was named Player of the Week.
State College dominated North Allegheny 6-0 in its season opener on Aug. 31. Rebecca Bonness led the scoring with two goals — the first a direct shot from the top of the circle to lead off the scoring, and the second on a direct shot on a corner. Bonness also tallied two assists. Lizzie Paterno, Isabella Parillo, Maddie Tamborini and Libby Fortin also scored goals in the effort. Tamborini also added an assist, and Bayla Furmanek pitched the shutout with five saves.
The State High girls’ tennis team suffered its first defeat of the season against Hershey on Tuesday. Freshman Emily Zhang and the doubles team of Saoirse Hopp and Sruthi Ramesh won their matchups, but the team lost 3-2 overall. The team is now 7-1 after defeating Lower Dauphin 5-0 on Thursday.