After kicking off its season with an impressive showing at an invitational on Saturday, Sept. 8, and coming away with a cumulative 5-1 record in its first official Lancaster-Lebanon League meet of the season, the Elizabethtown Area High School cross country team was looking to continue that success at another invitational and another Section Two meet. It was a mixed but overall positive set of races for the Bears.
The team first competed in the Ben Bloser Invitational at Big Spring High School on Saturday, Sept. 15. Both the boys and girls teams finished in the top 10 for the overall AAA team standings, one of five teams to do so, the others being Carlisle, Wilson, Chambersburg and Hempfield. The girls placed seventh, while the boys were ninth, flipping their positions from their previous invitational. The girls had three runners place in the top 20; only Dallastown matched that feat. Senior Cat Shontz wasfourth, while sophomore Madeline Quinn and junior Katie Locker were 13th and 19th, respectively. Freshman Sierra Kapcsos also placed in the top 100 at 81st. The other Elizabethtown runners consisted senior Jessie Lloyd (104th), junior Camille Donahue (122nd) and senior Julee Wells (147th).
For the boys, junior Jesse Myers (29th), sophomore Garrick English (31st), senior Nat McCloud (43rd) and junior Alex Hartman (82nd) all finished in the top 100. The remaining Bears runners included freshman Nathan Johnson (104th), sophomore Nate Barnhart (144th) and freshman Wyatt Mummau (169th).
Elizabethtown next made up a previously postponed meet at Hempfield on Tuesday, Sept. 18, with Warwick also competing. All three teams entered the event with strong starts to the year. Each girls team was undefeated, while the boys teams all had at least 2 wins. That showed in the meet itself, where the Warwick boys and Elizabethtown girls emerged victorious.
For the second straight meet, Elizabethtown took the top three spots in the girls event. Locker, Quinn and Shontz went 1-2-3, respectively, giving the Lady Bears the edge over Warwick (second) and Hempfield(third). Kapcsos (11th) and junior Kate Weissend (12th) also finished in the top 15 for Elizabethtown, who are now the lone undefeated team in Section One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League.
The Bears saw the boys team finish in a close third behind the other two schools, falling to 2-3 on the year. Warwick had both Noah Martin and Connor Shields in first and second place, while Hempfield saw Justin Rittenhouse and Jack Mieszkalski in third and fourth. Myers got fifth for Elizabethtown, while English and Hartman took 10th and 11th. McCloud was 13th as well.
The next scheduled regular season meet for Elizabethtown is against McCaskey on Tuesday, Sept. 25. It will be the first at home for the Bears this season.