PIAA Hershey Foundation Invitational

 On Saturday, September 25, Juniata Cross Country (XC) went down to Hershey for the PIAA Foundation XC Invitational . The 5K course right beside Hersheypark is a fairly hilly course especially in the first 2 miles. So it definitely tests the limits of the runners. The boys were led by senior Logan Strawser with an impressive time of 16:16 and a 3rd place overall finish against 288 AA runners. Scoring 27th and 38th for the boys were sophomores Joey Bomberger and Wyatt Stroup, with times of 17:27 and 17:46. Joey runs the hills very well and it definitely helped him in this difficult course. Sophomore Wesley Ehrisman  and freshman Levi Zeiders finished the points positions in 85th and 111th places with times of 18:36 and 19:10. Freshman Rickey Guante finished 193rd for the boys with a 20:17, and sophomore Charlie Telfer finished 268th for the boys with 23:12. The boys showed they are a force to be reckoned with placing 7th out of 39 teams in the AA size schools. Rory Lieberman of Danville won the AA race with a 15:48. Coach Jeff Miller said, “I thought the boys ran great today. Logan battled two of the best runners in the state and shaved off a 1:30 off his time last year. Joey ran very well, nearly grabbing a personal record on the difficult course. He shaved 2:30 off his time last year. Wyatt also ran great, taking 3:00 off his time last year. I thought Wesley and Levi ran great for their first time on this course. I told Rickey to run 85-90% of effort since he had a soccer game later that day. If all goes well, the boys team will be back down at the Hershey Course for states as a full team in 6 weeks. Charlie also showed his hard work paying off with improving his time by 4:00.”  As for the girls,  only Jessie Bomberger ran in the AA race. She placed 134th place with a personal record time of 23:53. Coach Miller said,  “ For her (Jessie) to break 24 minutes was a great day.”

Paul Short Invitational 

The Paul Short XC Invitational is a prestigious XC event that included 12 races throughout the day on Friday, September 30th on the campus of Lehigh University. From college D1, D2 and D3 runners competing first with 3,692 college runners and A, AA and AAA high schools competing 1,903 runners later in the afternoon, the Paul Short Run is one of the largest cross country events in the world! It is a very fast course with the first mile being a mostly flat mile and then the 2nd mile having some gradual uphill. To finish the 5 K, the best part of the course is the last mile which is all gradual downhill until the last 200 meters with a little incline sprint to the finish.  This course is a course to get a fast PR, which is why Coach Jeff Miller loves to send his team to this invite. The boys team competed in the HS brown race which is packed with 490 mostly AAA runners. Logan Strawser grabbed a super fast 4th place overall finish with a time of 15:00:4 for a new Juniata school record which was held by Garrett Baublitz since 2019 with 15:21. The next runner to come in for the boys was Wyatt Stroup in 75th place with a time of 16:26:5. Joey Bomberger came in shortly after with a 83th place finish of 16:30:6. Wesley Ehrisman placed 221st with a 17:22:6. Levi Zeiders rounded out the scoring by finishing 233rd in 17:30:3. Senior Brady Roe placed 336th with a 18:18:5 and Rickey Guante placed 383rd with a time of 18:46:2. The boys finished 18/44 teams in the brown race. Miller said,  “We came here to run fast times and that’s exactly what we did.  I purposely put the boys in the faster AAA race just for this reason. We could have finished 3rd as a team in the AA race, but that wasn’t our main goal.” Everyone PR’d at Paul Short! The girls raced in the AA white race, led by Jessie Bomberger in 146th place with a time of 22:11:4. Haley Mummah ran a time of 25:00:1 for 298th place. Nia Matthews placed 316th with a time of 25:43:7 and Aspen Eby placed 335th with a time of 26:56:5. There were 370 runners in the girls race. The girls were one person shy of placing in the teams list. Miller said, “It is awesome to see all four girls PR. It shows that all the hard work is paying off. The weather was perfect for racing, but usually someone has a bad day, today that was not the case. Everyone came out of this invite very happy.”

Top Row L-R

Brady Roe,Coach Jeff Miller,Charlie Telfer,Logan Strawser,Wyatt Stroup,Rickey Guante,Levi Zeiders

Bottom Row L-R

Joey Bomberger,Jessie Bomberger,Calla Mianulli,Aspen Eby,Carolyn Heidenreich,Haley Mummah,Wesley Ehrisman

Picture Courtesy of Shari Miller.