RIDGWAY — Clearfield Lady Bison freshman Paige Mikesell continued her outstanding rookie campaign with a gold medal finish at the District 9 AA Cross Country Championships held Saturday at Grandinetti Elementary School in Ridgway.
Paige crossed the tape in 20:22 to punch her ticket to the PIAA State Championships, which will be held at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey next Saturday, November 1.
Lady Bison Head Coach John Jacob described his champ’s race this way, ” Paige ran a nice race today. She had some ups and downs this season but she learned from them and was able to turn those mistakes into a District Championship. Coach (Todd) Winters and I knew that the girls from St. Marys and Bradford would take the race out fast; so it was our race plan to keep a relaxed pace over the first half mile and then begin to move up in the pack until Paige felt she could take the lead. For a freshman, she did a nice job of being patient and waiting for just the right time. By the half way point she was in striking distance and by mile-2 she had established a commanding lead that she maintained throughout the remainder of the race. At the Ridgway Invitational (on October 4) she showed that she could compete with all the girls in the district. At today’s race she had to battle back from a disappointing Mountain League Championship race. She could have easily taken a back seat and just qualified (for states) but she really showed her competitive side by going out and running her own race and letting her talent and hard work show.”
Paige will be joined at the state meet by two of her fellow Bison from the boy’s team. Freshman Alex Coval finished sixth overall with a time of 18:34 and junior Josiah McClarren logged an 18:53 to finish ninth.
Coach Jacob had this to say about the boy’s team results, ” Alex (Coval) ran a race similar to Paige’s to get his qualifying spot. He was very patient over the first mile and then began to move up. At the two mile mark, he had moved into the fifth spot. At that point Alex began to pass several more runners to comfortably move in to the third overall qualifying spot. Alex started working for this in the beginning of the summer and it was great to see all his hard work pay off with a trip to the State Championships. Josiah’s race was a little more difficult and nearly put Coach Winters and I in the hospital with heart attack. Josiah had been passing people over the entire race but with less than a half mile left was racing against five boys for the last qualifying spot. He made a nice move that put him out in front to claim the final spot. One of the boys he was racing against was freshman teammate, Harry McMillen, who was also putting together a nice race. Harry has consistently been improving this entire season and had his best time today but fell just a little short of his goal. Overall the boys team finished third out of seven teams and were only two points from taking the runner-up spot.”
The efforts of some of the Clearfield runners from the girl’s team were not lost on Coach Jacob, “Claire Mikesell was next across the line for and was one spot away from qualifying for the state championships for a second time. We were expecting St. Marys to win the team title so we were counting the places to put Claire in the fifth spot. Going into the last mile the St. Marys girls had given up the team lead to Bradford which changed the standings. It also changed the last qualifying spot and left her just seconds short. Claire ran a great race and had limited time on her running over the last three weeks due to an injury but her talent and strong work running over the summer paid off with a great time. The story was the same for Kristi Fox. She was running a great race but her limited time running recently also made it hard for her to move up into a qualifying spot. Kristi has had a great cross country career and her dedication to the program can be seen in our team’s record as well as her individual accomplishments. She was part of our Mountain League Championship team, was a two time Mountain League All-star and a two time state qualifier. Her talents will definitely be missed next season but she is part of the reason we have had so much success. Also racing in her last race was Emily Aveni. Emily deserves a lot of credit for our team success. Over the past four seasons she has consistently been able to compete and pick up valuable points in our dual meet and championship seasons.
Complete girls results can be found here.
Complete boys results can be found here.