LEWISTOWN — On the strength of two top-8 performances the Clearfield girls cross country team was able to capture its first Mountain Athletic Conference League title Wednesday afternoon at Indian Valley High School in Lewistown.
Senior Juliana Mellgard was the first Lady Bison to cross the tape in a time of 22:19 to finish 8th overall and 6th overall against girls from schools entered in the team race. Freshman Krisi Fox then covered the 5,000 meter race in 22:19 to place 11th overall and 8th in the team race.
According to head coach John Jacob, it was the Lady Bison depth and race strategy that secured what he called an “upset”” win, “It was a total team effort last night (Wednesday) by all the girls. Every girl had their hand in this championship from first to last place. Juliana ran a very nice race today and her leadership was a spark for the entire team. Next to cross the line was freshman Kristi Fox, who had the most impressive race running with some of the top girls in the league. Kristi was able to battle her way to an 8th place finish. Next was a wave of Clearfield runners that sealed the Championship for the team. Emily Aveni, Courtney Smith and Rachel Thompson were able to pass several runners over the last mile with all of the girls finishing inside the top 15 in the team results. Not to be outdone, Katie Stine, Coleen Mulhollan, and Kaylee Mulhollan were able used thier role to displace the other teams 5th runners. These runners have been steadily improving through out the year and were able to use our teams depth to pad our win. Coach (Todd) Winters and I were very impressed with the way everyone of the girls raced today. They were able to race smart at the beginging of the race, agressive during the second mile and attack over the last mile. These are the tactics we have been working on all year and it paid off tonight. The confidence we gained tonight will definiately help us going into the District Championships one week from Saturday.”
Central Mountain 59
Penns Valley 61
The Clearfield boys team placed seventh out of seven teams with Matt Sponsler leading the team with an 18th overall and a 13th in the team race.
Both teams will compete in the District 9 Championships on Saturday October 29 in Ridgway.