EVERETT - Maria Snyder is a competitive person.
Snyder already won her second consecutive District 5 Class AA tennis title earlier this month and entered Wednesday's District 5 Class A cross country championship at the Bedford County Technical Center as the favorite to defend her championship from a year ago.
Her competitive nature, however, almost cost her. Early in the race, Snyder pushed hard to take the lead and ended up running her fastest quarter-mile ever. The Northern Bedford senior barely had enough to finish, and even though she won, Snyder was still was having issues walking quickly and speaking more than a half hour after the race.
"I went out way too fast," Snyder said. "I think today I just panicked a little bit, but the goal was to make it through today. Hopefully I'll do better [at states].
"Sometimes I have trouble that when people go out in front, I go out with them. I have to do my own pace. I should have held back and let the race come to me instead of trying to control that."
Snyder's time of 21:08 bested Southern Fulton's Macey Hollenshead by 27 seconds.
"It does feel really good to win," Snyder said. "That's always good, but hopefully I'll be able to race better next time."
Tussey Mountain's Samantha Coffman qualified for the PIAA championships next Saturday in Hershey for the third time with a fifth-place finish in 22:59.
"It's an awesome feeling to be moving on," Coffman said. "I have been sick recently, and I don't practice because I play soccer, so I think I did pretty well."
While Coffman and Snyder will be making return trips to Hershey, Chestnut Ridge's Kimberly Bischof will be making her first appearance after taking sixth. Only the top five make it, but because Southern Fulton won the girls team title, Hollenshead's second-place finish was not counted toward individuals at states.
"I'm ecstatic," Bischof said. "I knew I had a shot, but I really didn't think I could do it. This is major for me. This is my best time ever for this course."
Fellow Lion runner Jimmy Farnan was considered one of the favorites to win the boys race, but Wednesday's weather - sunny and in the high 70's - did not cooperate.
"I was hoping to win, but I put up a good fight," said Farnan, who finished third in 17:26. "I've beaten Collin [Day of Meyersdale, who won the title in 17:21], but I'm not a hot weather runner. I definitely prefer when it's cold, windy and maybe even raining. These weren't really my conditions."
The Northern Bedford duo of Mike Heck (fifth) and Colin Sherlock (seventh) also advanced to states, with Sherlock getting in because two members of Southern Fulton's boys championship team were in the top five. Both Black Panther runners were among the top three early in the race.
"It's pretty cool," Heck said. "This is a tough competition with a lot of good runners. We're all pretty even."
"I missed qualifying last year, and I really wanted to make states this year," Sherlock said. "I was cutting it close, but I'm glad I made it. I had soccer games on Monday and Tuesday, so I was pretty sore and was feeling that a lot late in the race."
KEY: CR-Chestnut Ridge, NB-Northern Bedford, M-Meyersdale, SF-Southern Fulton, SS-Shanksville Stoneycreek, TM-Tussey Mountain, BB-Berlin Brothersvalley, HH-Hope for Hyndman, W-Windber, JC-Johnstown Christian, FM-Fannett-Metal.
1, Day, M, 17:21; 2, Richards, SF, 17:25; 3, Farnan, CR, 17:26; 4, Voight, SF, 17:45; 5, Heck, NB, 17:51; 6, Wilt, SS, 18:33; 7, Sherlock, NB, 18:56; 8. Cosgrove, HH, 19:03; 9. Beutman, CR, 19:04; 10. Polca, W, 19:27; 11. Tanner Hetrick, M, 19:46; 12. Bard, SF, 20:02; 13. Ashkettle, SF, 20:06; 14. Spinelli, M, 20:09; 15. Pryor, SF, 20:10; 16. Schoenberger, CR, 20:18; 17. Cook, HH, 20:19; 18. Hines, M, 20:21; 19. Shankle, M, 20:26; 20. Felix, JC, 20:27; 21. Peretti, BB, 20:42; 22. Davis, CR, 20:49; 23. Taylor, CR, 21:03; 24. Cross, SF, 21:09; 25. Baker, SF, 21:09+; 26. Christner, M, 21:16; 27. Arnold, M, 21:27; 28. J. Miller, HH, 21:37; 29. Gibbner, HH, 22:10; 30. Yothers, CR, 22:16; 31. Wentz, TM, 23:02; 32. Bittinger, CR, 23:08; 33. Emerick, HH, 23:25; 34. S. Miller, HH, 23:53.
1. Southern Fulton, 34; 2. Meyersdale, 47; 3. Chestnut Ridge, 54; 4. HOPE for Hyndman 92.
1, M. Snyder, NB, 21:08; 2, Hollenshead, SF, 21:35; 3, Tokarsky, W, 22:07; 4, Baker, M, 22:33; 5, Coffman, TM, 22:59; 6, Bischof, CR, 23:17; 7. Ja. Snyder, H, 23:49; 8. Corinne Cook, HOPE for Hyndman, 23:50; 9. Leidy, NB, 24:03; 10. Voight, SF, 24:17; 11. Me. Deneen, SF, 24:21; 12. Felski, W, 24:29; 13. Cosgrove, HH, 24:36; 14. Reed, TM, 24:43; 15. Sprankle, JC, 25:05; 16. Shields, FM, 25:24; 17. Folk, TM, 26:00; 18. Shank, W, 26:08; 19. Pryor, SF, 26:15; 20. Price, JC, 26:24; 21. Bittinger, M, 26:47; 22. Rupert, TM, 26:55; 23. Malec, CR, 27:14; 24. Ma. Deneen, HH, 27:18; 25. Williams, SF, 27:32; 26. Bracken, W, 27:34; 27. Je. Snyder, HH, 28:01; 28. Eckenroad, BB, 28:34; 29. Oravec, JC, 29:06; 30. Bouch, M, 29:24; 31. Heming, CR, 32:27; 32. Wawro, SF, 32:28; 33. Crouse, SF, 36:15.
1. Southern Fulton, 26; 2. HOPE for Hyndman 29.