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Reigning 6-A champ England, others returning

High school boys cross country preview

August 28, 2013
By Buck Frank (bfrank@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

The area should be blessed with a large quantity of solid runners when the 2013 boys cross country season opens Saturday with the annual Big Valley Invitational in Reedsville.

Of the 24 boys runners who made the Mirror's first- or second-team all-star list last year, only six of them were seniors.

Some of the top returnees include last year's District 6 Class A champion Bryce England of Williamsburg, a senior, and Bedford sophomore William Kachman, who was the runner-up in District 6 Class AA and placed 30th at states.

Bedford should do well in dual meets with sophomore Zane Baker, the fourth-place finisher in District 6-AA, also returning. The Bisons should battle it out in the Laurel Highlands Conference with teams like Central Cambria and Penn Cambria.

Altoona will have its usual contingent of strong runners, led by Mirror first-team all-stars Kyle Heasley, a senior, and juniors Brad Foust and Dominic Stroh, and should compete for a District 6 Class AAA team title that it has won five of the last six years.

Northern Bedford won't field a team but will have two seniors, Collin Sherlock and Mike Heck, who are expected to be among the top runners in District 5 Class A.

One big change for this season is that the District 6 meet will be held at Forest Hills in Sidman instead of being hosted by Mifflin County.

Here is closer look at the area teams that submitted information to the Mirror:

Altoona

Coach: Lee Baranik, 33rd year

Career record: 200-31

League: None

Returning lettermen: Khristian Delozier, sr.; Mitch Endress, sr.; Kyle Heasley, sr.; Brad Foust, jr.; Dominic Stroh, jr.; Jerrod Sunderland, jr.; Joe Uliano, soph.

Other returnees: Marcus Edwards, sr.; Mason McGinnis, sr.; Josh Miller, sr.; Josh Henry, jr.; Dima Kunstbeck, jr.; Bryce McGarvey, jr.; Brett George, soph.; Cody Kelly, soph.; Trent Marra, soph.; Abdul Pearson, soph.

Newcomers: Hunter Osmolinski, jr.; Kevin Smith, soph.; Andrew Toth, soph.; Brady McCarthy, fr.; Dillan Murphy, fr.; Mike Stumpf, fr.

Strengths: "Our key strength will be the fact that 10 of the returning runners have varsity experience. Five of the 10 were regular varsity runners during the 2012 season."

Concerns: "Our major concern is our tough schedule, which we like, but by the end of the season it will wear down runners who have not put in a solid summer."

Overall outlook: "Our overall outlook is very positive as we plan to be a force in District 6, and one of our goals is to win the championship. Brad Foust and Dominic Stroh should lead the way as they both made it to the state meet in Hershey last year. Brad was 80th, and Dominic was 81st as sophomores. They should be threats in every race they run this season. Plus, Kyle Heasley and Mitch Endress have a lot of valuable varsity experience from last season, which should help us to be a very solid team."

Bedford

Coach: Michele Fisher, eighth year

Career record: 47-43

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 16-6 overall, 4-5 LHAC

Returning starters: Austin Ronan, sr.; Kyle Mehle, jr.; Kyle Pittman, jr.; Zane Baker, soph.; Paul Enderle, soph.; William Kachman, soph.

Newcomers: Joshua Grimes, soph.; Jeffrey Yang, soph.; Logan Tew, fr.

Strengths: "Returning state qualifiers Zane Baker and William Kachman return to pace the team. Kyle Pittman has greatly improved his strength and speed since last season. Logan Tew, although new, has road race experience and had a solid season in junior high track. Kyle Mehle and Austin Ronan have experience under their belts, and newcomer Jeff Yang did really well at the Liberty Day's Race in July."

Concerns: "Depth is a concern, especially with three of the boys sharing time with soccer."

Overall outlook: "The team should be solid and, with hard work, should improve its standing in the LHAC."

Assistant coaches: Matt Kline, Jeff Hamilton, Jason Tew, Brian Creps

Bellwood-Antis

Coach: Julie Roseborough, 21st year

Career record: 132-94

League: Inter-County Conference

Last year's record: 4-5

Returnees: Cory Dutrow, sr.; Zack Hornberger, sr.; Isaac Mills, jr.; Luke Hollingshead, soph.; Jon Killinger, soph.

Newcomers: Aaron Mogle, jr.

Strengths: "We have some runners who should have good seasons and some runners who have improved from last year."

Concerns: "We don't have much depth."

Overall outlook: "By midseason we hope to be a solid team."

Assistant coaches: Chris Brown, Rhonda Mills

Bishop Carroll

Coach: Jeremiah Grosser, second year

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Returnees: Ty Krug, sr.

Newcomers: Alex Gruss, sr.; Seth Hall, jr.; Mitchell Hogue, soph.; Kevin Biais, fr.; Ryan Karlheim, fr.; Nate Krug, fr.; Jimmy Wyland, fr.

Strengths: "We have a very hard-working and dedicated group."

Concerns: "We have a lot of new runners."

Overall outlook: "We're looking for development throughout the season."

Bishop Guilfoyle

Coach: Joe Bilka, 15th year

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 0-9

Returnees: Colin Berkheimer, sr.; Tevon Grove, soph.

Newcomers: Michael Elder, fr.; Tyler Glunt, fr.; Nick Nale, fr.; Matt Unpingco, fr.; Michael Yahner, fr.

Strengths: "A great group of new runners who competed at the junior high level and are anxious to compete this year. Young and enthusiastic."

Concerns: "A young team learning to compete at the varsity level will be a challenge."

Overall outlook: "A bright future with some young athletes excited about this season."

Assistant coach: Vicki Bilka

Cambria Heights

Coach: John Kuskoski, 21st year

Career record: 138-130

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 7-10 overall, 2-8 LHAC

Returning starters: Mike Dautlick, jr.; Eric Kuskoski, jr.

Other returnees: Will Hoover, sr.; Damon Lechene, soph.; Michael Shuss, soph.

Newcomers: Raymond Niebauer, sr.; Michael McConnell, soph.; Brad O'Hara, soph.

Strengths: "'Worker' ethic."

Concerns: "Roster size."

Overall outlook: "This team will get to experience victories and losses with a lot of pride and class."

Assistant coaches: Kathy Kuskoski, Debbie Link, T.J. O'Hara

Central

Coach: Ray Brooks, second year

Career record: 1-10

League: Mountain League

Last year's record: 1-10 overall, 1-6 ML

Returning starters: Jordan Irvin, sr.; Patrick Davis, jr.; Nathan Smith, jr.

Newcomers: Cullen Gahagan, jr.; Steven Bowman, soph.; Gavin Northern, soph.; Rodolfo Santos, soph.; Brooks Bouffard, fr.; Tanner Grove, fr.

Strengths: "We have a good mix of young runners following strong leadership."

Concerns: "My main concern is to make sure we all do our best and have a lot of fun along the way."

Overall outlook: "Good."

Central Cambria

Coach: Randy Wilson, 14th year

Career record: 123-23

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 6-6

Returnees: Logan Brandis, sr.; Justin Jeffers, sr.; Dave Barnes, soph.; Bryce Descavish, soph.; Javaunte Neumann, soph.; Tommy Opdenhoff, soph.

Newcomers: Noah Vasil, sr.; Mitchell Vogatsky, sr.; Jeremy Ford, soph.; Max Murin, fr.; Mike Walwro, fr.

Strengths: "An extremely focused and driven group of veterans and young runners who are highly motivated and dedicated."

Concerns: "How the team will react to pressure. They have set high goals, and it will require a lot of perseverance to achieve them."

Overall outlook: "We have a good blend of veteran and young runners who really want to be competitive at the conference and especially the district level. The LHAC is a tough conference, and the regular season will prepare this team to do well at districts. This team's all-for-one attitude will hopefully be the difference in tight meets."

Hollidaysburg

Coach: Lynette Luke, third year

League: None

Last year's record: 8-3

Returnees: Brian Flynn, sr.; Eric Jennings, sr.; Jon Lewis, sr.; Braden Lishinsky, sr.; Chris McHugh, sr.; Ben Riggen, sr.; Marcus Pierce, jr.; Jack Ansley, soph.; David Snyder, soph.

Newcomers: Kyle Eberhart, jr.; Brian Walker, jr.; Max Gehringer, soph.; Will Wasilko, soph.; Dillon Lance, fr.

Strengths: "We have a lot of experienced runners on our roster. In fact, all of our seniors have run for at least one year prior to this season. I am proud of the work that some of these runners have put in over the summer. I have some boys out this season who were riding their bikes to meet up with teammates to run, training for triathlons and really making summer training a priority. Clearly, this dedication is key to a successful season."

Concerns: "We have a lot of experience, but we lost a great deal of talent last year. Last year we saw seven boys graduate, leaving us with only three returning varsity runners."

Overall outlook: "I'm really looking forward to watching our boys develop into competitive runners."

Assistant coaches: Deb Solomon, Geordie Edmiston, Bill Bravin

Penn Cambria

Coach: Todd Niebauer, seventh year

League: Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference

Last year's record: 5-7

Returnees: Rob Pramuk, sr.; Nathan Brown, jr.; Brett Fabbri, jr.; Dominic Farabaugh, jr.; Drew Slatko-Wilt, jr.; Bryce Smithmyer, jr.; Garrett Sutton, jr.; Austin Farabaugh, soph.; Dane Myers, soph.

Newcomers: Eric Japp, jr.; Jacob Wilkinson, fr.

Strengths: "We have everybody back, and [Garrett] Sutton and [Drew] Slatko-Wilt are our top two runners. Sutton's put in a lot of work over the summer, and it's been evident.''

Concerns: "Depth and staying healthy.''

Overall outlook: "I'm optimistic about this group. They all have been with me at least one year. They're hard workers. I think we should be able to get good enough to get where we think we should be.''

Philipsburg-Osceola

Coach: Heather Sagaities, first year

Career record: 0-0

League: Mountain League

Last year's record: 3-8 overall, 2-4 ML

Returnees: Dallas Kephart, sr.; Payton Moore, soph.; Michael Shimmel, soph.

Newcomers: Dallas Greenawalt, sr.; Kyle Albert, soph.

Strengths: "Hard-working team that is excited about the season and looking to constantly improve."

Concerns: "Fairly young team that will need to gain some race experience in order to run smart races."

Overall outlook: "Looking to improve as the season progresses."

Assistant coaches: Kelly Dobo, Rob Thompson

Williamsburg

Volunteer advisor: Kristen England, second year

League: Inter-County Conference

Returnees: Bryce England, sr.

Newcomers: Devon Rupert, sr.; Roy Lynn, jr.; Silas Dishong, fr.; Noah Wheland, fr.

Strengths: "Athletes have a strong work ethic."

Concerns: "None."

Overall outlook: "Anticipating a great season."

 
 

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