Peters punches ticket to States
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
Danae Peters probably went out a little faster than her coaches were hoping at the District 3 Triple-A Cross Country Championships last Wednesday, Oct. 26.
But it didn’t stop the Manheim Central sophomore from reaching her goal.
Competing among 337 girls at the Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey, she finished the 5K race in 16th place in a time of 20:05 to punch her ticket to the PIAA State Meet, set for this Saturday, Nov. 5. Peters is Manheim Central’s first State cross country qualifier since Brogan Garvey in 2008.
"We were very happy because that was the goal was to get her there," Manheim Central coach Shane Adams said. "She ran well. I think she’s still got more in the tank, so I think she’s going to do pretty well there at the State Meet. It’s a great experience for her."
Sophomore Alex Agesen also competed for the Lady Barons and placed 332nd overall in a time of 25:30.
In the boys race, Manheim Central sent its first team to the District Championships in recent years, and the Barons, led by junior Josh Lachman’s 70th-place finish in 17:52, placed 41st out of 48 squads. There were 357 finishers in the boys’ Triple-A race.
"They’re all underclassmen except for one, so again, the experience is good for us," Adams said. "Part of it is that our athletes haven’t been in that type of competition yet. So the experience we’re gaining is only going to pay off for our future. Central’s program is definitely moving in the right direction, so that’s a good sign. The numbers are increasing. We’ve come a long way in three years. Usually we get one or two kids at the District Meet. This year, we had eight (combined among boys and girls)."
Peters definitely came a long way since last year’s District Meet, where she finished 49th in 20:51, missing a State berth by just 10 places.
Last Wednesday, she would not be denied and she had an aggressive start to put herself with the leaders early on, completing the first mile in a time of 5:26.
"It was such a large field and what we told her was, ‘You’ve got to get out because you don’t want to get boxed in and shoved around,’" Adams said. "I think part of her going out so fast was to not lose contact with some of your other runners there. I think she feels if she loses contact, she won’t be able to stay in the mix."
Peters ran her second mile in 6:38 and ended up as the L-L League’s fourth overall place-finisher with a 6:28 overall pace behind Penn Manor’s Greta Lindsley, who won the race in 18:52, Elizabethtown junior Olivia Esbenshade (8th, 19:36) and Manheim Township freshman Emily McBride (11th, 19:46).
Solanco junior Jillian Eberly clinched the final berth at States by taking 40th in 20:36. The Triple-A girls will compete in the PIAA Meet starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday back at the Parkview course.
"The goal (for Danae) was for her to finish in the top 30 to 35 because we thought that’s what you needed to get to the State meet," Adams said. "So the ultimate goal was to get her to move on to next week. Part of our goal is to get her those learning experiences because the more she learns, the better runner she’s going to become. We’re just going to go and have fun (at States) and let’s see what happens and let her just race it. The experience she’s gaining at this meet will be incredible because she’s the first State qualifier since Brogan Garvey three years ago."
Placing behind Lachman for the Manheim Central boys were sophomore Kyle Kegarise (128th, 18:19), junior Mason Hepner (226th, 18:59), senior Josh Haldeman (304th, 19:41), junior Jordan Shimer (305th, 19:41) and freshman Nate Lachman (327th, 20:05).
"I think that group of six guys have the potential to do very well," Adams said. More MC RUNNERS, page B-10