Cardinal Cross Country Records Fall at Loch Haven


Tom Shade, Contributor

It was a beautiful Saturday morning at Loch Haven’s Bear Mountain River Run Invitational as 25 Pennsylvania schools came together to jump-start the 2019 cross country season on the dry, flat course used by the university’s teams.

When the starting guns and cheering crowds finally ceased at noon, and the boosters had the grills fired up by the team tents, the DCC runners on both teams found themselves on the positive side of school history as both the girls & boys varsity teams set new school place records, as did the lead runners.

The Cardinal boys, led by Johnny Ritsick’s(17:26) record-setting run that placed in the top 30 at this race, a record, came in 19th, two better than last season, even without two of their top runners participating. Ritsick, who missed a medal by only 23 seconds, placed himself in the all-time top 40 performances in school history, virtually tied with Matt Gabler from the 1999 season. It was Ritsick’s career-best mark as he begins his senior year.

“It was exciting to see Johnny hit this time to start things off, and I know he is motivated to make a big contribution in his senior year. He has established a great deal of respect throughout District Nine as the season kicks off. (Coach Shade)”

Freshman Brenden Paisley(19:54), now #3 in the records books for this contest, contributed to the notable score today, followed by brother Shane Paisley(20:29) who improved his career-best time to come in third for the Cards.

Dylan Foster (20:53) was fourth for DCC, before Dante Armanini ended the scoring at the #5 spot. Aaron Gankosky and Loren Way ran the 6th & 7th places to complete the full team for the boys.

“We had a feeling Brenden would do well and looks like he may have a nice career in front of him. Shane’s career run was a pleasant surprise and shows he put some work behind it. Dylan only missed a PR by a second, and Dante wasn’t far off. Loren and Aaron had a great debut and learned something about the sport as well as themselves.”

The DCC boys team defeated Canton Area, Troy, and Bishop McCourt in head-to-head contests.

The winning team in the boys contest was Wyalusing Valley, while the top male runner of the day was Dylan Throop from General McLane.

Leading the Lady Cards to a new team-place record was Jaci Mennetti(22:11) who also established a new school record for both individual place(29) and performance at the invite. The girls team also shattered, by 4 minutes, the total team time(25 minutes) for the race, though missing a teammate today.

“Jaci’s run places her in the top 15 all-time runners based on performance at DCC since the program began 32 years ago. She was only 26 seconds away from medaling in one of Pennsylvania’s most prestigious meets, and it shows that she did some work in the summer months.”

Establishing herself at the #2 spot at DCC for this invitational was senior Jordy Kosko(24:00) who is sharing her remarkable athleticism with the girls XC team this season. Kosko also stars on the Cardinal volleyball team at the same time.

“Jordy does a nice job balancing school, and two sports. She brings a great attitude and experience from her well-known exploits in other sports, and really enhances this program”

JoAnne Case(26:00) ran her best time ever to earn the all-time #3 spot in this competition, and Beth Williams came in fourth for DCC soon after to grab the #5 spot for the record books. Finishing the scoring for the Lady Cards was senior Maddie Miscavish.

Other girls teammates hit their personal marks, including Alex Ochs who was hampered by an injury yet still managed a good run, and Michaela Armanini who beat last year’s time as she came in at #7 for DCC. Maddy Miller hit a PR at #8, followed by Rachael Miller to wrap things up for the Lady Cards.

The DCC girls defeated Clarion & Coudersport with full team matchups.

Lauren Trapani of Warrior Run was the winner of the girls race while her team also took top honors.

“It was a positive, strong experience for both varsity teams who represented their school in excellent fashion. The parents & fans also gave tremendous support throughout the day.”

The Cardinal harriers travel to Punxy on Tuesday for a quad-meet that will feature a clashing of several powerhouse teams(DHS & ECC) from District Nine.