DCC Cross Country Records Fall at Punxsutawney


Tom Shade, Contributor

The natural nemesis of distance runners is warm weather and last Tuesday was the first test of the Cards competing in those conditions at the 26-year old Punxsutawney home course. Three of District Nine’s powerhouse teams joined the Cardinal runners on the dry, looping course to take part in the season’s first dual meet.

The DCC harriers managed to alter the school record books starting with the boys race as Johnny Ritsick(18:08) bested Matt Gabler’s time of the 2000 season to now claim the fastest ever performance on this course. Ritsick’s run picked up a 2nd place versus DuBois and a third against both ECC & Punxs y.

“Johnny had a nice run here, and he is one of the few DCC runners in the modern era who could take a first against any of these teams, which he did last season.  Historically we have not fared well against these teams, so that opens up a nice opportunity to do so in the future. We think Johnny will be challenging many records this season, including one of the oldest records on the books next week at ECC”.

Brenden Paisley(20:59) became the fastest DCC freshman to ever blaze the Chuck’s course as he came in 3rd runner for the Cardinals after teammate J.P. Piccirillo finished ahead. Wrapping up the scoring was Shane Paisley and Angelo Piccirillo at 4th & 5th, followed by Dylan Foster & Aaron Gankosky.

For the boys It was ECC 21 DCC 35; DuBois 19 DCC 42; and Punxy 18  DCC 45.

The Lady Cards, also in full numbers, managed to take a forfeit win over the Elkers due their lack of a full team. However, as has been the case for decades, the DCC girls were unable to muster the speed to outscore the full teams of DuBois(19-44) or Punxsutawney(18-45). No Lady Card runner has claimed a first place against a Lady Beaver runner in over 3 decades.

There were bright spots for the Lady Cards starting with Jaci Mennetti’s(22:52) good run that places her in DCC’s top two all-time for the course, just behind Meghan Graeca’s great run from the 2017 season.  Beth Williams & Maddy Miscavish also made the top 8th & 10th all-time placement.

“Jaci’s run reflects her outstanding work at practice and racing effort so far this season. This should be an exciting year for her.”

JoAnne Case, Michaela Armanini, Madison Miller & Rachel Miller completed the team scoring for the girls.

Punxsy swept all teams in scoring, while ECC’s Ben Hoffman and DHS’ Julia Wirths took the individual first place honors in the quad-meet.

The Cardinals travel to West Middlesex for their premier appearance at the prestigious Big Red Invitational on Saturday.