Banner Day for DCC’s Ritsick at Brookville Quad Cross Country Meet

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Banner Day for DCC’s Ritsick at Brookville Quad Cross Country Meet

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It was all business for DCC’s Johnny Ritsick(17:54) at Tuesday’s quadrangular cross country meet at the old, grassy, rolling Brookville course. Ritsick, the boys MVP in 2018, took control of the race early on as he grabbed 1st against all schools while soundly defeating the reigning 2018 Class AA District Nine Champion, Mac Jamarillo of DuBois Area. Ritsick’s wins creates a tie for most career victories(15) with Tony Pitrone of the 1977-79 seasons, and also gives him sole ownership of the season wins record(8) formerly held by Ed Pisarchick in 1986. The sub-18 minute run shattered the DCC record for the course once owned by Matt Gabler who set the prior mark in 2001 on the 22 year-old Raider course.

“Any coach in the business long enough will have the pleasure to see a runner who finds their “zone” and comes to race. From the moment Johnny stepped on the bus he was focused and you could tell he was ready.   There’s an old question in cross country that asks, “When does a good runner know they have won the race?” The answer is: ‘Before the gun goes off.’ Johnny knew. It was a nice example of what a little faith & belief does. You visualize and plan your actions, then go out and put that plan to work. We congratulate Johnny for an excellent performance.” (Coach Shade)

There were other notable DCC accomplishments on the day.

Freshman Angelo Piccirillo set the DCC 9th grade record for the course, bettering the 2016 mark by 13 seconds.

“Angelo has tons of potential and we hope this is a wakeup call showing what can be in store for him”

Top runner for the girls, Jaci Mennetti, ran a solid 23 minutes on the challenging Brookville trails, just missing the school record by less than a minute.

“Jaci was against 3 other very good runners from all schools competing here, including two from Class AAA. She has been a strong, consistent lead runner for us all season, and she did a fine job taking on the same girl who out-ran her earlier in the year”

There was more good news from both teams as course PRs were set by seven Cardinal runners.

JP Piccirillo(18:58), lead runner in the 2018 district meet for DCC, performed at a level that also would have broken the school record for the course had not Ritsick been in front. Shane Paisley(21:45) and Rachael Miller bested their times by 2 minutes at the Brookville course, and JoAnne Case(28:44), Beth Williams(28:50), and Michaela Armanini also gained on their past records.

“It is hard not to be pleased when times come down, yet there is work to be done in terms of stamina & speed in the final part of the season ahead, and performances should improve more than other schools. That has been a pattern we have experienced in the past. We were missing several key runners today and expect them to get into action again in the next week or so.”

Both teams took a forfeit win over Ridgway who has struggled to keep full teams over the years. Ridgway has never defeated a DCC team in cross country history.

“Ridgway has great potential to grow it’s program now that they co-op with Johnsonburg, and it is a true co-op as they offer busing to and from practices. We expect them to explode in numbers any year now.”

The Lady Cards fell to DHS 45-18. In the series between the two teams since 1978, DuBois leads 45 -5. The Cardinal boys gained on the Beaver runners in scoring(38-23) but still lost as a team. The series since 1969 gives DuBois the edge with wins(45-23).

Brookville defeated both DCC teams with the girls outmatched 19-44, and the boys 32-25 in a close contest. Brookville dominates the historic series 25-7 since 1974 with the boys, and 18-2 with the girls since 1978.

“Many of the wins against DHS & Brookville occurred in an earlier era before soccer & football were offered to Fall athletes, nor were so many athletes distracted by off-season Winter & Spring sports as they are now, and DCC’s enrollment was about twice today. In the last decade DHS cross country has exploded with record numbers and the good teams that naturally follow, and the Raiders have always been respected in this sport. They provide a challenge for us to do likewise. It is just a matter of stepping up our expectations.”

Also running for DCC was Alex Ochs who returns from a long injury. Maddy Miscavish and Madisan Miller completed the girl’s scoring, while Dante Armanini, Aaron Gankosky, Loren Way, and Isaac Bloom insured a full team score for the boys.

The Cardinal Harriers return to the DuBois home course for the Beaver’s ‘Senior Night’ finale on Tuesday, followed by Saturday’s Ridgway Invitational, held on the historic District Nine Championship course.