Ritsick Shatters DCC Records at State Championships


Tom Shade, Contributor

For DCC’s Johnny Ritsick it was an impressive finale to a classic cross country career.

Competing in a field of 216 of Pennsylvania’s best Class ‘A’ runners, Ritsick(17:47), the first Cardinal to reach the PIAA Championships in 20 years, exceeded all expectations with a 51st place finish, earning him yet several more school records as a final touch to a remarkable season.

Ritsick finished in the top 23% of all competitors, a feat never accomplished by any DCC runner at state competition.

“Johnny was totally prepared to run what may have been his best race of the year. No Cardinal runner ever ran here so fast with so high a place, and when you consider that this was his first time at this uniquely competitive event, at a course he had not seen before, the results are even more awesome. He ran as if he had prior experience here, with poise & confidence. I think it is important to note that he was not permitted to even walk the course the day before due to storm damage clean-up, and hitting a course blind like that is not a comfortable place to be.”(Coach Shade)

No DCC runner has ever earned a state medal, yet Ritsick came a mere 38 seconds from achieving this historically elusive prize.

“Through the years Johnny’s cross country story has been a ‘rags to riches’ tale of success, and is sure to be an inspiring addition to the rich lore of Cardinal athletics.”

The cross-town DuBois Area state qualifiers also ran in their respective classifications with Julia Wirths(Class ‘AAA’) running a solid sub-21 minutes and setting a DHS Freshman Record in the effort. MacKellen Jamarillo was under 18 minutes for 84th place, along with teammates Joe Foradora and A.C. Deemer running for the Beavers.

DuBois Area has taken two medals in school history, one in 2008 by Bud Plaszsenski, and the first in 1992 by Ed Adamson.

“This was a thoroughly positive experience with regards to Johnny’s race, the support from parents and teammates, and even the great weather on race day. It all comes as a cap on a season that saw our major goals accomplished by both teams as well as individual milestones. We have much to be thankful for.”

The DCC Awards Celebration will take place at Luigis Villa Bowling Alley on November 11.