10 advance to national meet

PHILADELPHIA — Nora Grace Stoltzfus was a regional runner-up and a national qualifier, one of 10 from the Juniata Valley Striders USATF cross country program to punch their tickets to Reno, Nevada, in the Region 2 run held Nov. 18 in conjunction with the Philadelphia Marathon.

“The kids really performed at a championships level in race after race,” said Ron Sprecher, who coaches and oversees the program. “The New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Western Pennsylvania kids came ready to perform, but the Mifflin-Juniata County kids more than stepped it up, with some of the kids cutting over a minute off their personal bests.”

Stoltzfus delivered a 5K time of 28:14 in the Young Women division. One other local harrier, Riley Myers, finished higher than 10th place; he was eighth in the Young Men division with a 5K time of 23:01.

Another runner, Hoyt Rodenbaugh, finished 10th in the Bantam division in 12:39. Teammate Quentin Houtz was one position, and one second, back. Maximus Zajac-Bargas made it a sweep of the division among the three local entrants.

Three runners qualified for nationals in the Youth category (4K runs): Gabe Yoder, Caden Bell and Addie Parson. And sub-bantam girls Esperanza Bargas and Daliyah Bargas crossed the line consecutively and qualified for nationals.

Four others participated in the regional: Isaiah Mitchell in the Youth division and Midget runners Keegan Prendergast, Malachi Angney and Maggie Rodenbaugh.

The USATF Cross Country Championships in Reno will be held Dec. 8.