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Mifflin County falls to Chambersburg in Mid-Penn meet

REEDSVILLE — The Mifflin County cross country teams went toe-to-toe with a stout Chambersburg squad on Tuesday evening but came up short as the boys’ team fell 17-42, while the girls fell, 24-37 in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth dual meet.

Kylee Cubbison and Addie Parsons each finished in the Top 3 for the girls, while Chris Royer earned the Mifflin County boys’ only Top 5 finish on the afternoon.

Cubbison dusted the field in the girls’ race, finishing more than two minutes ahead of second-place with a time of 19:44. Chambersburg’s Olivia Rieck finished second with a time of 21:47, while Mifflin County’s Parsons was third with a time of 22:00.

“Kylie and Addie, I talked to both of them about working with them on their strategies and today was a good day to do that and they both nailed it,” Huskies’ girls coach Neil Breneman said. “They stuck to what they wanted to run, and both ran good races with good times and a good finish. It’s hard to stick to a plan sometimes in the middle of a race but they did that.”

Chambersburg’s depth was on full display on Tuesday, as the Trojans had eight of the Top 10 finishers on the afternoon.

“They have an awesome team, it’s a strong team and a good team,” Breneman said. “It’s good experience for our girls because they’re in their running against someone.”

Mifflin County’s Justice Scheaffer finished 18th with a time of 25:19 while Sarah Diehl and Ava Wagner followed with times of 28:58 and 30:58 respectively.

Overall, Breneman was pleased with the effort he’s seen from his team.

“I’m really pleased. We work on progress in little bits at a time,” he said. “Some of the younger runners have seen progress a little bit quicker, but some of the older ones it’s taken a little bit more time. It’s little victories here and there and you always have to take into consideration, the course, the weather, the competition — all of those things.”

On the boys’ side, Royer was again the frontrunner for the Huskies, finishing fourth with a time of 17:44 on the 5K course. Chambersburg’s Nicholas Monheim led the way with a finish of 17:10, with teammate Ben Colli right behind at 17:11.

Mifflin County had four Top 10 finishers in Ben Hartzler, Caden Bell and Cody Fultz.

“We’re going to get better running against better kids. Chambersburg was a team that we had faced in the invitational down at Kutztown and we knew what we were in for and that it was going to be a rough afternoon,” Loht said. “The kids ran well, Ben Hartzler stepped up and ran a nice race and it’s good to have C.J. Coffey back in the lineup. It wasn’t anything unexpected. The kids ran well and now we have a bit of a break until we are back at it next Tuesday.”

Hartzler was eighth for Mifflin County with a time of 18:14, while Bell was ninth (18:28) and Fultz was 10th (18:37).

While Loht has been focused on seeing continued improvement, the focus is peaking heading into the big meets in October and not having his runners overexert themselves early in the year.

“We want to race well but I told the kids, even with the (Big Valley Invitational) that race is important, but it’s not that important,” Loht said. “We’re looking forward to the races in October and districts and Mid-Penn Championships and that’s when we want to do our best. We are building toward that.”

He believes that his team has the recipe for success and is looking to see his group of 2-5 close the gap to improve.

“It’s hard when you’re going from course to course because everything is different, but the kids are closing on Chris,” Loht said. “We took what was a 36-second gap and got it down to 30 seconds at the last meet. That’s what I emphasized last night — if we can close that gap, we’re going to be a better team. We’re typically an October team but we will do what we can in the meantime, and we aren’t going to back down from anybody.”

Mifflin County hosts Central Dauphin and State College in a tri-meet next week at Indian Valley Elementary.

Mifflin County results:

Boys

4. Chris Royer 17:44, 8. Ben Hartzler 18:14, 9. Caden Bell 18:28, 10. Cody Fultz 18:37, 14. C.J. Coffey 19:18.

Girls

1. Kylee Cubbison 19:44, 3. Addie Parsons 22:00, 18. Justice Scheaffer 25:19, 21. Sarah Diehl 28:58, Ava Wagner 30:58.

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