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Huskies sweep Indians in D6 tune-up

Strawser, Cubbison pace locals

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Juniata’s Logan Strawser leads the field on the way to a commanding victory on Thursday afternoon in a tri-meet at the Indian Valley Elementary Center course. Trailing Strawser is Susquenita’s Michael Singley. Mifflin County narrowly edged Juniata, 28-31 in the boys race.

REEDSVILLE — The Mifflin County Huskies cross country teams finished the season on a high note on Thursday afternoon, picking up three victories on their home course at Indian Valley Elementary Center.

The Mifflin County boys team defeated both Juniata (28-31) and Susquenita (21-40) while the girls team defeated Juniata, 25-30. Juniata split competition on Thursday, falling to Mifflin County, but defeating Susquenita, 26-31. Susquenita did not have enough girls to score as a team.

The Huskies girls’ squad was led by the 1-2 punch of Kylee Cubbison and Addie Parson, who finished first and second respectively, while the Mifflin County boys’ team edged the Indians with a strong middle pack that included Caden Bell, Ben Hartzler and C.J. Coffey, to help cut into the lead the Indians held after Logan Strawser’s dominating victory over the field.

Strawser covered the course in 16:32, coasting to victory by 40 seconds over Susquenita’s Michael Singley while Mifflin County’s Chris Royer was third with a time of 17:46.

The event was used as a bit of a tune-up for next Saturday’s District 6 Championship meet that will take place on the Indian Valley course.

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Mifflin County’s Chris Royer finished third on Thursday afternoon with a time of 17:46.

Juniata coach Jeff Miller was pleased with the performance of Strawser, who has high expectations for the District 6 championship meet as he will look to make his first PIAA Cross Country Championship meet.

“We made a workout out of it today for Logan,” Miller said. “He was a little disappointed even though he won. He has big goals, and his legs are a little tired. We’re going to try and rest him up for districts as much as we can.”

Royer ran a steady race throughout the afternoon and Mifflin County boys coach Greg Loht hopes that one more race helped show Royer where he needs to improve to return to the state championship meet.

“This was supposed to be a tune-up race for us to be able to get ready for next Saturday,” Loht said. “Last year Chris made it to states and we’d like to get him back there. He’s going to have to run a better race next Saturday if he wants to do that. This was supposed to be a workup to there, and hopefully we will get things straightened out. We went a little bit harder than maybe we should have on Tuesday, so we may be a little bit tired from that.”

Other top performers in the boys race included Juniata’s Joey Bomberger, who covered the course in 18 minutes to finish fourth, with teammate Wyatt Stroup (18:10) right behind him.

“It’s definitely got to be good mentally for some of these guys to learn a little bit with how they were able to race today,” Miller said. “Joey and Wyatt were just a little bit fast in the first mile and if they want to run around 17:30 at districts they need to slow that down a little bit because their second mile was a little bit slow. They learned that today, which is good for districts, and they are going to have a shot (to advance). It would be great to see a freshman make the state meet — we haven’t had one since Garrett Baublitz.”

The Huskies trio of Bell (18:12), Hartzler (18:14) and Coffey (18:41) finished sixth-eighth overall.

“I thought that we really were going to run a little bit better times than what we did, but the kids said about it being a little bit warmer than what we are used to at this time (of year) when the temperature starts to change and then you get a hot day,” Loht said. “The wind did pick up this afternoon and that was pretty nasty going into the one mile. I think they ran OK and it’s nice to get two wins to close out the season. That’s a high note for us.”

On the girls side, Mifflin County’s horses continued to dominate as Cubbison and Parson had no problem dusting the field. Cubbison covered the course in 19:56 while Parson was second with a time of 20:59. The next closest competitor was Susquenita’s Rachel Singley, who completed the course in 23:51.

“I’m really pleased, and this was great for Kylie and Addie to just help make sure that they are mentally prepared for districts next week,” Mifflin County girls coach Neil Breneman said. “They’re going to give it a run for states. Addie looked really strong today out there and she wasn’t even pushing her hardest, so that’s good.”

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Mifflin County's Addie Parson finished second on Thursday, clearing the course in 20:59

Breneman was also elated with the effort of Sarah Diehl (26:19) and Ava Wagner (27:52), who helped the Huskies secure the victory.

“I think today was just really good for the whole team,” Breneman said. “You can’t win a race with just number one and two. The other girls stepped up, including Ava who had a PR for us today and Sarah who I believe had a season best. I told them that they would need to pass some people and they did, so it was good to walk away with the confidence to end the regular season.”

For Juniata, Emily Houtz was the top finisher, coming in fifth with a time of 24:39. Jessie Bomberger finished sixth with a time of 26:18 to edge Mifflin County’s Diehl by a second.

“I thought that everyone really was out there running their hearts out,” Miller said. “I think that there were some PRs and overall, I’m really pleased. It was an overall great day.”

Both teams will be back in action at the District 6 Championship meet on Oct. 30 at the Indian Valley Elementary Center course. The top overall team finisher will advance to the state championships, while the Top 5 individual finishers will also advance to Hershey.

Sentinel photo by WILLIAM WHISLER
Mifflin County's Addie Parson finished second on Thursday, clearing the course in 20:59

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