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A local tradition; the BVI showcases best of best in cross country

By Kenny Varner
 
REEDSVILLE – An early litmus test that has been used by many cross country teams early in its season is the Mifflin County Rotary Club’s Annual Big Valley Invitational.
If the race is any indication of how the Mifflin County cross country team has to look forward too, optimism is running high after its Saturday performances.
Despite not having any Huskies come in the top spot in varsity action, numerous runners finished in the upper part of the races.
The event had numerous talented teams enter in this year’s competition. They were; State College, East Pennsboro, Bellefonte, West Branch, Tyrone, Camp Hill, Bellwood-Antis, Altoona and numerous other teams anxious to get their season underway.
“I think they did well. I haven’t the finishing times but I think place wise they looked pretty good,” Mifflin County coach Greg Loht said. “Just looking where we finished place wise I think we are fine. We are happy with the work they got in. It’s been a great preseason and a good start to the season.”
Despite bringing in a very young team, Loht is happy with the senior leadership he has gotten from two runners in particular.
On the boys’ side, Bedford’s William Kochman with top time of 16:35 won the varsity race.
In second and third place, the Huskies’ Mid- Penn rival State College got solid runs from Alex Milligan and Nick Feffer who finished with times of 16:45 and 16:56, respectively.
Finishing fourth in the race was East Pennsboro’s Sam Signor with a finish of 16:58.
Rounding out the top five was Jersey Shore’s Isaac Davis who brought home a finish of 17:07.
Mifflin County’s highest placing on the boys’ side was by Trenton Yoder who finished 26th with his time of 18:12.
Teammate, Ben Falkner finished next with a placing of 38th with a time of 18:58.
Coming in at 42 through 45 were three more Husky runners. They were; Andrew Montgomery, Dylan Unger and Michael Bielski who finished with times of  
19:0719:12 and 19:13 respectively.
Rounding out the rest of the Mifflin County runners and placing were Jay Ciccolini (69th) and Lance Miller (79th).
Team scoring for the boys was a strong, finishing fifth out of 19 teams.
As a team, the girls also finished in the top part of the standings as well, finishing sixth out of 17 teams.
Picking up the win on the girls’ side was Coatsville’s Brooke Hutton who paced herself to a finish of 19:29.
State College’s Natasha Fedkina followed a close second with her time of 20:25.
Forest Hills finished in third and fourth when Emily Montag and teammate Tricia Varner tallied times of 20:28 and 20:37, respectively.
The highest finisher for the Huskies on the day was Alexis Kibe who finished in 37thplace with a time of 22:57.
Teammate Amanda Hassinger followed with a 41st place finish with a time of 23:23.
In the most heartwarming gesture of the afternoon came in the girls varsity division when Tyrone runner Amy Long help a runner from Bellwood-Antis keep battling through the race and encouraging her to never give up and finish. The two came in across the finish line side-by-side.

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