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The Juniata Boys Cross Country Team Win the District 6 Title. Wyatt Stroup Crowned District Champion and Juniata Girls Sylvia Brubaker Crowned District Champion to be the First in School History.

Courtesy of Shari Miller
Photos courtesy of Jackie Heidenreich
The Juniata boys cross country team had an outstanding day at the 2023 PIAA District 6 Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 28 held in Reedsville.  They’re top 5 runners placed in the top 10 to secure the win and make the podium.  Juniors Wyatt Stroup and Joey Bomberger broke away from Bellefonte’s Alexander Crist shortly after the halfway point in the 5k cross country race.  They ran together for the rest of the race and Wyatt was just able to out kick Joey to take his fist District 6 Title and Juniata’s 7th individual title in the last 8 years.  Wyatt’s time was 16:14.4 for a personal best and Joey’s time was 16:16.4 for a personal best.  Junior Wesley Ehrisman ran an outstanding race to place 4th overall with a time of 17:04 and a new personal best.  Sophomore Levi Zeiders moved up throughout the race to finish 5th overall and walk away with a personal best time of 17:29.2.  Freshman Coy Kerstetter ran his best when it mattered to place 10th overall and a new personal best time of 18:22.3.  Junior Teagan Trout ran a huge personal best on the day to place 16th with a time of 18:59.9.  Sophomore multi-sport athlete Ricky Guante ran to a 17th place finish in a time of 19:08.3.  Juniata won the District 6 Team Championship title over Bellefonte 22 – 36 to advance to the PIAA State Cross Country Championships.  The Juniata boys cross country team had two runners take part in the AA JV race.  Junior Charlie Telfer placed 3rd to medal with a time of 20:47.8.  Freshman Joel Hardin placed 5th to medal in a new personal best time of 21:39.4  Juniata Coach Jeff Miller said “The boys team really stepped it up today to win the district title for the second year in a row.  It was awesome to see Joey and Wyatt run together for the entire race to secure the 1st and 2nd spots.  Wesley ran his best when we needed him.  He rolled his ankle a month ago and has been off in his training the last couple of weeks.  I’ve had to back him down a lot so I wasn’t quite sure how he would do today.  It was great to see him run a personal best.  Levi ran as tough as nails today to get 5th place and run a personal best.  Coy’s eagerness to get better showed today with his top 10 finish and shave more time off his previous best.  I was so happy to see Teagan break the 19:00barrier today.  We talked about it before the race and he made it happen.  It was great to have Ricky in our lineup today to contribute to the team.  Charlie had some cramping in his race, but still ran a solid race.  It was nice to see Joel finish out his first year of cross country with a personal best time.”
In the girls AA race, it was Juniata freshman Sylvia Brubaker taking the win in 19:33.5 for her first district title and the first in school history.  She took the lead from the gun, but was challenged by Central Cambria’s Keira Link in the last 400 of the race.  Keira passed Sylvia near the crest of the last hill on the 5k course, but Sylvia didn’t give up and re-passed her with 50 meters to go.  Junior Jessie Bomberger ran to a 25th place finish in a time of 24:17.4.  Freshman Hannah Book placed 26th with a time of 24:29.8 for a new personal best.  Freshman Izabella Sanders placed 34th with a time of 26:13.40 and freshman Jordana Steffen placed 44th with a time of 29:34.3.  Juniata Coach Jeff Miller said “The plan for Sylvia was to take the lead early on and run away from the competition since I knew there was some speed on the Central Cambria’s girls team.  She was unable to get much of a gap on the next runners.  I was happy to see her fight back when she got passed with 150 meters to go.  I know she has good leg speed for a distance runner and I’ve been waiting to see it late in the races all season.  She brought it today when it mattered most.  It was great to see Hannah end her first season with a personal best.  I was talking to Juniata’s former runner Logan Strawser before the races and told him we would have a perfect day if we could walk away from the District 6 Championships with the boys and girls individual titles and the boys winning as a team.  They did all of this and more.  I’m super proud of every single one of them.  I’m fortunate to have such fine young adults on our cross country team.”
Sylvia and the boys team will compete at the PIAA State Cross Country Championships in Hershey on Saturday, November 4.

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