Chucks finish strong, sneak past DuBois

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsy boys' cross country team hosted the DuBois Beavers Tuesday afternoon at Punxsutawney Area High School, and the Chucks edged out the Beavers 26-29 to earn a win on senior recognition day.

The seniors were recognized before the meet along with the girls' cross country team's seniors. For a photo from the senior recognition, see Thursday's edition of The Spirit.

Punxsy had to overcome an early deficit after DuBois' Tyler Cashmer sprinted to the line to earn the fastest time of the meet with an 18:08 — defeating Punxsy senior Dane Baker (18:09) by just one second.

Punxsy head coach John Smith said he was pleased with Baker's performance, especially given the fact that he was unable to compete Saturday at the Ridgway Invitational due to an illness.

Smith also noted that Punxsy knew Cashmer would turn in a good time, and that the Beavers squad matches up well with Punxsy's.

Punxsy pulled even with DuBois when Nathan Ward beat DuBois' second runner, Micah Cantaral, to the line by two seconds.

Punxsy finished in both the fifth and sixth positions when freshmen Seth Burkett and Bo Dinger crossed the line in 18:46 and 19:27, respectively.

DuBois stormed back with the next three runners, though, with Auckie Fenstermacher (19:33), Michael Tangren (19:34) and Alex Deible (19:55).

Smith said the Beavers put the pressure on Punxsy when they brought in a pack of runners like they did, but the Chucks answered.

DuBois needed to displace a few positions to earn the win, but Punxsy's Luke Fugate finished the deal for Punxsy by finishing in 20:04.

Punxsy's Dereck Kelly was just 12 seconds behind Fugate, finishing 11th overall.

Shane Johns (20:21), Zachary Moore (24:07) and William Boddorf (26:41) also ran for Punxsy in the varsity competition.

Punxsy returns to action next Tuesday when the Chucks travel to DuBois for a 4:15 p.m. rematch.