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Chucks take on muddy course conditions

October 21, 2011

Punxsy's Bo Dinger finishes strong at Punxsy's cross country meet against DuBois Oct. 11 in Punxsy. Dinger finished second in muddy conditions for Punxsy Thursday at Cooper Lake. Punxsy head coach John Smith said he was impreessed with Dinger's run given the muddy conditions. (Photo by Zak Lantz/The Punxsutawney Spirit)

SLIPPERY ROCK — The Punxsy boys' cross country team concluded its regular season Thursday by participating in the Tri State Cross Country Meet in Slippery Rock — a meet that hosted 58 teams in the boys' category.

Punxsy finished 37th in the meet, and although Punxsy head coach John Smith said he would have liked to finish around 30th, he noted that muddy course conditions made for tough sledding for his team.

"We definitely struggled a bit with the mud," he said. "Some of the other teams had guys running on the edges where the footing may've been a bit better, but the course conditions definitely affected us."

Still, despite not quite meeting the team goal, Smith was proud of the way his boys ran — especially freshman Bo Dinger, who ran Punxsy's second-best time of 19:17 on the five-kilometer course.

"I was really pleased with Bo's performance," Smith said. "Given the condition of the course, he did an excellent job for us."

Punxsy's top finisher was senior Dane Baker, who finished the course in 18:32, 90th overall.

Nathan Ward (19:25), Seth Burkett (19:48), Luke Fugate (21:29), Shane Johns (21:37) and Derick Kelly (21:39) also competed for Punxsy at the meet.

Mt. Lebanon finished first overall in the team scoring with 76 points and an average time of 17:09.

Logan Steiner of North Allegheny ran the fastest time of the day with a 16:33.

Punxsy's next stop will be District-IX Championships next Saturday, Oct. 29, at Ridgway.

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