WAPPINGERS FALLS, N.Y. — A trio of Punxsutawney Area High School cross country runners traveled to Wappingers Falls, N.Y., to compete in the Nike Cross Country Regional meet Nov. 27.
This was the fourth year for the event, which serves as a qualifying race for the Nike Cross Nationals, which take place today in Portland, Ore.
Competing in the open race were Punxsy seniors A.J. Meterko and Milea Schall, along with sophomore Alexis Young.
Meterko led the 258-runner field — which includes competitors from Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey and Delaware — for approximately the first mile before being reeled in by the talented field. Meterko held a position in the top 10 through nearly two miles before dropping back in the final mile to place 29th overall with a time of 18:03.
Schall moved up steadily throughout her 3.1-mile race at historic Bowdoin Park, site of the New York state federation meet, negative-splitting the challenging course on her way to placing 17th out of 148 runners with a time of 21:02.
Young went out a bit more aggressively and held on gamely to finish in 32nd place with a time of 21:25. All three runners competed for the Punxsy Run Amok XC club.
In addition to having the opportunity to run alongside some of the Northeast's best harriers, the trio was able to meet 2008 Olympic 1,500-meter runner Leonel Manzano, who was a featured speaker at the event. Nike also had its "spike van" on hand to give away some free merchandise.
Two runners familiar to the Punxsy runners managed to qualify for an all-expenses paid trip to Portland to compete in today's Nike Cross Nationals. Wade Endress from Altoona placed fifth overall, earning the final berth, and Margo Malone from North Hills, Pittsburgh, placed fourth to stamp her ticket to Portland.
Complete results can be found at runnerspace.com/nxn.