PUNXSUTAWNEY – In what was suppose to be a three-man race to the finish, Punxsy’s Bo Dinger took control early and won the boys' cross country double dual meet going away by 36 seconds to help his team sweep past both Elk County Catholic and St. Marys.
Dinger widened his lead for the Chucks as the race went on and turned in what amounted to a dominating performance over ECC’s Ryan Detsch and St. Marys’ Alec Foster. The Punxsy junior ran across the finish line in 17:13, 36 seconds better than Detsch (17:49) and 45 seconds over Foster (17:58).
Dinger’s top spot was boosted by the Chucks strong team grouping of its second, third and fourth runners and placing all its top five in the first 10 competitors to cross the line.
Punxsy defeated ECC, 23-36, and prevailed by a 20-38 total over St. Marys. DuBois Central Catholic did not have enough boys to score as a team.
“It was a pretty good response from the guys. Bo (Dinger) ran exceptional out in front the whole race,” commented Chucks coach John Smith.
Following the second ECC runner, Nate Ward completed the 5K course in 18:21. His two teammates came right behind him. Eric Ingros was 10 seconds back in sixth (18:31).
Seth Burkett made it three-straight Punxsy finishers in seventh place with an 18:53 finish.
“It was good having Ward, Ingros and Burkett come in together as it was an overall good team performance,” added Smith
Rounding out the scorers for the Chucks, Jerad Meterko claimed the ninth spot in 19:21, five seconds ahead of the third ECC runner.
“We are starting to group closer together. We need to get a little better at our grouping which we will be working on,” added the Punxsy coach.
Luke Fugate recorded a quality effort in 19:34 for the 11th boy to finish. Zach Moore was only two spots behind Fugate in 13th place (19:56).
Three other Punxsy boys ran in the double dual. Freshman Joe Whitman ran 19th (21:37) while William Boddorf placed 23rd (23:39) and Nate Hankinson 25th (23:51).
“I am pleased for our effort and looking forward to Saturday’s meet at Indiana,” finished coach Smith.
Punxsy will make the short trip south to take part in the Indiana Invitational on Saturday morning.