Punxsy boys' XC runs strong at the Bradford Invitational

BRADFORD — The top six Punxsy boys' cross country runners medaled as the team ran a strong race last Saturday at the 9th Annual Bradford Invitational.

The Chucks had a strong showing in fourth place of the 10-team field. Punxsy posted a score of 85 points, just one point behind third placed Kane (84), while Oswayo Valley claimed the top spot of 53 with Northern Potter second with 65.

"Overall, we did a nice job considering none of our runners have been on this course before," said Chucks coach John Smith.

The top 30 varsity runners received medals which allowed all of the top six Chucks to pick up hardware for their efforts.

Bo Dinger again led the Punxsy contingent with a time of 17:13, which was good enough for fourth place overall.

"Bo looked really good holding his own against Bradford's Aziz Yousif (who was 1st) and Oswayo Valley's Barrett Kemp (2nd) who were the individual District IX champions in AAA and AA last year," explained Smith.

A minute behind Dinger, Nate Ward garnered 13th place in 18:14, while Eric Ingros raced across the line in 17th (18:48). The final three of the top runners were also in the top 30 medalists with Matt Burke (19:05) in 23rd, Seth Burkett (19:28) in 28th and Jerad Meterko (19:41) in 30th.

"Nate Ward and Eric Ingros probably had their best races of the season so far," added the Punxsy coach. "Matt Burke and Seth Burkett showed consistency in their runs by staying in the hunt. Jerad Meterko had a very strong finish, which is something that everyone will have to improve upon."

Punxsy had five other runners take part in the Saturday run. Zach Moore (20:12) and Luke Fugate (20:33) were in the next 10 finishers in 39th and 41st placings. Joe Whitman had a good race in 22:14 for 63rd. Will Boddorf and Nate Hankinson round out the racers in 73rd (24:02) and 77th (24:36).

"All the others were on target for what we were looking for with freshman Joe Whitman turning in his best season race," finished Smith.

The next race, a home quad match with Elk County, St. Marys and DCC, has been moved back a day from today until Wednesday due to the expected rainy conditions with the same 4:15 p.m. start time. The race should be an interesting one as Elk County's Ryan Detsch, St. Marys' Alex Foster and Punxsy's Dinger will have a great battle up front. Both Punxsy's Ward and ECC's Drew Bille will pressure the top three.

Punxsy will complete its week's schedule by racing in the Indiana Invitational Saturday.