MILLCREEK - "It feels like we're doing the right things," Youngsville cross country coach Ray Bennett said of Saturday's season-opening McDowell Cross Country Invitational at Brown's Farm.
Katelyn Maille and Abbie Swartzbaugh each finished in the top 50 individuals for the Lady Eagles, which finished ninth out of 17 scoring teams and nine other non-scoring teams.
Anthony Amroski and Devin VanGuilder paced Eisenhower and the county boys, finishing 24th in 17:38.4 and 27th in 17:44.8, respectively. The Knights were 13th as a team out of 22 scoring and four non-scoring teams.
"This is the first they have medaled at this event, and the first time they started under 18 (minutes) for a season," said Eisenhower coach Darlene Beach. "They have goals and want to put in the work to do better.
"Julia (Bauer) medaled, too, and we were pleased with that," said Beach.
The top 50 girls out of 144 earned medals. Maille finished 32nd in 22:11.6 and Swartzbaugh 49th in 22:51.6.
"All of our runners set personal best times for this course, with many of them significantly ahead of their times last year," said Youngsville coach Ray Bennett. "The strong positive was the attitude the runners displayed in the race. Determination and a willingness to work together allowed the girls to stay in touch with each other - running in packs of two and three - the whole race. This makes success a more sure bet as there is confidence and strength in numbers. Solid performances from the team leaders Abbie and Katelyn really set the tone for the girls. They swapped the team lead a couple of times during the race and pushed each other, with both of them medaling (top 50 medal)."
Though Eisenhower did not score as a team, Bauer finished 30th in 22:06.3.
Also for Eisenhower's girls, Lacey Stanko was 98th in 25:04.8, Kate Daugharthy 109th in 26:26.7, and Grace Thompson 120th in 27:29.5.
For Youngsville, Mallory Eastman was 67th in 23:40.8, Kellie Lindstrom 77th in 24:00.6, Lydia Swartzbaugh 86th in 24:24.4, Hannah Morris 95th in 24:51.4, Denise Devore 110th in 26:30.9, Sam Tome 114th in 26:46.4, Tori Alekson 129th in 29:03.9, Tiffany Haney 142nd in 34:30.8, and Suzie Rose 143rd in 35:05.3.
Also for Eisenhower's boys, Ben Perkins was 56th in 18:45, Ben Morrison 112th in 20:38.2, Tim Lange 125th in 20:55.8, Matt Jewell 134th in 21:13.2, and Jacob McCool 153rd in 23:03.
"The Youngsville varsity boys saw nearly everyone turn in a personal-best time for this course, some moving up by several minutes," said Bennett, whose Eagle boys were 22nd as a team out of 22.
Bobby Bower was 98th in 20:11.3, Collin Lehnen 102nd in 20:22.4, Aaron Hoover 115th in 20:41.6, Andy Lalwani 122nd in 20:53.7, Gregg Yost 128th in 21:02.1, Zach Ishman 135th in 21:14.4, Collin Alekson 147th in 22:46.8, Nathen Carr 150th in 23:01.3, Chester Ciukaj 154th in 23:15.6, and Ben Stover 155th in 23:22.2.