WATERFORD - Heavy rain is rarely a welcome sign to cross country runners.
That was exactly the case Tuesday as persistent precipitation put a damper on the Youngsville cross country team's season opening meet with North East and Fort LeBoeuf at the Fort LeBoeuf Sports Complex.
Youngsville's boys team was defeated by North East, 15-50, and Fort LeBoeuf, 24-33. The Lady Eagles downed the Bison, 17-57, and fell to the Grapepickers, 18-37.
"By the time the varsity (race) started, the rain was pretty steady," said Youngsville coach Ray Bennett. "Six minutes into it, the rain was falling really really hard. It was one of those situations where the sky was low and full of water and you couldn't really tell if you were hearing thunder in the distance or just rumbling from the rain falling so hard. It was crazy.
"Needless to say, the course was slow because of the weather," added Bennett. "It was tough sledding for everyone."
In the boys event, North East swept the top five positions, getting a winning effort from standout Ryan Smathers in 17:09. Youngsville's first runner across the line was Aaron Hoover who placed 10th in 21:01. Cooper Land was 13th in 21:09, Bobby Bower was 15th in 21:22 and Zach Ishman was 17th in 21:36.
North East 15, Fort LeBoeuf 50
North East 15, Youngsville 50
Fort LeBoeuf 24, Youngsville 33
Results (top 10 plus local runners): 1. Ryan Smathers (NE) 17:09, 2. Gary Olson (NE) 17:18, 3. Jacob Miller (NE) 18:50, 4. Brandon Clarke (NE) 19:19, 5. Jacob Fuhrman (NE) 19:28, 6. Aaron Peters (FL) 19:47, 7. Chip Oberle (NE) 20:19, 8. Tyler Stetson (NE) 20:21, 9. Brad Pier (FL) 20:35, 10. Aaron Hoover (Y) 21:01, 13. Cooper Land (Y) 21:09, 15. Bobby Bower (Y) 21:22, 17. Zach Ishman (Y) 21:36, 18. Gregg Yost (Y) 21:43, 19. Andy Lalwani (Y) 21:46, 20. Collin Lehnen (Y) 21:48, 27. Nathan Carr (Y) 22:59, 29. Chester Ciukaj (Y) 23:18, 32. Ben Stover (Y) 24:13, 33. Collin Alekson (Y) 24:15
North East 18, Youngsville 37
Youngsville 17, Fort LeBoeuf 57
North East 15, Fort LeBoeuf 44
Results (top 10 plus local runners): 1. Anne Lewis (NE) 21:38, 2. Macy Putman (N) 22:03, 3. Alex Artise (N) 22:07, 4. Emma Verdonik (N) 22:42, 5. Abbie Swartzbaugh (Y) 23:13, 6. Katelyn Maille (Y) 24:13, 7. Kellie Lindstrom (Y) 25:06, 8. Leah Fails (N) 25:13, 9. Kasey Bengel (F) 25:17, 10. Mallory Eastman (Y) 25:33, 11. Lydia Swartzbaugh (Y) 26:08, 12. Hannah Morris (Y) 26:49, 13. Denise Devore (Y) 27:11, 15. Kimmie Lindstrom (Y) 28:18, 16. Samantha Tome (Y) 29:12, 19. Tori Alekson (Y) 31:02, 21. Taylor Campbell (Y) 32:03, 23. Tiffany Haney (Y) 33:56, 24. Suzie Rose (Y) 35:50
Rounding out the Eagles' runners were Gregg Yost (18th, 21:43), Andy Lalwani (19th, 21:46), Collin Lehnen (20th, 21:48), Nathan Carr (27th, 22:59), Chester Ciukaj (29th, 23:18), Ben Stover (32nd, 24:13) and Collin Alekson (33rd, 24:15).
The Lady Eagles were led by the strong fifth-place finish of Abbie Swartzbaugh. Swartzbaugh's run was 23:13 and Kaitlyn Maille was sixth exactly one minute behind Swartzbaugh. Kellie Lindstrom and Mallory Eastman also finished among the top ten for the Eagles, placing seventh and 10th respectively.
Lydia Swartzbaugh was 11th, Hannah Morris 12th, Denise Devore 13th, Kimmie Lindstrom 15th, Samantha Tome 16th, Tori Alekson 19th, Taylor Campbell 21st, Tiffany Haney 23rd and Suzie Rose 24th for the Youngsville team.
"The girls went 1-1, beating (LeBoeuf) 17-57 and losing to (North East) 18-37," said Bennett. "As you can see from the times, they didn't do as well in the category of working together as they did Saturday. When you're battling weather, it's easy to give up on other battles in your mind. So they fought with the rain and the mud and I think just forgot how important it was to stay together."
The Eagles return to the course Saturday when they compete at West Middlesex's Big Red Invitational.
The team's next region meet is Tuesday when the Eagles run against Harbor Creek and Corry.