HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY: Thirteen runners qualify for PIAA Championships
Homer-Center junior Heather Paynter placed fourth to lead the area girls, and Penns Manor senior J.T. Horwat took fifth to lead the local boys at the District 6 cross country championships on Saturday.
Overall, 13 local runners qualified for the PIAA Championships in Hershey next weekend.
Paynter crossed the finish line in 20 minutes, 4.2 seconds to punch her third straight ticket to the PIAA Championships. Joining Paynter at the state meet will be Northern Cambria’s Allyson Kopera, who took eighth in 20:25.6; Marion Center’s Hannah Fulton, who took ninth in 20:44.4, and Taya Whitfield, who was 11th in 21:04.3; and United’s Ryleigh Ludwig, who was 14th with a time of 21:25.3.
On the boys’ side, Horwat was one of five area boys from the Class A field to qualify for the state meet. Blairsville will send three runners to the PIAA Championships, including Heritage Conference champion Ryan Horchar, who took ninth in 17:41.3, his twin brother Alex Horchar, who placed 13th in 18:01.9 and Derek Rocks, who was 16th in 18:12.0.
Purchase Line’s Dan Learn qualified for the PIAA Championships for the first time with a 14th-place finish (18:08.5).
On the Class AA side, two Ligonier Valley girls qualified for next weekend’s state meet. Stephanie Heming took ninth place, and Gina McKlveen took 13th to qualify.
On the boys’ side, Carlos Chavez placed 11th to lead the Ligonier Valley boys, and he’ll be the Rams’ lone representative at the state championships.