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DISTRICT 4 CROSS COUNTRY: PANDEMIC CHANGES COST TRIO OF ATHENS BOYS TRIP TO STATES; BRONSON FINISHES 20TH FOR GIRLS (13 PHOTOS) (2020-10-29)

Valley Sports Report
TURBOTVILLE — Of all the NTL teams, the new pandemic changes to the PIAA Cross Country Championships hurt Athens the most.

Typically, Class AA takes two teams and 10 individuals from the District IV Championships, but this year, to keep the numbers down, only one team and five individuals are headed to States.

District IV is one of the deepest in the state for both classes. On the boys’ side, Lewisburg is the defending state champions, while on the girls’ side Warrior Run is the state favorites. State power Danville always has strong teams for boys and girls.


And the Wildcats had to compete against them.


The boys were hurt the most — if it was two-and-10, their top three would have made States.

Connor Dahl (17:46) was 13th overall to lead the Wildcats and was the seventh individual. Teammates Kyle Anthony (18:02) was 16th and Matt Gorsline (18:09) finished 18th.


Taking out champions Lewisburg, and runners-up Danville, they would have nabbed the fifth, sixth and seventh individual spots to earn berths.


As a team Athens (120) was fifth out of 13 teams, bested by Lewisburg (29), Danville (64), Milton (91) and Warrior Run (108).


Justin Lynch (18:47) was 33rd for Athens, and Nate Prickitt (19:37) came in 41st.

Also for the Wildcats, Sander Bertsch (19:50) was 47th and Mason Henderson (21:04) took 62nd.

On the girls’ side, Emma Bronson was 20th overall in 21:03.

Under the usual markers she would have been the first one out, as she would have been the 11th individual. As it was Thursday, she was the 15th individual as Warrior Run (26) rolled to the team title.

Bronson ran 30 seconds faster than her time at the NTL Invitational and was in the top 15 for much of the race before fading.

As a team Athens (287) was 11th out of 14.

Thea Bentley (22:55) was 40th, Cailyn Conklin (25:47) took 70th, Emily Henderson (27:38) came in 88th, and Macaria Benjamin (29:26) rounded out their top five in 95th.


Abby Prickitt (29:42) was 100th.


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IN PHOTO 1: Athens’ Connor Dahl leads teammate Kyle Anthony off the bridge…PHOTOS BY CHRIS MANNING.

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