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Tyrone cross country teams fall to Warriors

The Tyrone cross country teams opened their 2007 season on Wednesday at Morrisdale against West Branch. The Tyrone boys led by a second place finish from freshman Rich Stever (19:03) dropped a 20-35 decision to the West Branch squad, while the Lady Eagles, troubled once again by lack of numbers fell 15-50 to the West Branch girls.
“Rich ran a great race today, said Tyrone cross country coach Tammy Wills. “He is bringing a lot of talent to our team this year and I am looking forward to seeing how his season progresses.”
Nathan Kruis (20:39) finished sixth, veteran Bradley McNeal was eighth (22:42), newcomers freshman Derrick Wilson (24:17) was ninth, sophomore Travis Johnson (24:20) was 10th and sophomore Evan Lewis (25:55) was 11th for the Golden Eagles.
“I am pleased with how Nathan ran today. He and Rich ran together the first part of the race and then Nathan was rounding a corner with a group of boys and turned his ankle,” explained Wills. “He still finished the race strong when many kids would have given up and did it with good time. Derrick Wilson, Travis Johnson and Evan Lewis, along with Stever bring a lot to our boys team. Returning runners Randy Wilson 12 (26:50) and Ben Smerekar (27:38) round out the field. Both the boys and the girls teams have a lot of new young runners and I think once they all fall into place and have a few races in we are going to have a fantastic boys team.”
West Branch’s Ethan Lidgett won the race with a time of 18.49 and teammates Dylan Husted (third in 19:37), ands Zack Pelton (fourth in 20:06) rounded out the top five racers.
Note: Rich Stever finished 23 with a time of 17:58 (10th in AA) at the Big Valley Invitational.
Freshman Ashley Ford was the Lady Eagles top runner with a third place finish in 24:39, although five runners are required to score a team, and the Tyrone girls only had four runners. Freshman Annie Daughenbaugh was seventh in 32:51, junior Stephanie Schmidt was eighth in 34:33 and freshman Meghan Miller was ninth in 35:41. The Lady Eagles had just four runners, but all four, running for the first time, placed in the top 10, quite a showing and lots of hope once the Lady Eagles get at least one more runner back.
“Tyrone did not have a full girls team but the girls we had run today did very well,” commented Wills. “They are all young runners new to the sport of cross country so I am very proud of the way they ran today. We have a lot of talent and I think it will show later in the season. This course was very tough, the terrain was not the best; very rocky and many exposed tree roots and a totally up-hill finish. Our runners almost had to concentrate more on footing than their race ( we did end up with a couple turned ankles) so the times were much slower for both the girls and boys.”
Missing runners for the Lady Eagles included Kayla Patton, and veteran runners Christina Daugherty and Salena Bradigan.
“I am looking forward to going into next week meet with a full girls team and a meet under their belts. I think they will do well,” said Wills.
West Branch was led by the Murray sisters who took the top two places. Chandra Murray was first in 24:39, followed by Chanell Murray in 25:37.
Tyrone will travel up the mountain for the second race in a row next Tuesday, Sept. 11 against Philipsburg-Osceola starting at 4 p.m.