East Penn Press

Friday, October 18, 2019

Girls cross country improves to 9-0

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by STEPHEN ALTHOUSE Special to the Press in Sports

Over a seven-day period, the Emmaus girls and boys cross country teams proved too much to handle for six separate schools.

Hornet head coach Kelly Bracetty hoped this year would be a good one for her girls and boys squads. So far, it’s been good and then some.

On Sept. 17 the girls and boys outdistanced three schools - Pleasant Valley, Pocono Mountain East and Pocono Mountain West - at the Lehigh Parkway meet.

The girls won 18-43, 19-42 and 15-50 over PV, PME and PMW, respectively. The boys squad took care of business 20-43, 20-39 and 15-45 over PV, PME and PMW, respectively.

The girls team is 9-0 and has been awesome all season. The top seven during the meets features Keerstin Augustin, Belle Lees, Hailey Reinhard, Clara Kennedy, Madison Torretta, Ashley Ryan and Beth Brown.

The boys are 7-2 and continuing to improve with each meet. The top seven runners in the meet were Geoffrey Kleinberg, Ryan Todd, Mark Magee, Cam Carter, Keshav Shankar, Ian Cox and Colin Schaffer.

One week later, both squads again took care of business, running well in defeating three opponents - Stroudsburg, East Stroudsburg South and East Stroudsburg North. The girls claiming victories of 20-40, 15-50 and 15-50 over Stroudsburg, ESS and ESN respectively to improve to a sterling 9-0. The boys took 23-37,15-50 and 15-50 wins over Stroudsburg, ESS and ESN to register a 7-2 mark.

The Green Hornets will almost certainly break a sweat in their final two regular season meets. Up first, Whitehall, Liberty, Freedom and Becahi on Oct. 1 and then a date with Parkland, Dieruff, Allen and Whitehall one week later.

“Both the girls and boys will face a bit of competition the last two meets of the regular season with Liberty and Parkland, but we will be ready to take them on,” said Bracetty.

Beside talent, part of the reason is training.

“Both teams will continue to be successful into the postseason because many of their races early in the season were run on tired legs,” Bracetty said. “We’ve done long runs and some very challenging workouts while keeping their mileage high.”

That hard work could pay dividends when it counts most.

“Now that the end of the season is approaching, all of their training will start coming together,” she said. “They’ll start to notice their legs feel fresher during the races and they’ll feel even stronger on the hills.”

Bracetty preaches teamwork. Whether it’s the first week of training or the last 100 yards of states, the message is the same - there is no I in team.

“If someone’s feeling off, they’ve got three, four, five other teammates rallying around that person and helping encourage them to keep going, to keep pushing through the pain, to do it for their team,” said Bracetty. “They’re willing to sacrifice every part of themselves to make the team better and that’s something not many other teams have.”

Since meet one, the girls have been like a buzz saw through damp wood. After being beaten by Nazareth and Northampton in their first race, the boys decided losing wasn’t for them and haven’t experienced it since.

The beauty of the sport - and perhaps of life - is don’t fixate on the Joneses.

“It’s easy to get caught up looking at what other teams have done this season, but the biggest thief of happiness is comparison,” the coach said. “...You can’t control what anyone else does. You can only control the effort you give and I know each of our runners is going to give it everything they have.”

CORRECTION

Last week’s Press mistakenly omitted two names from the results of the meet against Pleasant Valley and the Pocono Mountain schools. Geoffrey Kleinberg and Ryan Todd were Emmaus’s top two finishers in that race. They finished in fourth and fifth place overall, respectively.