Bacher, Jaindl lead teams at XC
By the time the postseason rolls around, runners generally hit the prime of their seasons and run their best times. Unfortunately for Emmaus senior Katie Bacher, she’s run into some roadblocks at that point in the past two seasons.
Last year Bacher faced an iron deficiency when the inaugural Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Cross Country Championships got underway, followed by the district meet a week later. The senior once again faced barriers with a lingering sickness over the past couple weeks. Yet she still managed to put together one of the area’s best performances despite the circumstances.
Bacher led all Emmaus runners with a fifth-place finish in the field of 133 girls, running a time of 19:22.45. Liberty’s Risa Kochmaruk won the individual championship in a time of 18:52.64, the only sub 19-minute time, for the second straight year.
“I’ve been battling a sickness for the second half of the season,” said Bacher. “I’ve had a cold that has been affecting my training. I was just trying to see how I was feeling today.”
Bacher raced out with the front of the girls’ pack and remained with the top runners for nearly the entire race. In one of the more difficult parts of the course, she lost pace with some of those competitors, however.
“I was with them pretty much until about the two-mile mark, even a little bit after that,” Bacher said. “There’s those switch-backs in there, and they rounded the final one and started kicking it in probably a little over a half mile to go in the race. They really started to pick it up, and I struggled to keep with them at that point.”
Districts are set for this Wednesday, weather permitting, and Bacher believes she can hang with any of the Class AAA competitors, particularly when at full health. She’s hoping the week of downtime between postseason meets gives her that much-needed rest.
“It will be the same group of girls and same competitors,” Bacher said. “I’m hoping for a good race next week and see what I can do.”
As a team, the Hornet girls finished fourth with 117 points, behind Easton (52nd), Stroudsburg (84th) and Central Catholic (116th). Abby Dalton placed 14th after missing much of the season due to an injury, while Katrina Durrwachter (33rd), Amber Ziegler (35th), Abby Heilenman (36th), Brynn Myers (51st), Sneha Shankar (52nd), Emma Keightley (54th) and Colleen Grablick (56th) rounded out the girls’ finishers.
Greg Jaindl, a first-year cross country runner, paced the Emmaus boys with a seventh-place finish in 17:15.51 in his first trip to the postseason. After spending years on the Hornets’ basketball team, Jaindl has made an immediate impact as a harrier.
“I was playing basketball and I thought I was a basketball player, but then I just decided running was for my future,” Jaindl said. “I decided to quit basically and focus on my running year-round.”
In what was a bit more hot of a day than recent ones, Jaindl admits the weather may have had an impact on him down the stretch. Still, he’s pleased to finish among the top competitors even though he believes his best race is yet to come.
“I felt good for most of the race,” Jaindl said. “It was a little hot because we were used to cold weather the past couple of days, so I overheated a little bit.”
The Hornet boys finished as the third-highest team with 118 points. Parkland edged Easton by nine points to win the championship, while Kevin Lapsanky of the Red Rovers won the individual title in 16:09.52.
Ryan Paradise (12th) and Del Vierling (20th) both finished in the top 20 to earn key points for the team score, while Todd Moxey (41st), Jacob Feiertag (44th), Ian Adams (47th), Charlie Norelli (62nd), Tyler Corpora (88th) and Andrew Gigler (131st) all had successful outings on the course.