Two Falcons earn CL medals
Shane Artis and Michael Sosnowski have been working hard in the offseason. They’ve put in 35-40 miles, including some tough hill work on South Mountain, in an effort to be among the top runners in the Colonial League and District 11.
They achieved part of their goal last week when the Salisbury juniors both finished in the top 10 and earned medals at the Colonial League Championships, held annually at DeSales University.
Artis ran the course in 17:32.22 for fifth place, his best finish in three years of high school cross country. Sosnowski wasn’t’ far behind, coming in 10th at 17:53.53 for his best career finish and first career medal.
They helped Salisbury earn eighth place as a team, which is significant for a program that barely had enough runners to score as a team just a few years ago.
Artis said he got out to a good start and knew he could count on some runners going a little too hard in their final league meet.
“I took the first mile out pretty slow,” he said. “I knew a couple kids were going to try and get out hot, especially since they’re seniors.”
Artis said he used the hills in the middle of the course to move up into to the lead pack and was able to stay there.
Artis, who qualified for states last season, has consistently been one of the top two or three finishers in regular season meets this fall. He came into the season after qualifying for states last year with an eighth-place finish at districts. He was sixth at this year’s Paul Short Invitational and is much more confident and experienced heading into this week’s district meet than he was last season.
Sosnowski, who improved on his 15th-place Colonial League finish from 2017, was hoping to make the top 10 and earn a medal. During the race he was where he needed to be and did everything he could to make sure he stayed there.
“My parents and the coaches were counting places,” he said. “I was in ninth going into the corn field. This guy caught me. Normally he’s not up there, but today he was.
“I just kept looking behind me because I didn’t wants anyone else to catch me, but I had pretty good gap.”
Sosnowski credits offseason works outs for helping him reach the medal stand.
“It was tough, especially going into those hills,” he said. “All the work I put in, that’s what helped me going up those hills. That’s where I caught people.
“Going into the second mile in the hills I was around 14th. Then going around the bend at the steep hill a lot of people fell off. But putting in those miles, like Second Street in Emmaus, we worked those in the offseason, I just pushed it and passed him.”
The rest of Salisbury’s top five included Carver Moyer (38th, 19:44.36), Chase Fenstermaker (82nd, 21:50.67) and Kyle Artis (84th, 21:54.12). Other finishers for the Falcons were Hunter Bleam (101st, 23:21.93), Leo Bushey (107th, 25:38.71) and Kieran Connelly (108th, 25:57.43).
Southern Lehigh freshman Kane Alexander won the Colonial League boys race in 16:54.93 and led the Spartans to the boys team title.
In the girls race, Northern Lehigh’s Reagan Pender finished in 19:57.69 for first place with a large cushion over second-place Grave Medei of Notre Dame (GP), who finished in 20:23.38.
For Salisbury, Eliza Wiener led the team with a 69th-place finish in 26:54.90, followed by teammates Logan Woods (80th, 28:34.20), Alicia Miller (83rd, 30:55.84), Angela Acosta-Jung (84th, 31:74.72), Sativa Stecker (85th, 31:59.08) and Hana Schimeneck (88th, 40:08.88).
The District 11 Championships will be held Wednesday at Bethlehem Municipal. Artis will look for a return trip to states, while Sosnowski hopes to run with him in Hershey in the first weekend in November.
“I think there’s a good possibility it’s going to happen,” Artis said of the chances that both Falcons move on from this week’s meet.
Running in Class 2A they will need to be among the top 10 boys finishers who are not members of one of the top two teams. Both of the top two teams will send seven runners to states and the top 10 individual finishers who are not members of those teams will also earn a trip to Hershey.