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Stelmack takes fourth, Yost fifth

Tyler Stelmack knows the DeSales University cross country course. He's run it plenty of times in his career.

The Northwestern senior used his knowledge of the course to earn a fourth-place finish Saturday in the 34th Annual DeSales Invitational. Tiger teammate Haley Yost ran to a fifth-place finish in the girls race as four Northwestern runners took home medals, which went to the top 25 finishers in the varsity races.

The Tigers' Rachele Cerrone (12th) and Carly Pierce (18th) also earned medals as the girls team finished fourth overall and the boys came in seventh.

Stelmack, the defending Colonial League champ, said he was around 40th place before making his move on the hills in the last half of the course.

"I'm really happy with how I ran today," Stelmack said. "I played it smart. I didn't want to go out fast in the first mile because you hit all these hills then. I used my hill strength to catch back up to the front."

Stelmack led Northwestern's boys team to a seventh-place finish against a field of some strong teams from all over the eastern part of the state. It's the most competitive Tiger team he's been a part of in three years of high school cross country.

"We trained all summer," Stelmack said. "At the Moravian Academy Invitational we were first in 2A. As of now we're 6-0 in the league. We're really happy with where we are."

Following Stelmack and helping the team earn seventh place at DeSales were Ryan Cerrone (31st, 18:23.33), Patrick Strobel (54th, 18:59.36), Jarett White (58th, 19:05.57), Joey Duffy (79th, 19:42.64), Collin Furchner (124th, 21:08.22) and Brayden Heller (161st, 23:26.19).

Yost, who has been dealing with a knee injury since early in the preseason, is used to being on strong teams. She led the Northwestern girls team to a fourth-place finish Saturday. The Lady Tigers graduated three of their top five runners from last year's District 11 Class AAA runner up, but seem to have picked up right where they left off last year.

"I feel like people always seem to doubt us because we always lose senior runners," said Yost. "We just keep coming back and proving everybody wrong. We like that position."

Rachele Cerrone finished in 21:18.54 with Pierce at 21:27.88. The rest of the Tiger girls team included Erin Ondush (53rd, 22:58.56), Lauren Alden (62nd, 23:25.47), Katrina Hartman (70th, 23:52.06) and Marie Mikols (83rd, 24:58.96).

Yost, a junior, was the Colonial League runner up last year. She prefers shorter races, like the mile and half mile in track. But she's worked hard on distance training in the offseason to improve on her cross country performances.

"Hoping to go sub-19 at least one race this year," said Yost. "This summer I was training a lot more than other years. Usually I'm more a tack runner with the speed. I'm building up more endurance."

Both Northwestern teams opened the season by going 6-0 in their first league cluster meet.

DeSales Invitational Results

GIRLS (Top 10)

1. Summer Hill (Honesdale) 19:39.62, 2. Meredith Colton (Bangor) 19:53.84, 3. Sarah Brzostek (Exeter) 20:15.21, 4. Mikayla Stoudt (Parkland) 20:26.96, 5. Haley Yost (Northwestern) 20:39.16, 6. Anna Simpson (Boyertown) 20:39.82, 7. Shaina Palmer (Freedom) 20:45.64, 8. Casey Ortiz (Archbishop Wood) 20:50.69, 9. Shelby White (Southern Lehigh) 21:02.12, 10. Kristen Eberhardt (Pleasant Valley) 21:07.39.

Team scores (Top five)

1. Archbishop Wood 90, 2. Parkland 100, 3. Boyertown 112, 4. Northwestern 140,.

BOYS (Top 10)

1. Jonathan Schmidt (Archbishop Wood) 17:05.45, 2. Matt Koch (Stroudsburg) 17:14.18, 3. Alex Balla (Quakertown), 4. Tyler Stelmack (Northwestern) 17:19.29, 5. Alex Lederer (Northampton) 17:25.60, 6. Curtis Lamp (Exeter) 17:26.70, 7. Trevor Bergen (Parkland) 17:27.53, 8. Coin McLaughlin (Quakertown) 17:31.32, 9. Mike Kane (William Tennent) 17:32.14, 10. Jaryd Flank (Wilson) 17:36.70.

Team scores (Top five)

1. Parkland 104, 2. William Tennent 107, 3. Perkiomen Valley 137, 4. Freedom 190, 5. Holy Ghost Prep 191, 7. Northwestern 223.