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Trojan boys go unbeaten

As the Parkland cross country season concluded last week, coach Stephen Ott is pleased with the results and optimistic about the postseason.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls,” said Ott. “The boys were excellent. 17-0 is not an easy task.”

Neither is 16-1, which was the girls’ record. Ott said the young ladies had a never-say-die attitude, which was part of the reason for their success.

“They had some tough battles,” Ott said. “Even if one of their teammates had an off-day, the other had their backs. Finishing 16-1 after losing three of our top five girls is impressive.”

The girls’ success was a team effort, however two names stood out.

Jessica Price and Elena Wenger have consistently registered the top times and provided leadership every time out. Three other runners - Zoe Patselas, Abbey Bender and Gracie Trexler - have been right with Price and Wenger. The Trojans’ only loss came by one point, to rival Emmaus.

“The girls battled hard and had a tough loss to Emmaus,” said Ott. “I know that their showing in that race will give them the confidence they need going into the postseason.”

The boys perfect record required physical and mental preparation every time out.

“They had to perform each week to win all of their races,” said Ott. “Each race, someone stepped up. It was a true team effort.”

Paul Abeln and Brian Warren put it all together this year, leading the team on and off the course. Several other young men - Cameron Price, Ethan Willard, Avi Hochhauser, Brady Hoffman, Sam Tomko, Liam McGuigan, Jake Madeira and Tyler Rothrock - were all in the mix.

“Our lead pack supported each other and took care of goal one,” Ott said. “Now it is on to the postseason.”

The postseason starts with the EPC championship Oct. 19 at DeSales University.

“We are looking forward to the return of the EPC,” Ott said. “Anything is possible if you truly believe.”

PRESS PHOTOS BY DON HERB Paul Abeln was among Parkland's top finishers in each race this season for a team that won all 17 of its meets.
Brian Warren competes in a recent cross country race at Parkland.
Elena Wenger and Parkland's girls team had just one loss this season, a one-point setback to league champ Emmaus.
Jessica Price heads toward the finish line during the Trojans' final regular season cross country meet.