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The Parkland boys cross country team utilized four top 10 finishes to win last Tuesday’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference cross country championship at DeSales University.

The Trojans finished with 41 points, outdistancing second-place Nazareth with 59 points and third-place Emmaus with 93 points in the 137-boy field.

“Our boys stepped up and ran a great race as a team,” Parkland head coach Stephen Ott said. “The hard work they put in throughout the season was very important.”

The win also erased a few unpleasant memories.

“Last year we finished second to Nazareth in the EPC championship race,” Ott said. “It was good to avenge the defeat. Our team learned from that last season and chose to move forward.”

Paul Abeln led the Parkland pack with a second-place finish in a superlative 16:39 time. Ethan Willard took fourth place in 16:51, while teammate Liam McGuigan finished in 17:03, good for eighth. Jake Barnes was 10th with a 17:06 finish.

“It is outstanding that our top four all medaled,” Ott said.

Praveen Sureshkumar led the next Parkland group with a 17th place finish in 17:43. Brady Hoffman took 20th place, while Tyler Rothrock earned 24th and Samuel Tomko took 26th.

“Praveen, Brady, Tyler and Sam were able to beat Nazareth’s fifth runner,” Ott said.

The Trojans aren’t yet ready to pack it in, as they turn their focus to districts.

“It was a team victory,” Ott said “I reminded them though that we have to move on to the next. This championship is just one of the goals we have for the season. Next is districts and we need to be prepared to go after that title as well. Again, Nazareth is the defending champion. It will come down to who wants it more.”

The District 11 Class 3A cross country championship is scheduled for Oct. 26 at DeSales University.

Paul Abeln finished second overall in leading the Parkland boys to an East Penn Conference title at last week's league championships. PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Ethan Willard finished fourth overall at the league championship meet.