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Connellsville boys cross country aims to better last season's 8-1 mark

| Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014, 9:45 p.m.
Jason Black | Daily Courier

The Connellsville cross country program lost some fine leaders to graduation, but coach Pat Mullaney believes that 2014 can be another successful season for his group of runners.

Connellsville will be without the services of graduates and team leaders Joe Baughman and Rachel Miller, but the goals will remain high for this year's team.

“We want to stay healthy and do better than last year,” Mullaney said.

Improving on last year may be difficult, especially for a boys team that went 8-1. However, there is some talent on the boys squad that gives Mullaney optimism.

“The guys, on a good day, we can be anywhere in the top three in the section (Division I, Section 2),” Mullaney said.

According to Mullaney, juniors Devin Pisarski and Ethan McIntosh showed a tremendous amount of dedication leading up to the season.

“They put in a strong summer, and I'm excited to see them run and see how the rest of the team fills out,” Mullaney said.

As the lone senior on the boys roster, Tommy Nicholson has assumed a leadership role.

“He's becoming a good leader and he is keeping everybody working hard,” Mullaney said.

Junior Josh Campbell as well as sophomores Chris Stahl, Hunter Reich, Dylan Nicholson and Grant Solomon round out the boys roster.

According to Pisarski, there is a lot of potential on this year's team, and he will do whatever he can to help the Falcons achieve success.

“I'm just going to go out and compete,” Pisarski said. “We have four people (that can run) in the 18s, so it should be a good season overall.”

The Connellsville girls are a young team, with Lauren Herman being the only senior.

“Last year, the whole group was first-year runners,” Mullaney said. “This is their second year, so they should all have a much better year.”

Sophomores Ally Wilson, Allison Hauer and Francesca Stefano give the team some young talent, along with freshmen Kara Grenell, Autumn Ramsey and Megan Haggerty.

The Connellsville girls finished 5-4 last season.

“We can certainly do better than what we were last year,” Mullaney said.

Mullaney is in his fourth season as the team's coach. He is assisted by Nick Miller.

The Connellsville boys and girls each opened with a nonsection win against Southmoreland on Wednesday and will compete in the Red, White & Blue Invitational at Schenley Park on Saturday.

Jason Black is the local sports editor of the Daily Courier. Reach him at jblack@tribweb.com.

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