Southmoreland boys cross country has high expectations
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Southmoreland cross country coach Don Gilpin hopes his team's experience can help it meet its high expectations.
Five returning lettermen will suit up for the boys, which will compete in Section 4-AA along with Ford City, Freeport, Greensburg Central Catholic, Elderton, Kittanning, Riverview, Shady Side Academy and West Shamokin.
“I thought we'd have a good team with the amount of returning lettermen we have back,” Gilpin said. “The kids want to win the section and take a team to the state meet; that's our ambition. That's what we're striving for.
“If the kids stick together and nobody gets hurt, I think we can accomplish that.”
The boys lineup includes seniors Josh Dei and Ryan Allem, juniors Mike Garlowich and Phil Weiman, sophomore Sage Guynn and freshmen Ben Bickerton and Brandon Hernley.
Dei, Garlowich and Weiman play soccer, as well.
“If they get hurt, the team is in trouble,” Gilpin said. “(Playing another sport) helps and hurts them. It's challenging to try to get them at practice every day. Another hard part is when we have a home meet and they have a soccer match later that night.”
Gilpin hopes his team can draw on its experience during close meets.
“We lost to Central Catholic by a couple points, and we lost to Shady Side Academy by three or four points,” Gilpin said. “Then, we lost to Riverview when the meet had to go to the sixth runner.”
On the girls side, a low turnout could make for a challenging season.
Seniors Rikki Brown and Maria Garlowich, juniors Cynthia Severi, Sarah Brown and Jamie Ellenberger, and freshman Riley Bistel make up the lineup.
“I don't know how competitive we're going to be with just six girls,” Gilpin said. “I thought we were going to have a good team, but we didn't get a lot of runners out, and one of the better runners we thought we'd have back is hurt.”
Senior Jessica Suhan, who competed at the state meet as a sophomore, is recovering from knee problems and will miss the season.
“It's very hard,” Gilpin said. “When you have only six kids, if somebody gets hurt, then you're down to five, and you have to have five runners to be able to win a meet. If someone else gets hurt, you can't win, even if your runners finish 1-2-3-4. Some of these schools we face will have close to 20 boys and 20 girls on their teams.
“I don't know why we can't get kids out for cross country. We're the only sport at Southmoreland that's won a WPIAL championship. The girls have won two and the boys one. We've had some really good runners, but now, we can't seem to get kids involved.”
Dave Stofcheck is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Closer seats don’t sit well with some fliers
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin won’t discuss discipline for Bell, Blount
- Pirates notebook: Polanco says demotion to Indianapolis helped
- Unlike years past, strength of 2014 Steelers could be offense
- Manufacturing cranks up production pace
- Steelers Lookahead: Previewing Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland
- Pittsburgh mayor says new police chief’s skills fit the job well
- Pitt football notebook: Ohio offensive lineman verbally commits to Pitt
- Regulators release details of Highmark’s post-UPMC transition plan
- Former Dormont businessman avoids jail for wire fraud
- Wednesday’s scouting report: Pirates at Cardinals