Lady Tigers take DeSales title
Haley Yost and the Northwestern girls cross country team like the DeSales Invitational because it helps them gauge where they stand early in the season.
After Saturday's 34th annual DeSales Invitational, the Lady Tigers stood atop of the field and the podium.
Led by Yost's third-place finish, the Northwestern girls won this year's meet title, beating Perkiomen Valley and Parkland.
"I told the girls that if we have a race where you all run well, we will be hard to beat," said Northwestern head coach Chris Stitzel. "Beating a team like a Parkland or a Perkiomen Valley makes it better because they are so much bigger. To actually win this invitational is a compliment to the girls. It shows that they are working hard and are stepping up."
Yost, a senior, finished with a time of 20:03.82. Right behind her was Tiger teammate Carly Pierce, who finished in sixth place with a time of 20:24.03. Freshman Paige Stitzel ran a 21:11.27 to finish 17th and earn a medal, which went to the top 25 finishers.
Northwestern's Rachel Mikols came in 27th and Rachele Cerrone rounded out the scoring for the Tigers in 28th place.
Cerrone, who is usually not far behind Yost and right up with her junior classmate Pierce, was disappointed with the off-day at DeSales.
"It just wasn't my race," she said. "I got emotional during the race. I got discouraged at different parts as well which just ruined it all."
Stitzel was pleased with the effort of all his runners on a difficult course against a strong field.
"I knew that Haley could do this well," Stitzel said. "Carly has been running really well lately, so it wasn't too much of a surprise. Rachele is actually our number two runner, but she has been feeling under the weather lately.
"I knew Haley had this in her, but Carly doing it is great. Paige had no idea that she could medal. I think some of the girls still surprise themselves."
Although Cerrone was down on herself after her finish on Saturday, Stitzel reiterated his confidence in her and knows that she will bounce back and succeed as the season keeps going.
The efforts of all those aforementioned runners were the reason why the Northwestern girls' cross country team took the top spot in the girls' team competition at the meet. The Lady Tigers won it all with 81 points, beating out Perkiomen Valley and Parkland.
The two highest boy finishers for Northwestern were Brayden Heller and Jarett White. Heller finished 50th with an 18:13.47 while White finished 52nd with an 18:17.81 in the two-mile race.
Stitzel hopes to continue this throughout the rest of the season as he has his eyes set on a high finish at the state meet. The DeSales Invitational gave him a good idea of how his team stacks up against some of the top teams from the area and beyond.