By Ric Webb
Times Sports Editor
After finishing the dual meet season undefeated, the Boyertown High boys' cross country team had high hopes of repeating as PAC-10 champions heading into last week's PAC-10 Championship Meet held at the Daniel Boone Homestead last Wednesday, October 18.
Unfortunately, Owen J. Roberts had other plans as they finished in first place with 39 team points to take the team title ahead of second place Boyertown with 45 team points.
Boyertown standout Jason Weller did all he could to help the cause. He completed his perfect PAC-10 season by easily winning the individual title. He crossed the finish line in a Homestead record time of 15:15, wich was 23 seconds better than the old mark set by Tom Parlapiano in 1998.
Teammate Mark Dennin finished second in a time of 16:02.
Despite not winning the team title, Boyertown head coach Ron Hofmanner was very proud of the way his team performed this season.
"I can honestly say nothing went wrong," said Hofmanner. "It was a showdown between two very talented teams. If you check the times of my runners, they performed better than they had all season. They gave the race everything they had and I'm very proud of all of the them."
For Weller, the meet completed an incredible PAC-10 season. He won every meet and won them all by very comfortable margins. Nobody in the league could even begin to keep up with him.
"Jason had a phenomenal season," said Hofmanner. "He set the goal of winning the districts and states for himself this year and he is well on his way to doing this. He is well-trained and we are looking forward to the big meets over the next two weeks."
The District 1 meet wil take place at Lehigh University this Friday, October 27, beginning at 10 a.m. Last year Weller finished second in the district race.
Other Boyertown finishers in the boys' PAC-10 race were: David Moyer, ninth (17:09.3); Caleb Kiefter, 17th (17:47.6); Steve Taylor, 22nd (18:12.0); and Crhis Kelly, 32nd (18:54.4).
The Boyertown girls' team also finished second in the meet, behind first place Perk Valley. They were led by Melinda Liptak who placed fourth overall with a time of 20:14.1.
"The girls exceeded my expectations at the PAC-10 meet this year," said Hofmanner. "When we had our dual meet against Perk Valley, they had six girls in fron of Melinda Liptak and Elizabeth Simpson. This time they only had one. The other girls, includign Steph Hardenstine and Angel Valenti relaly stepped up as well."
Other finishers included: Simpson, fifth (20:24.2); Hardenstine, 12th, (20:58.9); Valenti, 22nd (21:59.9); Shannon Colgan, 25th (22:20.7); and Kristin Ruhl, 27th (22:25.9).
"The girls' success can be attributed to hard work and strong leadership from our seniors," said Hofmanner. "They really communicated well with the younger runners and helped them understand how to be successful."
As far as the districts are concerned, there is optimism for both the Boyertown boys' and girls' teams. Ont he boys' side, Weller and Dennin were both state medalists last year and are expected to qualify once again this year. David Moyer also had a good shot at qualifying for the states.
On the girls side, Liptak will have a great chance of getting back to the states once again. Others who had a good chance of getting there will by Hardenstine, Simpson and Valenti.
In fact, Hofmanner believes both squads have a chance to get there as a team.