Zamrin 16th at State Cross Country

By on November 8, 2017
Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin poses on the medal stand with her latest accomplishment at the State Cross Country Championships in Hershey Saturday. Photo by Bruce Morgan

Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin poses on the medal stand with her latest accomplishment at the State Cross Country Championships in Hershey Saturday. Photo by Bruce Morgan

Ephrata’s Foster comes close to a State medal

If nothing else, the PIAA Cross Country Championships can be very unforgiving.

Cocalico High School runners Jamie Zamrin and Evan Kreider can attest.

They will share how tough it is to make up ground when dueling against the top runners in the state, as they did last Saturday at Parkview Cross Country Course in Hershey.

“I really pushed myself,” Zamrin said. “I just didn’t have it today.”

The Cocalico senior did have enough to earn her third career PIAA cross country medal, finishing 16th overall in a time of 19:14.

But Zamrin was hoping to improve on her place from a year ago, when she took 8th in 18:42.

“It wasn’t my best race,” said Zamrin, who competed in States all four years of her career, including a 24th-place medal finish as a sophomore. “I think it was a very grit kind of race. I think it was a hard effort, but it was definitely not what I was looking for. It was just kind of a bad day.”

Cocalico head coach Ron Derr described his emotions as being bittersweet.

“It’s her final official race,” he said, “but she comes away with another very, very solid State medal, which is just fantastic. She was visibly disappointed. She was hoping for a little bit of a higher finish. As far as for her, I do feel bad with that, but I’m proud that even though she didn’t have the A-plus race going today, she ran as always with the best effort she had on the day.”

So did the other Cocalico and Ephrata runners.

In the boys’ Triple-A race, Mountaineer junior Andrew Foster missed a medal by just nine spots, taking 34th overall out of 236 finishers in 16:39, while Kreider came home with a 52nd-place finish in a time of 16:51.

“Andrew was able to fight through the start and establish a pretty good position,” Ephrata Coach Mike Hershberger said of Foster. “He stayed placed in the low 30’s all race. He finished where we expected compared to the rest of the L-L League. He was behind Christian Groff, Hempfield, by a few seconds and a little ahead of Evan. District Three dominated the boys AAA race last year by taking the top four spots, but this year District One had a lot of very good runners, so that bumped Andrew nine spots out of the medals.”

North Penn senior Brendan O’Toole claimed the 25th and final medal in 16:30.

“Evan was really hoping to be in the medal rounds,” Derr said, “so as far as positioning and finishing there, it was not one of his better races this year. He got out of the race a little bit early and the caliber of competition is so good, sometimes you can get back in among some people. At this place, they’re not forgiving that way. They’re so good, it’s hard to run people down at the end.”

Turning to the girls’ Triple-A race, Ephrata sophomore Mary Campbell took 94th in 20:27, while her teammate, freshman Alyssa Fedorshak, finished 101st in a time of 20:29.

“Alyssa and Mary were in a tough starting spot between Mannheim Township and OJ Roberts,” Hershberger said. “There is a lot of contact and the beginning of this race to start with, but with two elite teams on either side of a box filled with three individuals and a team of two, the teams are able to work together to establish their position. It is very difficult to fight through that. As a result, the Ephrata girls fell back at the start. Unlike districts, it’s very tough to move up through the pack at states in the AAA race because of how thin the course is with the number and caliber of runners.”

Cardinal O’Hara senior Elizabeth Mancini claimed the State girls crown, outlegging 212 runners to the finish line in 18:18.

Zamrin was just 13 seconds behind Mancini at the one-mile point, clocking in at a time of 5:52, but she found herself in the 23rd position.

“I know States always goes out extremely hard,” Zamrin said, “so I was back at the first mile. But last year, that worked to my favor. I was trying to be top-20 and I think was more like top-30, which wasn’t the best plan. I did make up some ground, so I did get up into the top-20 and everything. The last 1,000 meters, I was trying to catch a lot of people, but I was running low on energy then.”

In particular, Zamrin was right on the heels of four runners approaching the final hill, but she couldn’t quite overtake them. North Penn’s Ariana Gardizy and Oakland Catholic’s Hannah Schupansky finished 14th and 15th, both in 19:12, to hold off Zamrin by a mere two seconds.

“I think going up the last hill really, really killed me because I thought I could catch the four girls that were right in front of me,” Zamrin said. “But the last hill, they just killed me and I didn’t have it today.”

“Every step was a battle,” Derr said, “and it’s just one of those days you have as a runner. Sometimes, it’s light and easy, and today, every step was work and she was just fighting to stay in competition and with the others. And she used a lot of energy to get back in a good race position, but didn’t quite have it to finish things off. But for her third year in a row, she finishes with a very, very high State medal, one of the best runners in the State, so I’m really, really proud of her.”

Hershberger summed up the season, saying he was pleased with his performers as well.

“The coaches and I were very pleased with the runners and their effort this year,” he said. “Mary was the fastest runner in Ephrata’s history even though she is only a sophomore, and Alyssa posted the third fastest time in Ephrata history even though she is only a freshman. Andrew’s (junior) best time this year was second only to (former Mount star Zach) Lefever in the record books.”

 

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