Class Act: Henderson awards CC title to Unionville

True act of sportsmanship, great performances highlight Girls X-Country District 1 meet at Lehigh

By Dave Conard, Correspondent,

The Unionville girls' cross country team took second at the combined AAA/AAAA District 1 meet at Lehigh — but because of a quirk of the scoring rules, were placed behind West Chester Henderson for the AAA title (overall winner Pennsbury won the AAAA title) — but Henderson presented the trophy to Unionville.

BETHLEHEM — It may not be a known fact but cross-country is a sport that is all about respect.

Respect for the amount of work required to ready for the season, the number of miles a runner will log over a week of preparation, respect for the course and most importantly respect for the competition.

At the PIAA District One championship held at Lehigh University, the ladies squads form West Chester Henderson and Unionville High School, who have battled through out the season in the Ches-Mont League, gave new meaning to word respect.

In a strange quirk as a result of a “unique” scoring system, Unionville who finished second overall in the combined AAA and AAAA grouping, two points ahead of the Warriors, which is what qualifying for the state meet is based on, actually also was relegated to a runner up finish in the class AAA scoring finishing two points behind Henderson.

In the ultimate class move, the Henderson girls led by Janie Augustyn and Amanda Eisman then turned around and awarded the District One class AAA Championship trophy to the Indians, citing the fact that Unionville beat them cleanly.

300 runners take off at the starting gun for the District 1 Girls' Cross Country meet.

“They were the true winners,” said Henderson senior Augustyn. “We wanted to win here today but they beat us fair and square, we don’t care what the score said when they separate the groups, they deserve to have the trophy, if nothing else it will make it interesting at Hershey.”

“They (Henderson) are legendary,” said Indians senior Kris Abens, as the meeting of the mutual respect concluded. “For them to do something like that speaks a lot about what kind of team they are. It also says a lot about how strong the Ches-Mont league is.”

In a race that had more than 300 runners at the start line, miraculously the Indians were able to work their way to the front as a group, feeding off of the pace set by sophomore Courtney Smith, who claimed a class AAA runner up medal and junior Anne Berkenmaier, who finished seventh in AAA, the top two finishers, en rout to a combined time of 1:34:45.

“I think were able to fly under the radar a bit,” said Unionville junior Berkenmaier. “I don’t think any one expected us to finish in the top three or qualify for states. We knew we could do this and have been running better each week. It is so exciting to be going to the state meet next week, that course is more hilly, which I think will help us.”

As the battle moves to the Parkview course at Hershey next Saturday for the PIAA Pennsylvania state championship, the Warriors and Unionville will have to find a way to break up the pack of runners from defending state champ Pennsbury, who claimed the District One title.

“The start here is always crazy,” added Abens. “The important thing is to try to get to the front before the chute there with out burning yourself up early, you just have to have patience and work through traffic, even though it is tempting to go out to fast.”

For complete stats and run down from the race click on

Combined AAA and AAAA results Bolded are state qualifiers

  1 Pennsbury                          69    
  2 Unionville                          130    
  3 West Chester Henderso   132    
  4 Downingtown East            158   
  5 North Penn                         252    
  6 Central Bucks East            277   
  7 Great Valley                       292   
  8 Council Rock North          318   
  9 Avon Grove                        354      
 10 Boyertown                         355   

1. Pennsbury
    5  Ann Herman, Sr             18:05    
    6  Sara Sargent, Jr           18:20    
   17  Erin O’Connell, Fr         18:47    
   18  Erica Gray, So             18:48    
   23  Elizabeth Wedekind, Jr     18:55    
  143  Jackie Kahill, Jr          20:36    
  184  Hannah Papazian, Jr        21:03    
Total Time = 1:32:54     Total Places = 69

2. Unionville
    7  Courtney Smith, So         18:24    
   21  Anne Birkenmaier, Jr       18:53    
   31  Olivia Young, Fr           19:04    
   34  Sam Collins, So            19:10    
   37  Emily Fisher, So           19:16    
   74  Gretchen Mills, Fr         19:50    
  146  Kris Abens, Sr             20:38    
Total Time = 1:34:45     Total Places = 130

3. West Chester Henderso
    8  Stephanie Aldrich, Jr      18:29    
   20  Janie Augustyn, Sr         18:53    
   25  Amanda Eisman, Sr          19:01    
   27  Michelle Tracy, Sr         19:03    
   52  Sierra Middleton, So       19:36    
   57  Maddie Bixler, Fr          19:42    
   90  Anna Radford, So           20:06    
Total Time = 1:35:00     Total Places = 132

Combined AAA and AAAA girls finishers

    1 Tori Gerlach, Sr                       17:39    Pennridge           
    2 Meghan McGovern, Sr             17:44    North Penn          
    3 Hannah Grossman, Sr             17:46    Strath Haven        
    4 Marissa Sheva, Fr                    17:58    Pennridge           
    5  Ann Herman, Sr                       18:05    Pennsbury           
    6  Sara Sargent, Jr                       18:20    Pennsbury           
    7  Courtney Smith, So                  18:24    Unionville          
    8  Stephanie Aldrich, Jr                18:29    W C Henderson
    9  Sophia Meehan, Sr                   18:29    Haverford
   10 Amber Hontz, Fr                      18:30    Bayard Rustin
   11 Kate Scott, Jr                          18:33    Council Rock North  
   12 Katelyn Callaghan, Jr              18:37    Downingtown East     
   13 Biz Weiler, Sr                           18:39   Downingtown East     
   14 Elise Claffey, Fr                       18:39    Great Valley         
   15 Caitlyn Sheva, Jr                     18:41    Pennridge            
   16 Kara Steinke, So                      18:47    Methacton            
   17 Erin O’Connell, Fr                     18:47    Pennsbury            
   18 Erica Gray, So                          18:48    Pennsbury            
   19 Meghan Iatarola, So                 18:48    Central Bucks West   
   20 Janie Augustyn, Sr                   18:53    W C Henderson
   21 Anne Birkenmaier, Jr               18:53    Unionville           
   22 Sarah Holl, Sr                          18:54    Upper Dublin         
   23 Elizabeth Wedekind, Jr            18:55    Pennsbury            
   24 Anja Weiler, So                        18:57    Downingtown East     
   25 Amanda Eisman, Sr                 19:01    W C Henderson

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