There is a youth movement that seems to indicate a bright future for Lackawanna League cross country.

Fifty-five runners from league qualified for Saturday’s PIAA Championships in Hershey as either an individual or part of a team. Just 16 of those runners were seniors. Twenty-one runners were either freshmen or first-time sophomores at states.

Elk Lake junior Krista Jones missed out on a third straight state medal in Class 1A. After finishing 17th as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore, she was 32nd in 21:57.

“I felt like I got a really good at the start; I was out with the front pack,” Jones said. “Once I got to the mile mark, my arms started feeling weak and numb. Then everything started feeling weak. As I kept going, it kept getting worse. The last hill, I could really feel it. On the finishing stretch, I was just trying my best to get across the line.”

Two other Lackawanna League athletes -Lackawanna Trail’s freshmen Brayden Clarke of Lackawanna Trail (31st, 18:03) and Nick Sinkovich of Montrose Area (32nd, 18:06) — finished just outside the top 25. Elk Lake junior Justice Johnson was 37th in 18:11.

PIAA Cross Country Championships at Hershey Parkview Course, 3.1 miles Individual state medals go to top 25 individuals Girls Class 1A Individual finishes

1. Carmen Medvit, Shenango 20:16; 2. Hannah Wagner, Reynolds 20:22; 3. Grace Mason, Wilmington 20:25; 4. Carissa Flynn, Mountain View 20:30; 5. Ashley Post, Seneca 20:38; 32. Krista Jones, Elk Lake 21:57.

Boys Class 1A Individual Finishes

1. Colton Sands, Penns Valley 16:42; 2. Kevin Jumper, Holy Cross 16:54; 3. Thomas Smigo, Palisades 17:01; 4. Luke Miller, Jenkintown 17:04; 5. Carter Geer, Jenkintown 17:05; 31. Brayden Clarke, Lackawanna Trail 18:03; 37. Justice Johnson, Elk Lake 18:11.

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