After 3rd-place finish at PIAA meet, Riverview bids farewell to decorated senior runners

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Sunday, November 21, 2021 | 11:01 AM


The Riverview boys cross country team was situated high in the PIAA Class A state rankings through the entirety of the fall season.

The Raiders were ready to prove themselves in that capacity at the state championships in Hershey on Nov. 6.

Riverview and Winchester Thurston battled again, and they both hoped to give eventual state champion Hughesville (District 4) a run for its money.

The Raiders captured the WPIAL title Oct 28, edging Winchester Thurston after five straight runner-up finishes. This time, the Bears finished with the advantage, taking second to Riverview in third.

“While Hughesville took control of the race from the start and modestly distanced themselves from the other top teams with 97 points, the battle for silver and bronze was more intense,” Riverview coach Palma Ostrowski said.

“Seven different teams were in the mix at various stages of the race. We were extremely pleased with how our boys battled and kept coming on. Each of our seven runners gained points in the last kilometer.”

Riverview was tied for fourth after the first mile and tied for second at the 2.5-kilometer mark. The Raiders were in fourth at four kilometers, just two points behind Winchester Thurston and 14 points behind Trinity (District 3).

Riverview and Winchester Thurston surged to the finish. The Bears ended with 140 points to Riverview’s 145 and Trinity’s 148.

“To a man, each Raider ran better times at Hershey than at WPIALs at Cal U,” Ostrowski said.

“This was particularly satisfying to the coaches because the Hershey course is hilly like the Cal U course, and additionally, it measured a little longer in exact distance.”

Senior Parker Steele (17:49.9) led the Raiders in individual 29th place.

Senior Ty Laughlan was 47th (18:14), and junior Amberson Bauer was 48th (18:14). Fellow senior Lucas Wilton landed in 73rd (18:26.5) in the individual standings.

Freshman Holden Deasy took 94th (18:37.1), freshman Christopher Barnes placed 97th (18:38.6), and sophomore Cohen Hoolahan was 159th (19:13.8).

“While all seven members of the lineup contributed to the last 1K surge, the greatest gains were made by our two freshmen,” Ostrowski said.

“Both Holden and Chris have been getting better and better after midseason injuries where they both spent three or four weeks with little or no running, just largely cross training. Both were integral to the WPIAL championship as well. They were mature beyond their years in the way they approached the whole season, and we were so proud of how well they performed in these two big meets.”

The top 25 individual finishers at states earned medals. It was the first time since 2012 that a Riverview boys or girls runner didn’t win an individual state medal.

The senior tri-captains close their careers with the following accolades: a 39-0 dual record, four section championships, three WPIAL runner-up finishes, a WPIAL championship this year, three top-10 PIAA finishes, and numerous individual medals.

“Parker, Ty and Lucas have been such an important part of this program for all four of their high school years,” Ostrowski said.

“They are intelligent and talented young men. Each wants to major in engineering, and we will miss them tremendously as athletes and as role models.”

On the girls side, sophomore Gwyn Fichte and freshman Lily Bauer both ran at states for the first time.

The Raiders duo ran together for most of the race and finished next to each other, Fichte in 120th (23:00.2) and Bauer in 121st (23:00.5).

Fichte and Bauer qualified for states with finishes of 16th and 24th, respectively, at the WPIAL championships.

“Both Gwyn and Lily were very pleasant surprises along the 2021 journey,” Ostrowski said.

The Riverview girls finished second to Knoch in Division II, Section 4 with a 9-1 record.

Seven of the top eight will return next year. Gracie McShea is the lone senior who will move on because of graduation.

“We went from 10th to sixth at WPIALs this year, and if everyone stays focused on the opportunity, we look forward to being in the state conversation next year,” Ostrowski said.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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