State College, Pa - The Penn State Fayette cross country team dominated the PSUAC Cross Country championships Saturday at Norlo Park as it won its third consecutive conference crown despite wet conditions.
Fayette's domination may be unprecedented in the annals of the event as five Fayette runners finished in the top seven overall.
Nyoah Marteny (Perryopolis, PA/Frazier) won the individual crown with a time of 30:22 in the 8k race.
"I am grateful for winning as all of the hard work and the long miles our team put in is definitely paying off," Marteny said. "I am looking forward to bettering our overall team placement as well as my own at the national championship meet in two weeks."
"Nyoah worked really hard for this day and it paid off," said head coach Joe Carei. "He lost to (third place finisher) Brandywine's Bryan Abel earlier this year, learned from it and adjusted."
Drew Erdman (Greensburg, PA/Greensburg Salem HS) finished second (30:39).
"Drew is a steady presence and keeps getting better and better," said Carei. "He took advantage of Marteny and Abel's battle and waited until he saw an opening and moved into second place with about 800 meters to go."
Stephen Lacek (Fort Cherry, PA/Fort Cherry HS) placed fourth (31:09), Mitchell Minda (Elizabeth, PA/Elizabeth Forward HS) was fifth (31:18), and Michael Elliot (Clarksville, PA/Beth-Center HS) (31:33).
"Stephen looked comfortable all race and Mitchell was battling injuries all year but was able to work through them Saturday," Carei said. "Michael moved from 20th to seventh in the last half of the race to get his first all-conference award."
Two other Fayette runners, Aaron Mylan (Rices Landing, PA/Jefferson-Morgan HS) and Devin Pisarski (Connellsville, PA/Connellsville HS) finished strong as Mylan was ninth (31:54) and Pisarski was 11th (32:19).
Next up for the cross country team in the national championships.
"We have two weeks to get ready for nationals," Carei said. "All of the hard work is done, we just need to focus on confidence and the psyches of our runners.
"We are about 90 seconds faster per runner than last year, so we are looking to improve on our eighth place showing last year."
Full results from the races can be found at https://www.cvraceseries.us/Results/Results.php?event_id=623.
For more information on the team, go to https://www.psfathletics.com/sports/xc/index.
Written by Bill Hughes