by Tom Utescher
Last Tuesday’s cross country encounter between Inter-Ac League rivals Germantown Academy and Penn Charter was bound to be a tight race. In league dual meets earlier in the month, the PC Quakers had beaten the Academy of Notre Dame by just one point, while GA tied with Notre Dame in a tri-meet.
Both the host Patriots and visiting Quakers slid all of their five scorers into the top 10 places last week, but GA’s positioning was a little better, and the home team emerged with a 25-30 victory.
Establishing her second personal record in a four-day span, defending Pennsylvania Independent Schools champion Issy Goldstein, a GA senior, won Tuesday’s race in 18 minutes, 16.9 seconds. PC was led by two-time Inter-Ac League champ Emma Zwall, a junior who placed second in 19:28.
Both of them had raced at the annual George School Invitational the previous Saturday, when Goldstein finished second with her first PR of the 2019 season at 18:18.77. GA was also second in the team standings, while for PC, Zwall came in fourth (18:57.42) as the Quakers secured third place as a team. A formidable squad from the Friends Schools League, Friends Central, easily won the team competition, and also had senior Lydia Russell take the top individual honors in 17:19.06.
In Tuesday’s dual meet at GA, Goldstein and Zwall quickly left the rest of the field behind, and Goldstein later drew away from her friendly rival. She crossed the line with no other runners yet in view, enjoying a new personal best.
After Zwall snagged second, the results in the next four places strengthened the Patriots’ position. Freshman Olivia Jappe took third place in 20:12, and after fourth place went to PC sophomore Julia Dolce (21:21), the next two places were filled by 10th graders from GA – Juli Gonzalez (21:25) and Lvivi Merrill (21:26).
The Patriots were not home free, though, as a trio of Quakers were the next runners to finish. Just after GA’s Merrill came PC sophomore Olivia Montini in seventh place (21:27), and completing the visitors’ team score at 30 points were senior Alicia Newman (eighth/21:40) and sophomore Lane Murray (ninth/21:43).
The home team still had a significant advantage with a total of 15 points from its first four runners, and senior Gabby Manosis locked in the win when she arrived in 10th place in 21:59. She was followed by two of her GA classmates – Katie Sands (11th/22:08) and Gianna Murgia (12th/22:31).
Another senior, PC’s Sophia Solomon, took 13th place in 22:37, and leading off the 23-minute bracket in 14th place was a GA freshman, Carolyn Connolly (23:19).
The other top-20 runners for the Patriots were junior Jade Dohner (16th/23:51), sophomore Bethany Matje (18th/26:03) and junior Eva Roller (19th/26:19). PC had sophomore Elena Coupas in 15th place (23:29) and freshmen Veronica Lentz (24:40) and Isabella Brightbill (26:34) in 17th and 20th, respectively.