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Northern Tier Sports Report
HERSHEY — Last year Cowanesque Valley came away with a state medal at the PIAA Championships. This year, the boys’ cross-country team will be taking two back to Northern Tioga.

Kristian Mizdail finished 11th overall in 16:50.3 for his first career medal, while Owen Cummings (17:23.9) out kicked Riverside’s Daniel Danilovitz at the end for the final medal spot, 25th, to take home his second state medal.

“This is the first time in my running career that I’ve actually felt super accomplished, and proud of myself,” said Mizdail. “Coming back from last year, and not earning a medal, and then working all year long, it’s been a long year of training. It feels very rewarding, especially 11th place.”

Mizdail’s second place finish at districts was an eye opener towards what he could really do.

“My entire career I’ve been a sit back and kick at the end, not really fighting in the front,” he explained. “Definitely, because of districts, at states I sprinted out at the beginning, and just held my ground.”

Mizdail was 29th at the mile, but had moved up into the top 15 by the 2-mile, using those famous hills to reel in other runners.

“We’ve been training all year with hill repeats,” he said. “I bet we train more than anybody else, and obviously it showed today.”

This sets the bar high for Mizdail going into his senior year, especially seeing fellow District IV runner, Danville’s Rory Lieberman, win a state title on Saturday.

“Seeing somebody local in our districts, I’d love to do the same thing as him,” Mizdail remarked. “So I’m definitely going to strive for that.”

It was a little more of a stressful race for Cummings, who was on the bubble throughout all 3.1 miles.

“I was a little worried this year because there’s a ton of fast kids in the state,” he said. “And I’ve trained really hard through the past year to come back and take a second medal.”

Cummings needed every inch of the race to get into the medals, coming through the mile in 46th, while getting as high as 26th at the 2-mile. With 1,000 meters to go he was 29th, but was able to pick those kids off.

“I knew that I was close to the medals,” said Cummings. I knew I’d have to run a really fast last mile to get into this medal places. I was trying to hold back, especially on the hill, and keep my place. Then as soon as I got over the hill, I just kicked, and finished as fast as I could.”

He caught Danilovitz with just a few meters before the line.

“I knew I was really close to a medal, so I knew every place I could get counted,” said Cummings. “I’m really glad that I knew I was close, and I knew that I had to pass him.”

As for his senior year, Cummings hopes to get the rare third state medal.

“I know I have a lot of improvements to get a higher placing medal next year,” he said. “I’m going to have to work really hard to get to that.”

Senior Nathaniel Welch (18:38) finished up his career with a 103rd place finish at states.

In the girls’ Class AA race Torrina Stratton (23:12.3) took 147th for CV.

While in the Class A girls’ race NPM’s duo of Addison Farrer (24:53.5) and Madelynne Johns (26:39.1) took 166th and 212th.

PHOTOS: Chris Manning

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