Morning Times’ Cross Country All- stars
However, when it comes to competitiveness, the athletes who competed on the Valley’s boys’ cross country teams were second to none this year.
Athens’ Matt Millard, Sayre’s Matt Romanauski, Tioga Central’s Brenden Walker and Waverly’s Andy Kinsley each made a strong argument as the top local runner.
In the end, it was Kinsley’s consistently strong finishes and his better head-to-head finishes against two of those runners that put him just a smidgen ahead of the pack.
At the Conwicke-Stock Invitational, the only time this season that more than two of the four Valley schools competed against one another, he crossed the finish line ahead of both Millard and Walker in a race in which the trio were separated by just 15 seconds.
Here is the 2011 Morning Times’ Boys’ Cross Country All-Star team.
Andy Kinsley, Waverly - The junior standout was the Wolverines’ top runner throughout the season, consistently improving on his times. He placed 12th at the IAC Divisional meet, seventh at the IAC Championships and sixth in the Section IV Class C race, earning himself a trip to the NYSPHSAA state championships. At states, Kinsley placed 89th on a wet and muddy course.
Rookie of the Year
Nick Sweet, Sayre - The freshman harrier dueled fellow Redskin freshman Nate Romanauski throughout the season, but as the campaign neared its end, Sweet emerged as a narrow choice for the top newcomer honor over his teammate. Sweet capped a solid season by becoming the first Redskin runner to cross the finish line at the PIAA District 4 Class AA meet, placing 17th and leading Sayre to a fifth-place showing.
Matt Millard, Athens - Millard, a junior, paced the Wildcats throughout the season as their top runner. At districts, he finished fourth in the Class AAA race, grabbing a trip to Hershey for the state championships. At states, Millard placed 219th out of 281 competitors. He will have something to look forward to next season as the Wildcats return five of their top seven runners.
Brenden Walker, Tioga Central - What Walker lacked in size (he was at least five inches shorter than any other Section IV Class D state qulaifier) he made up for with pure grit and determination. The longer legs of other runners didn’t deter the Tioga junior as he ran his way to 54th at the state championships. He also finished 11th in the IAC Divisional meet, 11th at the IAC Championships and seventh at the Section IV Class C Championships.
Matt Romanauski, Sayre - The top runner for the Redskins, the senior standout led by example, enabling the ’Skins to be one of the more competitive squads around. Romanauski placed 25th at this year’s district meet and will leave a memorable legacy for future Sayre harriers to follow.
Alexander Porter, Sayre - Another senior, Porter also played a key role in the Redskins’ successes. He placed 24th at districts and will be a tough act for future Sayre harriers to follow.
Nate Romanauski, Sayre - The freshman will have some big shoes to fill over the next three years — and not just those of his older brother. Romanauski, along with Sweet, will be the cornerstones as the Redskins continue to build on their current successes. He placed 28th at the district meet.