Fleetwood Cross Country Team Competes at Districts

Posted on December 2, 2015 by


On 31 October, when most people were enveloped in the Halloween craze, hundreds of runners from a slew of different schools convened on the fields of Big Springs High School. They were all preparing themselves for the Cross Country District 3 AA race.

Fleetwood Area High School’s cross country team was in attendance, readying themselves for the intense competition. The boys that qualified included seniors Carl Fortna, Shawn Delay, Chad Delay, Matt Delozier, Jacob Wetherhold; sophomore Shawn Fortna; and freshman Evan Santos. The girls that qualified included junior Cassandra Harwood and freshmen Madeline Burt and Isabella Ouelette.

All of the runners at districts had the pleasure of running a recently conceived course at Big Springs High School. In previous years, the district race was held at Hershey, where runners faced many rolling hills and challenging inclines. The change was due to construction being done on a road that intersects the course, making the viability of the course questionable. The new course, however, did not cut the runners a break.

The new course at Big Springs featured a good amount of flats, but introduced some rolling hills just after the first half mile. A hill near the end of the course, nicknamed “Kill Hill,” provided runners with a short, but steep, incline just before the final dash to the finish. Supporters were yelling encouraging phrases such as “Kill the Hill” at runners who looked like they were struggling to get over the hill.

Most runners on the Fleetwood team expressed their suspicions about the new course. Many, like Harwood, were upset that districts would not be held at the familiar course at Hershey; however, after the race, there were many positive remarks made about the new course. The general consensus of the team was that the course was easier and faster than Hershey’s course.

There was a total of 189 runners, 26 completing teams, and an additional 9 incomplete teams competing in the boy’s race.

The following are results of the Fleetwood boys cross country team. The place scored is displayed first, then the name of the runner, followed by the time he ran.

  • 5. Carl Fortna- 16:35
  • 65. Shawn Delay- 18:05
  • 84. Matt Delozier- 18:20
  • 102. Evan Santos- 18:39
  • 104. Chad Delay- 18:40
  • 119. Shawn Fortna- 18:53
  • 145. Jacob Wetherhold- 19:21

The Fleetwood Boys’ team scored thirteenth out of twenty-six teams.

“The competition was appropriate for districts. All teams ran their best, so it was good,” Wetherhold said.

“You could tell everyone deserved to be here,” Shawn Fortna, who ran his first district race, said.

Carl Fortna scored fifth overall in the meet, which qualifies him to run in the states race.

“I knew the competition was going to be tough, but I made sure victory did not come easily for those who beat me,” Fortna said.

Coach McMullen was very pleased with the boys’ performance.

“We had great races today. Our boys started in the back of the pack, but they really moved up later in the race,” McMullen said.

For the girls’ race, there were 150 runners, 19 teams, and 12 incomplete teams running. The Fleetwood girls’ team was not counted as a complete team due to the small amount of girls on the team that were able to run. The following are the results.

  • 74. Cassandra Harwood-22:22
  • 111. Madeline Burt-23:28
  • 113. Isabella Ouelette 23:32

“It was pretty intimidating,” Burt said. “I was kind of scared that I’d be racing people so much better than me, but the race went better than I expected.”

All in all, everyone preformed to the best of their abilities and thrived on the increased competition. Coach McMullen was especially enthused throughout the entirety of the meet.

“See that balloon up there? That’s my enthusiasm; it just keeps going up,” McMullen said in reference to an escaped helium balloon, soaring out of sight and into the depths of space.

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