Trapani, Sagar win individual girls races, Warrior Run a team champ

CARA MORNINGSTAR/Sun-Gazette
Lauren Trapani of Warrior Run wins the girls Class A race Thursday at Bloomsburg.

CARA MORNINGSTAR/Sun-Gazette Lauren Trapani of Warrior Run wins the girls Class A race Thursday at Bloomsburg.

By MITCH RUPERT

mrupert@sungazette.com

BLOOMSBURG — Lauren Trapani was ready to run. Her first District 4 cross country meet should have already started, but the Warrior Run freshman could only move about and jog around the start line to stay warm on the fall’s coldest day yet.

As the officials sorted out which class Loyalsock should be competing in, Trapani never lost focus and never lost sight of her gameplan. When the gun sounded some 25 minutes after it was supposed to, Trapani made a mad dash toward the front of the pack, reaching the first turn before any other runner.

In fact, she reached every point of the 3.1-mile course before any other runner Thursday morning. The freshman put together a brilliant performance in her first district meet, winning by more than a minute to capture the District 4 Class A championship on Bloomsburg University’s upper campus.

Trapani was one of seven Warrior Run runners to finish in the Top 16 yesterday as the Defenders coasted to an easy team title in the Class A race. Warrior Run’s 32 points were 56 ahead of second-place Troy and the Defenders did it with six freshmen and a junior.

“We did really well. We did what we wanted to do,” Trapani said. “I knew at first this year we were going to be good, but we didn’t know how good. Obviously it’s pretty good.”

Canton’s Tamara finished fourth and was the only other local runner to advance to the state meet in the Class A field. A year after winning the Class A title, Loyalsock’s Isabel Sagar won the Class AA race after some confusion about where the Lancers should be competing. Danville won the AA team title with Lewisburg finishing second. Both teams qualified for next week’s state meet.

Cowanesque Valley’s Jules Jones was fourth, Milton’s Arianne Raymond was 12th, Jersey Shore’s Abby Gerst was 17th and Milton’s Cara Kennedy was 18th. All four qualified as individuals for the state meet.

But Trapani was the talk of the meet yesterday morning. A freshman who burst on to the scene earlier this year by posting a sub-17 minute time in her first meet of the season, Trapani didn’t quite get to that number Thursday, but it was plenty good enough to take her first gold medal.

Trapani’s winning time of 19 minutes, 4 seconds bested Wyalusing’s Hannah Corson who was second in 20:29. Trapani got there by making that mad dash for the first turn and forcing the field to play catch-up the whole race.

“That’s usually my strategy in every race,” Trapani said. “It lets me get the lead and I can just extend on that.”

With strides like that of a runner who was 6-foot-5, strong and powerful, the freshman was still graceful with every step. She had the rhythm of a clock’s pendulum, unwavering and absolute.

It’s the kind of stride which has made her one of the most interesting runners around the state. She’s spent much of her time running this year by herself because there hasn’t been competition to keep up with her. Thursday was no different.

“Sometimes it’s tough to keep going the fastest speed you can, but you have to keep trying,” Trapani said. “Today was pretty successful for me. I was pretty proud of my performance.”

Sagar faced the same kind of dilemma throughout the AA race. She was off on her own from the start. She was prepared to run the first race of the day in Class A, which is the race Loyalsock thought it would compete in.

But after a 25-minute delay to figure out which class they belonged to, Sagar and her teammates then had to wait an additional 40 minutes to run the AA race. Sagar went from likely having to chase down Trapani in the Class A race to dominating the AA race.

Her winning time of 19:06 was more than 30 seconds better than Danville’s Elaina Klinger, who clocked a 19:40 to take second.

“I like to be a front-runner,” Sagar said. “If I start out not as fast as I could go, I get mentally confused with myself. As far as how physically tired I am, my mental state effects that. I feel better starting strong and keeping a strong pace throughout.”

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