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Cross-Country, Tennis Teams in Championship Action

Penn State University Athletic Conference championship weekend is on tap for two Pennsylvania College of Technology athletic teams. The men’s and women’s cross-country teams travel to Penn State Wilkes-Barre on Saturday and the co-ed tennis team is at University Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Cross-Country
Penn College runners have dominated conference meets during the regular season. The men won all three multiteam conference meets in which they participated and the women two of three. Individually, Greg Kammerle (sophomore/Willow Grove) has paced the men and Tamara Pavlov (freshman/Lewisburg) has led the women. Kammerle was the men’s individual conference champ last season.

“On the men’s side, things went far better than expected. We have a much better team than I anticipated. They took second at Marywood and first at Albright (both NCAA Division III schools). We knew we were going to be strong in the league, but doing very well in nonleague meets was great for the team,” coach Mike Paulhamus said. “This was my best men’s team to date,” said Paulhamus, in his eighth season.

“After a slow start and trying to get enough girls to make a team, they, too, have excelled,” the coach said.

In Saturday’s championship, runners will have to shift mental gears from most cross country races they participate in, as the course is flat.

“It’s all about speed this weekend, not about hills. When you have hills involved, you have to change your thought on how you’re going to control a race. But when you have a flat road race, it takes away the worry about how to save energy for the hills,” Paulhamus explained.

The men run a 5-mile distance and the women 3.1 miles .

“I told the guys that we haven’t finished our job yet. We’ve worked hard this week. We’re treating it as just another meet, but it is an important one,” Paulhamus said. The Penn College men have won four straight conference titles and six of eight.

Competing for the Wildcat men in addition to Kammerle will be senior Mike Womelsdorf (Allentown), junior Dave Ritchey (Hagerstown, Md.), sophomores Zach Lengel (Jersey Shore), Patrick Cullop (New Windsor, Md.), Jeff Faherty (High Point, N.J.), John Greenwood (Harrisburg), Tim Rivezzi (Lake Ariel) and Brad Robinson (West Chester) and freshmen Mark Cordeiro (Canton), Tristan Mummert (Red Lion), Mike Fischer (Ringwood, N.J.), Tim Schwarz (Chester Springs) and Brian West (Newark, Del.).

In addition to Pavlov for the Penn College women will be senior Kathryn Hildenberger ( Kensington , Mo. ) and sophomores Beth Snoddy (Watsontown) and Tracey Brewbaker ( Middletown ). Freshman Ashley Hetrick has run with the team all season, but is expected to be sidelined due to a military commitment Saturday.

“The score might be a little closer than the men’s, but if nothing seriously happens we should come home with the women’s championship as well,” Paulhamus predicted. The last Penn College women’s team to win a conference title was in 2004.

“We’re going to go out and do our jobs,” the coach added.

Tennis
The Wildcats were 8-4 during the regular season, and, with a full squad intact, coach Davis Santucci likes his team’s chances at the championships.

“It will be the first time that I have a full team and everyone that I want there,” the coach said. “It will be the first time (in Santucci’s three years as coach) that we legitimately compete for the title. “¦ I’m very optimistic.”

Representing the college in men’s singles will be Shane Burridge (freshman/Ephrata) at No. 1, Brandon Stoner (sophomore/Denver) at No. 2, Alex Henry (freshman/Rutherford, N.J.) at No. 3 and Robert Kemrer (freshman/Milton) at No. 4. Waiting in reserve, if needed, will be Andrew Shaffer (sophomore/South Williamsport ) and Matt Fahnestock (freshman/Columbia, Ill. ). The college’s two men’s doubles teams will come from among those six players.

Penn College women entered are Sarah Bastian (sophomore/Mansfield) at No. 1 singles and Danielle Trout (freshman/Linglestown) at No. 2 singles. Bastian will team with Angela Charcas ( junior/Palisades Park ) in women’s doubles. During the regular season Trout went 8-0 at the No. 2 singles position.

“I thought the regular season went fairly well,” Santucci said. “You take those close matches, a couple of points go different ways, and we’re right up there. I was very pleased and happy with the season,” he continued, pointing out that his team finished second in the conference behind Penn State Abington.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site ).

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