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Penn College Cross Country Coach Taking Wait-and-See Approach

Cross country teams at Pennsylvania College of Technology are coming off dream seasons.

Both the men’s and women’s squads won conference and state championships, each team boasted the best runner in the state, and Mike Paulhamus garnered “Coach of the Year” honors.

But entering Saturday’s season-opener at the Marywood Invitational, Paulhamus is taking a wait-and-see approach.

On the women’s side, state champ Chrissy Seward, a sophomore from Pottsville, returns to lead a four-member contingent, while, for the Wildcat men, only Robert Thomas (sophomore, Jim Thorpe) is back, and he’s hobbled with a knee injury.

“Chrissy is running really well and we’re hoping to (again) become competitive in the women’s division this year,” noted Paulhamus, who is entering his third season at Penn College and also is the head track and field coach at South Williamsport Area High School.

Running with Seward will be freshmen Jennifer Hayes (Edinboro), Megan Tomeo (Tionesta) and Lucy Agiluar, an international student from Monterrey, Mexico.

Although Thomas is running “painfully” at present, Paulhamus is looking to him for leadership during the season.

“With his experience of being on the team previously, he can help these freshmen when we go to meets by giving them some guidelines on how to warm up and how to check the course out,” the coach said.

Others on the men’s squad include freshmen Nathan Sayre (Wellsboro), Troy Patterson (Sayre), Bill Dillingham (Annville), Jaimie King (Scranton) and Paul Merces (Seabright, N.J.).

Paulhamus said that there are still a good number of quality runners on campus who could come out for the team before it steps into Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference action in the middle of September.

“I tried to explain over the summer to them that, after they get their first week of college in, things begin to settle down mighty quick and they’ll have more free time than they believe they’ll have. It’s not like high school, where you go 6 1/2 hours straight and then you go to practice. It’s the uncertainty of college, I guess, but if they don’t come out this year, hopefully they’ll keep running and come out next year,” the coach added.

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