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Penn College Cross-Country Teams ‘Talented, Driven’

Throughout his first nine years as cross-country coach at Pennsylvania College of Technology, Mike Paulhamus has made some bold predictions on how his teams would fare and they delivered every time.

The Wildcat men have won seven conference championships including their last six in a row and finished second once under Paulhamus. His women’s teams have claimed two conference crowns and four straight second-place finishes in the Penn State University Athletic Conference, so it should come as no surprise when he said this week, “The last nine years have been really fun and this year is even going to be more enjoyable.”

On the men’s side, Mark Cordeiro (sophomore/Canton) returns as the No. 1 runner. In addition to winning the PSUAC individual championship last season, he helped the squad to a 16-0 conference record and the conference championship. Overall the Wildcat men were 36-9 pushing Paulhamus’ career record to 210-127-2 and they finished third in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association national championship.

“All of our men are very talented. I keep saying year-to-year that I can’t top last year, but I do believe I have the horses to do that,” Paulhamus said.

In addition to Cordeiro, other key returnees are Jeff Faherty (junior/Sussex, N.J.), Brad Robinson (senior/West Chester), Zachary Lengel (senior/Linden), Russell Blankenship (junior/New Florance, Va.), Mike Fischer (junior/Ringwood, N.J.), Brian West (sophomore/Newark, Del.), Seth Beckman (sophomore/Linden), Garrett Beers (sophomore/Quarryville), Alex Kahler (sophomore/Millmont), John Kriner (sophomore/Lancaster) and Corvin Oberholtzer (sophomore/Wellsboro).

Among the newcomers showing “really good promise” are Travis Cain (junior/Bloomsburg), Joseph Chadowski (freshman/Fairfax, Va.), Eric Flanagan (freshman/Fairfax, Va.), Robert Forbes (freshman/Warren), Daniel Gwynn (freshman/Southampton), Brandon Knapp (sophomore/Shenandoah), Brett Linde (sophomore/New Holland) and Joe Vannoy (senior/Canton). “Of course, they’ll need to get a meet or two under their belts to get them familiar with the 5-mile races,” said Paulhamus, who is being assisted by John Greenwood.

“I’m actually pondering who my top 10 are going to be this year. Numbers one through four are pretty well set, but six through 10 bounce around almost at every practice,” the coach said. Team scores are determined by the finish of the top seven.

Paulhamus is especially excited about the women’s team this year with the return of Tamara Pavlov (junior/Lewisburg) who has anchored the squad for each of the past two seasons.

“This is probably the best group of women I’ve had ever. Pavlov is now running times in practice like she did when she was a freshman. She should have a lot better fall this year than she did last year. We’re expecting big things from her and I think she is expecting big things from herself.”

Other key women’s returnees are Holly Schuster (sophomore/Jersey Shore), Abigail Park (sophomore/Cochranville) and Alyssa Giedroc (senior/Howard). Newcomers are Justine Cline (freshman/Middleburg), who transferred in from Bloomsburg University, and Abigail Schuler (sophomore/Waynesboro).

“Other than Tamara, who is out there on her own, the other girls are running in a pretty good pack by themselves,” Paulhamus said.

Penn College’s women also placed third at the end-of-the season national championships and Paulhamus hopes for more of the same.

“We have some set goals. We’re going to Delaware Valley (in its opener Saturday) to see how we do there and we always set Albright (invitational) as our primary goal as a challenge because it is outside of our league. We want to win the PSUAC and we want to improve our position of what we did last year at the nationals. This group is very talented and they are very driven,” the coach added.

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site). More informationabout the PSUAC is available online; for more informationabout the USCAA, visit on the Web.)

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