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Penn College Cross Country Teams Open Saturday


Throughout its history, Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s cross country teams have excelled. And it is the opinion of coach Mike Paulhamus that they just keep getting better and better.

Paulhamus begins his eighth season at the Wildcats’ helm with nine returnees on the men’s side, including defending Penn State University Athletic Conference individual champion Greg Kammerle, a sophomore from Willow Grove.

“They look better than last year. I’ve got a bunch of kids returning again and we’ve picked up some additional freshmen who are filling in for those who left,” Paulhamus said. Penn College opens its season Saturday at the Marywood Invitational.

In addition to Kammerle, Wildcat men returnees are Zach Lengel (sophomore/Linden), Dan LaSota (junior/Lake Ariel), Brad Robinson (sophomore/West Chester), John Greenwood (sophomore/Harrisburg), Jeff Faherty (sophomore/Wantage, N.J.), Mike Womelsdorf (senior/Allentown), Dave Ritchey (sophomore/Hagerstown, Md.) and Patrick Cullop (sophomore/New Windsor, Conn.).

“I expect them to be my leaders,” he said of his lettermen.

Freshmen who are expected to contribute from the get-go are Mark Corderio ( Canton ), Tristant Mummert ( Red Land ), Brian West ( Newark , Del. ) and Tim Schwartz (N.J.). In the early going, Corderio, who reported in the best shape conditioning-wise, has been running No. 2 in the pack, according to the coach.

“Over the last week and a half of practices, I think we’re slightly ahead of schedule from where we were last year, and last year we had an excellent team, which is a good thing. And, everybody is healthy, which is even a happier note for a coach,” Paulhamus said.

The Penn College men have won conference championships in nine of the last 11 years, including four straight under Paulhamus, the last two in the PSUAC.

“We’re expecting good things to happen. They’re a good bunch of kids and they’re working really hard,” the coach added.

Although the women’s squad doesn’t have the same numbers as the men, Paulhamus said there are five solid runners who could challenge Penn State DuBois for conference team honors.

Tracey Brewbaker (sophomore/Middletown) is the lone Lady Wildcat returnee, but freshman Tamara Pavlov, a freshman from Lewisburg, is one of four newcomers who should have an immediate impact.

“(Pavlov) is an extremely gifted athlete. I saw her run in high school and she probably should be running (at a Division II school). She’s that good. But she chose to come to Penn College , and I said, ‘Bless you, bless you,'” Paulhamus said. “She’s going to make some noise in the meets we go to. She’s actually running up with my lead group of men.”

Other first-year women runners are Megan Newcomer (junior/Chambersburg), Ashley Hetrick (freshman/Clearfield) and Carla Giardino (freshman/Willisten, Vt.).

“If all the girls stay healthy, some positive things could happen,” Paulhamus said.

In collegiate cross country, men compete on a 5-mile course and women over a 3.1-mile distance.

(A c omplete roster and season schedule are available on the college’s Athletics Web site.)

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