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Penn College Runners Seek Cross-Country Championships This Weekend

Pennsylvania College of Technology cross-country coach Mike Paulhamus has confidence that his men’s team will capture its sixth straight conference championship this weekend, and he is optimistic that his women’s squad can win its first since 2004.

The Penn State University Athletic Conference championships are Saturday at Penn State Wilkes-Barre on a course (3 miles for women and 8K for men) that Paulhamus describes as “flat and fast on pavement.” The top five finishers for each team are the main scorers.

“The women’s team has been running very well. I’ve been very fortunate to have a strong team and would just hope that all of the girls can be there,” Paulhamus said. The Penn College women were 10-0 in conference matches.

Tamara Pavlov, a sophomore from Lewisburg, is the team’s top runner and the defending conference individual women’s champion.

“She picked up from where she left off last season. She was the No. 1 runner in the PSUAC last year and, this year, she has been running No. 2. A new young lady from Scranton has been beating her, but that’s OK. Tamara does what she needs to do to take second place,” Paulhamus said.

Also running for the Lady Wildcats are Holly Schuster (Jersey Shore), whom Paulhamus described as a “big addition” to the team; Erin Taylor (Shinglehouse); Abigail Park (Cochranville); Lydia Klecker (Gardners); and Alyssa Giedroc (Howard).

“They’re a very talented group and I hope, on Saturday, we can finally come home with a women’s championship that we’ve been lacking for a number of seasons,” Paulhamus said.

In most competitions for the men, who are 26-7 overall and 13-0 in the conference, Penn College runners have taken six of the top seven places.

Mark Cordeiro, a sophomore from Canton, has been the Wildcats’ top runner, followed by Stephen Hoffman (Ocean City, Md.), Jeff Faherty (High Point, N.J.), Corvin Oberholtzer (Wellsboro), Seth Beckman (Linden), Tristan Mummert (Red Lion), John Greenwood (Harrisburg), Brad Robinson (West Chester), Zach Lengel (Jersey Shore) and Alex Kahler (Millmont).

“We’re working hard. We’re not letting up because we have an upbeat goal this year; we want to run the PSUAC this weekend and then we want to go to Southern Virginia University (site of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association championships Oct. 31) and finish in the top three,” Paulhamus said.

Although he expects more from both of his teams this year, Paulhamus, in his ninth season, already has had reason to celebrate: His teams’ finishes last weekend in the Albright Invitational boosted him past the 200-win mark for his career at Penn College.

“I’ve very proud of this group, and the greatest thing about it is they all come back next year,” Paulhamus added. “I have no seniors on either team. I’m already looking forward to next year.”

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