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Wildcats Boast Two Individual, One Team Cross-Country Champ

Greg Kammerle became the first Pennsylvania College of Technology men’s cross-country runner ever to win back-to-back individual conference championships and Lady Wildcat Tamara Pavlov won her first on Saturday.

Competing in the Penn State University Athletic Conference championship at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, Kammerle, a sophomore from Willow Grove, turned in a 27:16 over the 4.9-mile course to close out his collegiate career in grand fashion. Pavlov, likewise, stood out in the women’s field, covering the 3.1-mile distance in 18:53.

Teamwise, the Penn College men swept the first five places, considered a shutout in cross-country, and captured their fifth straight conference championship and sixth in eight years under coach Mike Paulhamus. The Lady Wildcats finished tied for first with Penn State Scranton, but lost the championship in a tiebreaker.

“He’s been the class act out of our league for the past two seasons. In 16 career meets, he was the individual winner in 10 of them. He won both times we went to (Division III) Albright, and set a course record there,” Paulhamus said of Kammerle.

“He’s given me everything that I’ve wanted out of a No. 1 runner. I hate to see Greg go, but he’s only in a two-year program. It was a great way to close out his career and I’m really happy for him,” Paulhamus continued, pointing out that, in PSUAC meets Kammerle lost only once in his career.

In the men’s team competition, Penn College finished with 15 points and easily outdistanced Penn State Scranton with 77. Individually behind Kammerle was Mark Cordeiro (freshman/Canton), second in 27:56; Jeff Faherty (sophomore/High Point, N.J.), third in 28:16; Tristan Mummert (freshman/Red Lion), fourth in 28:17; and Zach Lengel (sophomore/Jersey Shore) fifth in 28:48.

Other Penn College runners and their finishes: Brad Robinson (sophomore/West Chester), 11th in 30:25; Dan LaSota (junior/Lake Ariel) 13th in 31:32; Brian West (freshman/Newark, Del.) 16th in 31:59; Mike Womelsdorf (senior/Allentown) 18th in 32:22; John Greenwood (sophomore/Harrisburg) 23rd in 32:55; Mike Fischer (freshman/Ringwood, N.J.) 34th in 36:33; and Tim Rivezzi (sophomore/Lake Ariel) 46th in 42:27.

Behind Penn College and Penn State Scranton in the men’s team standings were Penn State Mont Alto, third (due to a tiebreaker) with 77 points; Penn State Schuylkill, fourth with 87; Penn State DuBois, fifth with 130; Penn State Wilkes-Barre, sixth with 146; and Penn State Lehigh Valley, seventh with 175.

For the year, the Penn College men were 28-0 in the PSUAC and 42-8 overall.

“I had confidence with our guys. I really wasn’t worried about them not winning their fifth consecutive championship. I knew the way they raced all season and the way they practiced leading right up to the championship that we were in pretty good shape,” Paulhamus said.

“We had a great nucleus back an other than a bad meet at Lebanon Valley, we never looked back and were clicking on all cylinders,” the coach said.

Reflecting on Pavlov, Paulhamus said, “Tamara came in and she was the class of the league. She is the best women runner that I have had in my eight years here. We figure she might be at the wrong school (talentwise), but we’re glad that she chose Penn College. She gave us another dimension.

“A lot of runners come in with good credentials and they don’t follow through because high school and college are a little different. She fit right in and has been gung-ho; she was my very first person, in May, to have her physical ready and she hadn’t even graduated from high school!” the coach continued.

“There’s a lot of potential in this young lady and, if she comes back next year, I’m going to try to find meets that are conducive to her style of running. And hopefully, with her coming back, folks that come here next year will see that we’ve got a pretty good team and we just need that extra couple of girls to make it a better team,” Paulhamus said.

The Penn College women actually tied for first at the championship meet with Penn State Scranton, both with 22 points, but lost due to a tiebreaker as Scranton had one more runner. Penn State DuBois was third with 39 points and Penn State Schuylkill fourth with 58.

For the Lady Wildcats, Tracey Brewbaker (sophomore/Middletown) was fourth in 21:48, Beth Snoddy (sophomore/Watsontown) was eighth in 22:30; and Kathryn Hildenberger (senior/Kensington, Md.) 11th in 24:15.

On the season, the Penn College women were 10-3 in the conference and 13-3 overall.

“The Scranton coach and I knew that it was going to be interesting this year, and it was,” Paulhamus said.

“I think the season went well for both teams. We haven’t lost a men’s (conference) invitational in five years and we keep trying to get better and better people. And we’re doing much better outside the league,” Paulhamus said.

“On the women’s side, we’ve got to get the monkey off our back and win one of these championships. We’ve been so close over the last couple of years, but just can’t seem to get over the hump.

“If we can rustle up a couple of more young ladies to come out and join us, we could start a trend just like we have on the men’s side,” Paulhamus added.

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