Team Numbers Low, but Cross Country Coach's Hope High

Published 09.18.2001


Although low in number of runners, Pennsylvania College of Technology second-year cross country coach Mike Paulhamus is optimistic about the possibilities for his men's squad.

"I'm hoping for a conference (Eastern Pennsylvania Collegiate Conference) and state (Pennsylvania Collegiate Athletic Association) championship. I have five guys who are very talented . . . We should be in the hunt for it."

As far as what was to have been his first women's team, only three came out and, because four are needed for the College to be able to compete as a team, they will run strictly as individuals.

Returning lettermen for the men's unit are sophomores Scott Morgan (Pocono Mountain High School) and Bryan Wolfe (Warrior Run). As the squad's top runner, Morgan is posting times over a 5.5-mile course of 28:30, while Wolfe, at No. 2, is in the 30:30 range.

Other men runners, in order of their team ranking, are Robert Thomas (freshman/Jim Thorpe), Joel Wilburn (sophomore/Woodstock Academy), Garrison Fletcher (freshman/Weedsville Central), Nick Ensig (freshman/Neshaminy), Isaac Aeppli (sophomore/New Columbia) and Jason Fural (freshman/Lock Haven).

While everyone runs, only the lowest five times count toward team scoring. The only two-year school competing among seven colleges in the Marywood Invitational, the Wildcats pleasantly surprised themselves by finishing third. In that race, Morgan led until the last 200 meters and finished second. In their second outing, they finished 15th among 17 in men's competition.

"I have five gentlemen who are really fast. How we compare to the other people in the conference against whom we are going to be running, I don't know,'' Paulhamus said. "We're excited about getting into conference play."

Last year's men's team was 10-4. In nine previous seasons, Penn College men runners have captured three state titles.

Becky Snyder, a sophomore from Hughesville, is the lone women's returnee. She is joined by freshmen Chrissy Seward (Pottsville) and Jessica Decker (Selinsgrove). At Marywood, Seward placed 18th among 87 runners, while Snyder was 25th.