HARRISBURG - Every runner wants to be the first one to cross the finish line. Tuesday, a ninth-place finish by Mifflin County's Keenan Walker in the Huskies regular-season cross country opener was just as exciting.
The boys team tied with Commonwealth Division opponent Central Dauphin 29-29 after the teams' first five runners crossed the finish line, but Walker came through with a 19:20, a ninth-place finish that edged out Central Dauphin's sixth scorer for the tiebreaker and handed the Huskies the win.
"We went from winning to tying, then when we went down to the sixth place runner, we won it," said Mifflin County coach Greg Loht, who agreed that it was a very exciting way to start the season.
For the girls, it was also a fine way to kick off, as a 28-29 victory put them at 1-0.
Loht said the Huskies were beat up front - Amanda Hassinger at second and Darien Knudsen and Mackena Pollock at third were the only ones to break top five - but it was the pack that brought home the win.
Mifflin County (1-0, 1-0 boys and girls) will host Central Mountain Thursday.
Cumberland Valley 407, Mechanicsburg 434, Mifflin County 461, Cedar Cliff 470, Northern 480, Red Land 488, Carlisle 494
LEWISTOWN - The Mifflin County golf team fought the wind and came out with a third-place finish when it hosted its Commonwealth Division opponents at Lewistown Country Club on Tuesday.
The Huskies' 461 placed them right between Mechanicsburg (434) and Cedar Cliff (470). Cumberland Valley again finished first at 407.
"It was our best showing of the year. Our guys played alright considering the circumstances," Mifflin County coach Kevin O'Donnell said. "We cut back on some penalty strokes that have really been hurting us. So we took care of those, and were able to pull out a third-place finish."
Marc Auker, who carded an 84 to lead his team, was 10th in individual scores.
"Although it wasn't his lowest round ever at Lewistown, he played very well in conditions that were not very conducive to 70s," O'Donnell said.
Mifflin County (7-17) travels to Cedar Cliff at noon Monday.
Midd-West 359, East Juniata 359, Newport 364, Millersburg 365
MIDDLEBURG - East Juniata's Jeremy Pannebaker carded a 72 to break even par at Shade Mountain Golf Course - the first in school history to do so at the course - and the Tigers scored a 359 overall to tie non-league opponent Midd-West for first place Tuesday.
"I was pleased with the scores. Justin Mingle and Chas Maguire, that was both their first time playing this course," East Juniata coach Mike Zendt said, explaining that the two scored a little bit higher than normal (Mingle, 96; Maguire, 104), but he was happy with the team's performance.
In the competitive day, Newport took third place with 364 and Millersburg was last at 365. Midd-West's Ascher Marks and Aidan Edmiston both carded an 85 to lead the Mustangs, putting only Newport's Jeremiah Heath (84) between them and Pannebaker. Ryan Kerstetter (94) and Eli Stem (95) filled out the rest of Midd-West's scorers, while East Juniata's Grant Leonard followed Pannebaker with an 87.
East Juniata (10-5-1) travels to Newport Sept. 10.
Mount Union 388, Bellwood-Antis 413
ALTOONA - Ryan Varner's 92 led Mount Union as the Trojans won an Inter-County Conference golf match over Bellwood-Antis by 25 strokes Tuesday.
It was a struggle for the Trojans, who had only three golfers under 100 in the event at Sinking Valley.
"It was really windy up there, but we really played poorly," Mount Union coach Matt Fiscus said. "The three day layoff really hurt us."
Mount Union (3-1) hosts Central Friday.
East Juniata 16, York Country Day 0
YORK - Stephanie Dressler had a hat trick - in each half - as East Juniata trounced York Country Day, 16-0, in its field hockey opener Tuesday.
The Tigers scored once for every two shots on goal they recorded, while facing just one shot. Dressler added a pair of assists to her big night. Lydia Koser had three goals and Caitlin Hoover added two.
"We got to play all the girls tonight. Clearly they worked the ball well and had lots of opportunities to score," East Juniata coach Billie Haines said.
East Juniata (1-0) hosts Midd-West in another non-league game Saturday.
Belleville Mennonite 8, Southern Huntingdon 0
THREE SPRINGS - Belleville Mennonite's field hockey struggles from a year ago evaporated in the Thunder opener. The Belleville school handed an 8-0 shutout to Southern Huntingdon to open the season Tuesday, fueled by a hat trick from Tori Byler.
Meredith Spicher added two goals and an assist.
"After the second goal I think we gained a lot of confidence and they got flustered," Belleville Mennonite coach Morgan Foote said. "Our girls really took advantage of that."
Along with Byler, she pointed to the play of Tori Galloway, who was moved up to the front line and had one score and another one waved off.
"I'm excited about her future as well," Foote said.
The Thunder (1-0) travels to Newport Thursday.
Central Columbia 1, Midd-West 0
MIDDLEBURG - Midd-West played a strong second half, but couldn't match, must less overcome, a 1-0 lead that Central Columbia put on the board in the first half of their Heartland Conference field hockey game Tuesday.
The Mustangs only managed two shots on goal; coach Mandi Romig said her team had trouble targeting the ball, and when it did, the finishing was suspect.
Lindsey Carl gave the Blue Jays their goal 10 minutes into the game. Although the Mustangs were outshot 10-2, they had a 10-8 edge in corners.
"Out of the eight penalty corners we gave up we only gave up one in the second half, and we had five of ours there," Romig noted, explaining her team's inability to capitalize after the break.
The JV game was a 0-0 tie.
Midd-West (0-1, 0-1) hosts Selinsgrove Thursday.
Belleville Mennonite 6, Harrisburg Academy 0
BELLEVILLE - In its first two games of the season the Belleville Mennonite boys soccer team had some trouble scoring, but one Andrew Miller hat-trick later in Tuesday's 6-0 win over Harrisburg Academy and the Thunder was back with a boom.
Noah Anders was the first to connect for Belleville Mennonite when a goal with 11:31 left in the first half put the Thunder up 1-0, then the game broke open in the second when Miller notched three, Alex Suydam chipped in with one and Austin Byler connected on a penalty kick to give Belleville Mennonite the solid win.
"We played a lot better up top with target play," Thunder coach Brian Renno said of his team's second-half effort.
Renno also pointed out that Nick Beaulieu and Caleb Treaster, both of whom had assists off the bench, gave the team a boost.
"They were able to contribute off the bench today, so that was really beneficial for us," he said.
Belleville Mennonite (1-2) travels to Montoursville Friday.
Central Dauphin East 4, Mifflin County 1
HARRISBURG - The Mifflin County girls soccer team outshot Commonwealth Division opponent Central Dauphin East 24-18 and controlled the ball most of the game, but a few miscues were the Huskies' demise in a 4-1 season-opening loss.
"We've talked about cutting down on mistakes, and three of the four goals that they scored came off of mental lapses or mistakes," Mifflin County coach Trevor Eckley said.
Mifflin County's one goal started when keeper Sage Heckendorn punted the ball three quarters of the field, and teammate Kaitlyn Eckley picked it up for the goal.
Mifflin County (0-1, 0-1) hosts Cumberland Valley Thursday.
Juniata 7, Millersburg 0
MIFFLINTOWN - Juniata showed Millersburg why it's a tough Tri-Valley League competitor on the girls soccer field Tuesday when the Indians took a 7-0 season-opening win.
Juniata coach Brian Strawser said he and his staff have really been emphasizing smart play throughout the game, and Tuesday that's exactly what Juniata displayed.
"Last year it seemed like we would start out slow and you could see a difference from the first half to the second half, but tonight that didn't happen," he said, further explaining that the team was very patient with the ball and it paid off in the win.
Millersburg mustered only one shot the entire game, as Juniata not only dominated on the offense, but also stifled Millersburg's chances on the defense.
Juniata (1-0, 1-0) hosts defending TVL champion East Juniata Thursday.
Cedar Cliff 3, Mifflin County 0
CAMP HILL - Mifflin County had a good game against Cedar Cliff as the Huskies opened the Commonwealth Division volleyball season.
But the Colts had two. Cedar Cliff won the match 3-0, facing a second-set challenge after winning the opening round 15-15. Mifflin County came within three in the next one, 25-22, before the match ended in a 25-11 victory by the Colts.
"The girls played with a lot of heart, especially during the second game of the match, first-year coach Jill Zeger said. "There was excitement, they were playing as one team."
Zeger said the passing was on cue in the near-win, a factor she said is key to starting off each point.
For the Huskies, Kierra Imler had nine service points - two of them aces - and Anna Aurand had four service points and three kills. Kaitlyn Dreese added three assists. Chloe Benner led in passing and Bryn Ferguson in blocks.
Cedar Cliff also won the JV match, 2-0. Mifflin County (0-1, 0-1) travels to Upper Dauphin today.
Mount Union 3, Moshannon Valley 0
HOUTZDALE - After two close calls ending in their favor, the Trojans came alive in the third set and buried Moshannon Valley, 25-7.
The net result was a 3-0 win for Mount Union in the Inter-County Conference volleyball match Tuesday.
Kristen Miles had 18 service points, including nine aces, and had nine kills for the Trojans in the win.
Unforced errors led to the closer games, along with inexperience - Mount Union coach Tessa McCormick said her girls were understandably nervous since many were playing varsity for the first time.
"The third game is the way we should have played for the first two," she said.
Mount Union won the JV match in straight sets, 25-15, 25-15.
The Trojans (1-0, 1-0) travel to Juniata Valley Thursday.