"She wasn't in the mood to lose to Mackenzie again. She wanted to win," added Bell. "We thought she ran very determined at states. We were happy with the time, which was slightly faster than the year before (19:50)."
Since his days of running on Danville's middle school team, Vella has gradually worked his way up to becoming one of the Valley's most formidable runners this past year.
The Ironmen went 17-0 on the season, and Vella was a big reason why as he won all four dual meets he ran. In addition, Vella finished second at the PIAA Foundation Invitational (17:06) and third at the NEPA Invite (16:53).
"Tyler was just real consistent all year. He's improved each year since he started running in middle school," said coach Brandt. "He has worked extremely hard and he gives 100 percent. He's a good kid to coach and he has a good work ethic."
Vella later posted runner-up finishes at both the HAC meet (16:30) and the District 4 Class AA meet (17:00) behind speedy South Williamsport senior Griffin Molino, who won the races by large margins.
At states Vella didn't run his best race, but he still finished in 62nd place (17:41) to complete his high school career.
However, there are apparently more cross country races in Vella's future.
"I think the most impressive thing Tyler did was he was a good role model for the other kids on the team. His leadership gave the other kids the idea they can have an undefeated season," said Brandt.
"Tyler definitely wants to run in college. He has several schools he's looking at, which is nice. I feel good that there's a lot of kids who ran for us in cross country are now running in college, which is neat."