By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
When Shikellamy cross country coach Jim Bell looks at photos of his star freshman runner Treicy Cedeno, what he sees amazes him.
You see, Cedeno, The Daily Item’s 2012 Runner of the Year, is no ordinary freshman.
After just one year of competition, Cedeno has already etched her name into the Shikellamy cross country record books along with some of the program’s best runners.
“Treicy is the best freshman runner we have ever been blessed with at Shikellamy,” said Bell. “Her times at the Heartland Invite and District 4 Class AA meet were indeed monumental.
“When I consider the careers of other all-state runners we’ve had like Lindsey Scheller, Steve Thompson and John Boyle, Treicy’s ninth grade accomplishments are way ahead,” Bell added. “Scheller finished in the top 10 at states twice (Class AAA, mind you), and in our sport we will be able to compare Treicy’s times with Lindsey’s school records and know exactly where we are.”
Cedeno started off the year with an impressive fourth-place finish at the Big Valley Invitational in 20 minutes, 2 seconds, before she took seventh at the Spiked Shoe Invite (19:49), fifth at the Northeast PA Invite (20:02) and second at the State College Invite (19:50).
The freshman also went 5-0 in dual meets this season prior to claiming the HAC meet in a personal-best time of 19:23, which she would smash a few days later by winning the District 4 meet in 18:42.
Cedeno then ended her outstanding rookie season by placing 14th in the state meet in 19:50, earning a coveted medal in the process.
“Treicy, like Lindsey, Steve and John, has both the will to prepare to win, and the will to win,” said Bell. “She was a dedicated runner all summer and fall and she earned those medals she won. As we put it at Shik, she’s a runner who runs.”
And run correctly, according to Bell.
“Treicy is very coachable, and we do instruct a specific style at Shik,” said the Braves coach. “In photo after photo Treicy is in the correct position, to the extent that it takes my breath away.
“On top of all of this, in the photos I noticed composure in her face, and realized this is a great kid who’s giving her best effort.”
Coach of the Year
The Daily Item’s 2012 Coach of the Year honors are shared this year, but not by coaches from different teams.
Taking the honors are Ryan McGuire and Mike Stebila, the co-coaches at Selinsgrove, who directed the Seals to a 16-1 record and the Heartland-I title.
“It was a very satisfying season with many memorable moments. We went out with some high goals and we worked hard to accomplish them,” said McGuire. “We have never won a league championship before. This was the first in school history.”
Selinsgrove went on to finish second to Danville in both the HAC meet (31-85) and the District 4 meet (29-77), the latter earning the Seals a trip to states, where they finished 19th.
“We are hoping to build on this season. We have some talented seniors graduating, but we feel that the success of this season will spill over to our underclassmen and we think they will want to continue to work to be at the top,” said McGuire. “Our goal is to build each year and be competitive each year.”
One of the keys to Selinsgrove’s success this year was the performances of senior Kelsey Ulrich, a first-team All-Star, as well as junior Bri Carnathan, a second-team honoree.
Both runners set individual records this year for the Seals.
“It was great to see Kelsey and our other runners have success this year,” said McGuire. “They have worked hard (many of them for years) to do what they did this year.
“Mike and I just plan on doing what we have been doing, and continue to motivate the kids to be the best they can be,” added McGuire. “We are looking forward to having our returners back to see where they can go. Hopefully we can see more records fall and keep our program at a high level.”