SUNBURY — Lewisburg junior Jacob Hess was looking forward to racing against Williamsport’s J. Henry Lyon on Saturday during the Heartland Athletic Conference Invitational boys cross-country race.

Hess said he thought dueling with Lyon might push him to a good time and performance. Well, something certainly pushed him.

Hess won the race in a personal-best time of 15:34, 38 seconds ahead of Lyon, who held off Danville’s Rory Lieberman to place second.

“I felt pretty good today,” Hess said. “It felt nice to have Lyon there with me. He’s good competition, which has been lacking some this year with all the small meets.

“The time was solid. It’s a personal record, so you can never be mad about that.”

Hess said he was focused on running consistent split times, and that approach paid off.

“My strategy was just to run the race,” Hess said. “I was going for around that 15:30. I wanted to take it out fast. My plan was to run my race and hit my times. The most effective race statistically is to hit even splits, to be consistent.”

Hess led the way as the Green Dragons had six runners — only the top five for each team scored — finish in the top nine to claim the team title in dominant fashion. Lewisburg finished with 25 team points, 34 better than runner-up Williamsport. Danville was third with 97 points, six better than fourth-place Milton.

“Today was a really good day for the team in general,” Hess said. “We ran well, and we put it together. That is something that we’ve been trying to do — put together one day where we all just fire off.

Calvin Bailey was fourth in 16:36; Thomas Hess placed fifth in 16:53; Gianluca Perrone was seventh in 17:02; Bryce Ryder finished eighth in 17:06; and Connor Murray was ninth in 17:06.

“I’m feeling really good about our training,” Jacob Hess said. “When the whole team is doing well, that’s really an ode to our training, to the work that doesn’t come out on the course.”

Lieberman said he slightly altered his strategy as this was the first time this season the Ironmen competed in a big invitational rather than a dual meet.

“I tried to get out a little bit faster, and work with my competitors,” Lieberman said. “This gives a little more pressure and helps everyone perform a little bit better.”

Lieberman was third in 16:18 to lead the Ironmen, whose other four scoring runners all finished within 24 seconds of each other from 17:50 to 18:14.

“I’m really happy with my performance,” Lieberman said. “It was a good race overall for the team.”

The Danville sophomore added that his performance in the HAC meet made him good ahead of the district meet, which is scheduled for Oct. 29.

“Based on this race, I’m feeling pretty confident,” Lieberman said. “I think it should be a good race.”

Outside of Lieberman, the only other runner not from Lewisburg or Williamsport to finish in the top 10 was Milton’s Timothy Marvin, who placed sixth in 16:58.

HEARTLAND ATHLETIC CONFERENCE INVITATIONAL

at Shikellamy H.S.

Team standings

1. Lewisburg (L) 25; 2. Williamsport (W) 59; 3. Danville (D) 97; 4. Milton (Milt) 103; 5. Shikellamy (Shik) 115; 6. Selinsgrove (Sel) 205; 7. Mifflinburg (Miff) 230; 8. Bloomsburg (B) 238; 9. Southern Columbia (SC) 255; 10. Central Columbia (CC) 303; 11. Central Mountain (CM) 329; 12. Shamokin (Sham) 334; 13. Montoursville (Mont) 400.

Individual results

(Top 25 and Valley scorers)

1. Jacob Hess (L) 15:34; 2. J. Henry Lyon (W) 16:12; 3. Rory Lieberman (D) 16:18; 4. Calvin Bailey (L) 16:36; 5. Thomas Hess (L) 16:53; 6. Timothy Marvin (Milt) 16:58; 7. Gianluca Perrone (L) 17:02; 8. Bryce Ryder (L) 17:06; 9. Connor Murray (L) 17:06; 10. Ethan Holcomb (W) 17:10; 11. Gavin Furey (W) 17:23; 12. Paul Snyder (Shik) 17:25; 13. Brody Bender (Milt) 17:25; 14. Kieran Murray (L) 17:35; 15. Tim Gale (Shik) 17:38; 16. Justin Fulmer (W) 17:40; 17. Chase Bilodeau (Milt) 17:43; 18. Micah Zellers (Shik) 17:48; 19. Nick Krohn (D) 17:50; 20. Shaheem Hill (W) 17:52; 21. Zachary Wentz (Sel) 17:57; 22. Gavin Fry (D) 17:59; 23. Josh Woodley (B) 18:00; 24. Santino Carapellucci (Sham) 18:00; 25. Derick Blair (Sel) 18:01; 26. Dane Spahr (D) 18:07; 27. Adam Gallo (D) 18:14; 29. Keegan Moylan (Shik) 18:26; 31. Ryan Bickhart (Milt) 18:31; 35. Eli Erickson (Miff) 18:36; 36. Nathan Barnett (Milt) 18:56; 37. Mason Reitenbach (Sel) 19:03; 39. Jason Robinson (SC) 19:06; 40. Landon Driggers (Miff) 19:07; 41. Cameron Lenner (Shik) 19:16; 42. Chase Derk (SC) 19:19; 46. Daniel Reimer (Miff) 19:33; 47. Ethan Rush (SC) 19:36; 53. Jarrett Lee (Sel) 19:45; 54. Joshua Reimer (Miff) 19:49; 55. Harrison Abram (Miff) 19:49; 60. Jaron Ferrara (SC) 20:02; 65. Anthony Feudale (Sham) 20:22; 67. Brandon Santore (SC) 20:40; 69. Michael Stebila (Sel) 20:58; 72. Owen Amato (Sham) 21:16; 84. Jace Shipe (Sham) 22:59; 89. Brenden Rogers (Sham) 24:00.

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