Abington Heights grad Tessa Barrett a top performer on Penn State women’s cross country team

October 20th, 2015 2:16 pm - updated: 12:14 pm.

Tessa Barrett is a redshirt sophomore but she’s already one of the top performers with the 16th-ranked Penn State women’s cross country team. Barrett (Abington Heights) was the second best finisher for the Nittany Lions in last weekend’s Wisconsin Invitational in Madison. She finished 49th out of 246 runners with a personal record 6k time of 20:30.0. That helped Penn State finish 10th in the team standings – ahead of the other three Big Ten Conference squads entered in the race. Prior to that race, Barrett finished 37th out of 260 runners (17:34.60 for 5k) at the Greater Louisville Invitational in Kentucky. She kicked off her campaign by finishing sixth out of 52 runners (21:43 for 5k) at the Spiked Shoe Invitational in University Park. “I’m thrilled that Tessa had a great summer of training which transitioned into a fall cross country season of racing,” coach John Gondak said. “She had her best race at Wisconsin. To give perspective, that meet was like the NCAA Championship where the top 40 earn All-American honors.” The coach’s goal this fall is to keep Barrett healthy. “We want Tessa to have fun and continue to get better each week,” Gondak said. “She has fit in really well and it has provided her a great training environment.” The Nittany Lions have their sites on the Big Ten Championship Sunday, Nov. 1 in Chicago followed by the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals Friday, Nov. 13 in Princeton, New Jersey. The NCAA Championship race is Saturday, Nov. 21 in Louisville. Solid season for McCoy Sophomore Malorie McCoy has played in all 14 games and started 12 for the Alvernia field hockey team, the Crusaders 9-5 overall and 2-2 in MAC Commonwealth play. McCoy (Abington Heights) has scored two goals and has picked up two assists. She had the game-winner in a 5-1 victory over Delaware Valley and last Saturday had a goal and an assist in a 7-0 triumph over Hood. “Malorie is a very solid midfield player,” coach Laura Gingrich said. “Last season she suffered a season-ending injury just as she had earned a starting position.” McCoy’s frosh season was limited to eight games. “But Malorie has bounced back this year and hasn’t missed a step,” Gingrich said. “Her aggressiveness has improved as well as her confidence. And, her stick skills have become sharper and her passing has become more accurately timed.” Brier getting better Junior Michael Brier Jr. has become a key performer with the Haverford men’s cross country team, the Fords ranked ninth in NCAA Division III and showed off their stuff by finishing third out of 39 teams in the Brown Division race at the Paul Short Run earlier this month. Brier, from Clarks Summit (Scranton Prep), finished 18th out of 354 runners with a personal best 8k time of 25:14. He was Haverford’s third finisher. “Mike has very gradually improved, largely through his dedication and great work ethic, to the point where he is one of the very best distance runners in the conference (Centennial),” coach Tom Donnelly said. “He is also a great team leader, by example and by his concern for his teammates.” The Fords are gearing up for the league championship Saturday, Oct. 31 in Owings Mill, MD followed by the Division III Mideast Regionals (Nov. 14 in Newville) and the Division III Championship (Nov. 21 in Oshkosh, WIS). “I think that Mike is going to help lead the team to one of the top finishes at the NCAA Championships,” Donnelly said. Adcroft chipping in Sophomore Jake Adcroft (Lackawanna Trail) is playing defense for the Mansfield sprint football team. The defensive lineman has 13 tackles, including four for losses of 13 yards and 1.5 sacks good for 10 yards. The Mountaineers are 1-4 after losing to College Sprint Football League powerhouses Army and Navy. They were beaten 16-13 last weekend by Princeton and have two games remaining. Albino helping Warriors Junior back Casey Albino of Scott Township (Lakeland) has played in all 14 games and started 12 in the backfield for the East Stroudsburg men’s soccer team, the Warriors 6-7-1 overall and 3-5-1 in PSAC play. Albino has a goal and an assist and scored his goal in a 4-1 victory over Felician. He’s also helped the team record a pair of shutouts with his defensive play. Dolan’s a veteran Junior Joe Dolan is starting on the defensive line for the 5-2 Shippensburg football team. Dolan (Abington Heights), a 6-foot, 275-pounder, had started 20 games his first two seasons, including nine as a true freshman. This season, Dolan has 15 tackles, one for a loss, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. He had five tackles to help the Red Raiders turn back West Chester 27-11 last Saturday. Buck seeing action The Washington College field hockey team is loaded with upperclassmen but freshman Kasey Buck (Lackawanna Trail) has played in eight games for the 8-5 Shorewomen and has scored two goals. She had her first collegiate goal and an assist in a 7-1 victory over Virginia Wesleyan and added a goal in an 8-0 shutout of Bryn Mawr. Buck’s twin sister Kerrigan, also from Lackawanna Trail, has seen action in two games behind a returning senior in goal and has given up a goal and has a save.

Penn State’s Tessa Barrett (592) finishes sixth in the women’s 6k at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 11.
http://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/web1_barrett.jpegPenn State’s Tessa Barrett (592) finishes sixth in the women’s 6k at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Sept. 11. Submitted photo
By Bill Arsenault Contributing Columnist  
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