Gardizy takes District Title, leads Knights into States


Daelin Brown

North Penn senior Ariana Gardizy runs to the 2017 District Title at Lehigh University. Gardizy’s first place finish helped propel the Knights into next week’s state meet in Hershey

BETHLEHEM – On Friday, October 27th, the Girls’ Cross Country Team came to Districts hoping to qualify for states as a team again and did just that. For the second year in a row, the North Penn girls will be traveling as a team to the PIAA State Championships.

Coming in second as a team at the League Championships last weekend, the girls believed it was possible to place in the top five at the District Championships, which means qualifying for States. With senior Ariana Gardizy winning the race, and senior Olivia Dyer and junior Maeve Gimbert placing in the top 20, North Penn racked up enough points to place third at the District meet.

“It feels really cool to win. The feeling of crossing the line first after getting fourth last year is still setting in. It was kind of hard because I wasn’t really sure who was going to come up in the beginning,” said Gardizy.

When the gun went off, the North Penn girls ran to the front in a pack of four. As the race began to spread out, Gardizy pulled from the pack before she even reached the first mile. Gardizy finished the first mile in 5:42 with a generous gap. In the pack trailing Gardizy, Gimbert and Dyer were running together, finishing mile one in 5:55.

“I think Maeve and I do a really good job of playing off of people’s mistakes in the race, like if they go out too fast or something. Maeve and I really use each other in the race to help push each other, which is really nice to have a teammate there to help push you through,” said Dyer.

By the end of the second mile, Gardizy had slowed her pace, but she still had a significant lead. Gimbert had pulled away from Dyer by this point, putting herself in 8th place. Not falling too far behind Gimbert was Dyer in 14th.

“Just knowing that Maeve was in front of me and seeing her do well made me want to do well. Having someone there to push you in the middle of the race is just very helpful,” said Dyer.

Crossing the finish line in first, Gardizy finished almost 30 seconds ahead of the next finisher, running 18:09. Finishing within 3 seconds and places of each other, Gimbert placed 12th (19:03) and Dyer placed 15th (19:06).

“I knew people were behind me, but it was kind of challenging to keep pushing. The spectators on the side cheering and telling me about the lead was very helpful,” said Gardizy.

The next stop for Gardizy and the Knights is next weekend in Hershey, where they will compete for state glory.