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Junk Gunning for State Meet, Course Record
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Last season, a broken leg prevented cross country runner Cameron Junk from competing in the post season. The injury hit Junk hard, since he would have surely

qualified for states, according to Todd Niemann, Upper Perkiomen's head coach.

            In his senior season, Junk is running with reckless abandon. Getting him to slow down is more difficult than pushing him to speed up, according to Niemann.

            "In practice, Cameron is the rabbit," the coach said. "And the rest of the guys are the dogs trying to catch him. He just glides."

            Junk continued his chase for a berth in the PIAA Class AA Championship meet as well as the school course record on Wednesday, Sept. 13. In a dual meet with Upper Merion, he finished the 3.1-mile home course in 17 minutes, 15 seconds, more than a minute faster than the rest of the field.

            "This was a walk in the park for Cameron," Niemann said. "He ran the first mile real fast, then relaxed the rest of the way."

            Lane Homan (18:58), Evan Hanney (19:11), Dylan Simms (19:20), Jacob Heffner (19:29), Lance Templeton (19:30) and Anthony Capreri (19:30) each finished in the top 12 for the Indians, who lost 21-34 to Upper Merion.

            Junk finished his the first mile in five minutes, 41 seconds in the meet against the visiting Vikings.

            "I felt really strong," he said.

            The runner figures he needs to trim approximately 31 seconds off that time to break the school course mark by an Upper Perkiomen runner, set by Jake Keiper in 2014, of 16:41. The overall course record, of 15:46, was set the same year by a visting runner, according to Niemann.

            With just two home meets remaining, Junk should have a good shot at the record, according to Niemann. The coach pointed to an Oct. 11 meet against Pottstown as the date when Keiper's record could most likely fall.

            Junk, citing a strong showing at the Northampton Invitational on Sept. 2 in which his completed a 5,000-meter run in 16:34.16, expressed confidence that he can accomplish both goals.

            "There was a lot competition at the Northampton race," he said. "I run faster when I have people to chase."

            In the girls race against Upper Merion, Indians junior Serena Detweiler finished first in a time of 20:45. Teammate LeeAnn Markwalter finished fifth.

            However, the visiting Vikings registered a 22-39 victory.

            Alexa Banner (23:42), Sara Adamkovic (23:59), Natalia Curley (25:51) and Carolena Glackin (25:52) rounded out Upper Perkiomen's top six female finishers.

            Detwiler raced to the front of the pack at the start of the race. She built a 30-second lead over the field as the runners emerged near the junior varsity softball field, and defeated her closest competition – Upper Merion's Veronica Sanchez – by 44 seconds.

            Detwiler said her goal is return to the state championship meet. Last year after finishing 8th in the District One Class AA race, she finished 171st at the state meet in Hershey.

            "I'm pretty excited about how Serena is running," Niemann said. "She did a lot of hard work over the summer, and she has really improved."





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