HERSHEY – Her quest for a state championship derailed by stomach cramps, Regan Rome felt heartbroken over her third-place finish.
Her sister, Ally Rome, was thrilled about winding up 18th.
The PIAA cross country championships turned into race of perspective Saturday for a group of medalists from the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Take Lake-Lehman's Kieran Sutton, for example.
The senior barely missed finishing fourth in the state among 2A boys, but couldn't be happier about placing fifth.
Definitely better than I expected, Sutton said of his run. Leading up to the race, I was hoping for top 10. Halfway through the race, my left shoe lace came undone.
I guess the only thing I could have done better was tie my shoe lace tighter.
The tightness in Regan Rome's stomach became so disconcerting, the District 2 champion from Dallas considered ending her day at the one-mile mark.
In the morning, my stomach hurt really bad, she said. When I reached the mile, my side started cramping up very badly.
I would have dropped out if I didn't have to score for my team.
Her third-place showing helped Dallas finish second in the Class 2A girls standings with 94 points, three behind champion Palmyra's 91.
I don't know if we could have finished second as a team without her, Dallas coach Matt Samuel said. That just speaks to the person that Regan Rome is. Regan's been having some bad stomach problems. She's got something, either a virus or something. I thank her for finishing that race. It really just speaks highly of her.
But it wasn't what Regan Rome was looking for.
Although her time of 19:14 was the best of five other WVC girls who medaled in the Class 2A race – including her sister Ally, the Holy Redeemer contingent of Marissa Durako, Rachel Sowinski and Cassandra Gill and Tunkhannock's Maggie Toczko – the finish did little to sooth Regan Rome's feelings.
It was a very bad run, my worst race of the whole season, said Regan Rome, who cracked the 18-minute mark in last month's WVC championship race. Any other day, I know I would have won.
Making matters worse for Rome was knowing she defeated Class 2A girls champion Adair Gennocro, a senior from St. Mary's Area who won with a time of 19:00, in a recent race.
Even finishing a spot higher than last year's fourth-place showing did little to placate Regan Rome.
Not good, Regan Rome said. I'm very disappointed.
Her bar of expectations is high, Samuel said. If you come in under that, she's probably going to be a little disappointed. Some things are out of your control. Taking third in the state here is phenomenal.
It was the highest finish by a Wyoming Valley competitor all day.
In Class 3A competition, Hazleton Area's Jacob Fetterman snagged one of the 25 boys medals by finishing 17th and his schoolmate Nicole Buehrle placed 19th to medal in the girls competition.
They ran well, Hazleton Area coach Jason Smolinsky said. Today was a great experience for the team. We were here, not expecting to be here.
Everyone's come to expect strong showings from the Holy Redeemer girls, and they didn't disappoint at states.
Durako finished in 19:21 to place fourth, Sowinski was right behind in fifth with a time of 19:24 and Gill captured 13th in 19:48.
The helped the Royals roar to a third-place team finish with 121 points, which seemed like a pretty solid day.
We were hoping to finish a little higher as a team, Holy Redeemer coach Ed Roman said. The girls, I'm very proud of. Looking at their times, they all ran personal (best) times.
On the boys side, Redeemer's Frazee Sutphen finished 15th among 2A runners, medaling between Dallas' Dominic Deluca (11th) and Lehman's Dominic Hockenbury (22nd).
And while her sister tried to come to grips with finishing third among 2A girls, Dallas freshman Ally Rome came away all smiles after securing a medal in her first state competition.
It was a goal, Ally Rome said. I knew I could do it.
Somehow, a higher placing on the medal stand didn't feel quite as super to her sister.
It's like the tale of two cities, Samuel said. But Ally got a medal and Regan feels better about things just because of that and also about how we finished as a team.
Regan Rome, Jr., Dallas 3rd, 19:14
Marissa Durako, Sr., Holy Redeemer, 4th, 19:21
Rachel Sowinski, Sr., Holy Redeemer, 5th, 19:24
Cassandra Gill, Sr., Holy Redeemer, 13th, 19:48
Ally Rome, Fr., Dallas, 18th, 19:51
Maggie Toczko, Fr., Tunkhannock, 22nd, 19:57
Kieran Sutton, Sr., Lake-Lehman, 5th, 16:30
Dominic Deluca, Jr., Dallas, 11th, 16:44
Frazee Sutphen, Sr., Holy Redeemer, 15th, 16:50
Dominic Hockenbury, Fr., Lake-Lehman, 22nd, 16:56
Nicole Buehrle, So., Hazleton Area, 19th, 19:31
Jacob Fetterman, Sr., Hazleton Area, 17th, 16:23