Cottillion and Kraft lead Owls XC to a 5th place finish

Bradford’s Ryan Cottillion and Tyler Kraft placed 14th and 15th in the Red Dragon Cross County Invitational on Saturday.

BEMUS POINT, N.Y. — Ryan Cottillion and Tyler Kraft placed 14th and 15th, respectively, at The Red Dragon Cross Country Invitational held Saturday. 

The two runners were traveled nearly in stride with each other as Cottillion finished in 17:33 and Kraft a second later at 17:34. 

“They have been our two most consistent performers this season and today was business as usual,” coach Tom Tessena said. 

Up next for the Owls, Gabe Mitchell took 20th in 18:15 and Aiden Wright 24th in 18:24. 

“Gabe and Aiden ran really well last Saturday at Lock Haven and (Saturday) they looked even better,” Tessena said. “I was worried that we worked a little too hard on Thursday at practice but that was not the case.  Our first four runners are solid.”

Improving their season times for the Owls were Quentin Minard in 36th place in 19:17 as well as Zander Koppenhaver in 38th in 19:26.

“Quentin went out too fast but was able to finish strong and Zander is our most improved guy to this point,” Tessena remarked.

Juniors Steve Morgan (47th, 20:19) and Devin Benson (48th, 20:22) were also in the top 50 and Tessena highlighted the improvements of Zach Cole from Tuesday’s race as well. 

“We just have to keep working and getting better,” he said. “These guys aren’t afraid to work hard and that is always a good place to be in.”

Bradford’s middle school team, meanwhile, continued its strong start to the season with another first-place finish. 

Ian Pilon was the overall winner in a time of 12:08 on the 2.1 mile course. Behind him wer Leo Peterniti (5th, 13:05), Evan Elmore (10th, 13:44) and seventh-grader Makhi Jones (11th, 13:47). 

Two more seventh- graders, Alex Pilon and Andrew Magee, were 24th (14:47) and 28th (14:59.4).  Luke Caruso was 29th (14:59.5), Nick Davis placed 31st (15:18), Connor Schuster was 32nd (15:19), and Carter Colley took 61st (16:59).  

Bradford hosts DuBois and the Northern Tier Mega Meet on Tuesday and will honor senior Tyler Kraft at the meet. 

The Owls are also still looking for volunteers at the 16th annual Bradford Invitational on Saturday.