HONESDALE — Lindsey Pender paused and smiled while considering the question.
Honesdale's veteran cross country coach had just seen her school record, which was set all the way back in 1997, obliterated by Summer Hill. It was a moment for reflection.
"Bittersweet," Coach Pender told TWI Sports. "That's a pretty good word to describe it. Of course I'm thrilled to see Summer get the record, but at the same time I'm kind of sad to lose it."
In point of fact, Honesdale did very little "losing" on this particular day. The Red & Black had hosted its first cross country cluster meet of the season and ran roughshod over the competition.
Thanks in large part to Hill's dazzling performance, the Lady Hornets improved their Lackawanna League record to 9-2. The local lasses swept to lopsided wins over Western Wayne (15-50), Susquehanna (18-41) and Trail (15-50).
"I'm thrilled with how the girls ran today," Coach Pender said. "They're working hard and getting better all the time. This was a very good day for them."
Honesdale also turned in a memorable performance on the boys' side of the ledger. Paced by senior Mark Tetonis, the Hornets sprinted to four wins: Lakeland (27-40), Western Wayne (28-29), Susquehanna (25-36) and Mountain View (15-50).
Their lone loss came the hands of Lakeland, which claimed two of the top three spots overall en route to a 27-40 victory.
"You know, I'm very proud of our boys," Coach Pender said. "They've come a long way since the start of the season. I'm happy with the direction this team is moving in."
Next up for Honesdale's varsity cross country squads is an early morning road trip to Bloomsburg for this weekend's invitational meet. That event is slated for a 9:00 a.m. start on Saturday.
Without question, Summer Hill has evolved into one of the greatest distance runners in Honesdale history.
She's already made three trips to the PIAA State Championships in cross country and track. As her senior year begins, Hill has started a merciless assault on the school's record book.
On Tuesday, Summer took aim at her coach's all-time course mark and quite simply eradicated it.
"I ran somewhere around a 20:10 in practice, so I knew I could get it," she said. "And, the conditions today were perfect for running. I just had to get out clean, stay focused and run my race."
And, that's exactly what Hill did. Finishing first was never in question. In fact, she crossed the line 1:35 ahead of her closest competitor. It was the school record Summer wanted and she went about getting it in spectacular fashion.
Page 2 of 2 - Hill separated herself from the rest of the girls right away, then settled in. She covered the rain-slickened 3.1-mile course in a blistering time of 20:13, shaving 15 seconds of the record.
"Summer absolutely deserves it," Coach Pender said. "She's very talented and works incredibly hard. I'm just glad to be a little bit a part of it as her coach."
Hill led a swarm of Lady Hornets to victory.
Haley West was second overall, clocking in at 21:48. She was followed by Lindsay Hilton (22:11), Katie Miller (22:34) and Lyndsey Jensen (24:03).
Also turning in solid efforts for Honesdale were: Sydney Miller (24:15), Kelli Jackson (24:16), Erin O'Neill (24:46), Kristina Koberlein (25:01), Maggie O'Day (25:33), Erin Fowler (25:48) and Baily Leet (26:29).
While the girls were busy with their sweep, the boys set about the task of piling up multiple wins of their own.
Tetonis led the charge. A hard-working senior captain, Mark crossed the finish line in 19:30. That time was good enough for a Top Ten finish and high praise from Coach Pender.
"Mark is a very good leader," she said. "He has an excellent work ethic and he sets a great example for our younger runners."
Lakeland's Nathan Morgan captured first place overall on this particular afternoon. The Chiefs' top runner posted a time of 18:23, a full 25 seconds better than runner up Devon Cark of Lackawanna Trail (18:48).
Mark Arzie of Lakeland (18:52), Isaac Barbolish of Trail (18:57) and Susquehanna's Brandon Soden (19:00) rounded out the front five.
For Honesdale, Greg Senft followed Tetonis home, posting a time of 20:16 and finishing up 12th in the overall standings. Logan Miller came home 14th (20:30) and Evan Kennedy wound up 19th (20:53).