JENKINTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A local high school team is making history on its run to the championship as they have achieved something not seen in decades.
Jenkintown High School’s cross country team is heading to the PIAA state championships in Hershey this weekend after clinching its second district title and a perfect score at Lehigh University last week.
Five of the team’s members placed in the top 5 at the PIAA District 1 Championships, a feat Carl Pennell says he hasn’t experienced in his 20 years as coach.
“I’ve never seen it in our district,” Pennell said. “I imagine it could’ve happened somewhere, but it’s tough to get your fifth runner in front of everyone else’s number one runner.”
But that’s exactly what happened. The team also won the Bicentennial Athletic Cross Country Championship a week earlier.
“You’re in your zone, you’re running, no one can stop you,” says junior Jack Miller, 17, who placed first in the race.
That feeling is what has propelled Jack from a young age.
“When Jack was 7, he begged us to run his first 5K,” says his mother, Trish, who owns The Little Gallery in downtown Jenkintown, a storefront decked out in support of the cross country team.
He hasn’t stopped since.
“When you’re out there competing, it’s a feeling you don’t get from anything else,” Miller said.
On his heels in third place: his 14-year-old sibling Luke. It’s a brotherly bond that’s only grown with each shoelace tied and stride taken.
“He’s pushed me to have better goals,” Luke said.
“This has definitely brought them together. There’s a mutual respect,” their mother said.
Freshman Alexandra Byler is Jenkintown’s only female runner competing this weekend.
The team heads to Hershey on Friday for the championships on Saturday.