ATGLEN — For a career that has mostly been plagued by injuries, Lancaster Catholic senior runner Annalise Kauffman is finally healthy and off to a strong start in 2021.

She won her first career race last week, and followed that up with another first-place finish Tuesday at Octorara in a key Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two cross country meet against the Braves and Manheim Central.

“It was really cool,” Kauffman said of the victory. “This was only my second time winning a meet race. I just ran it for my teammates who couldn’t be here today.”

The Lancaster Catholic girls were missing four runners to injury and split their head-to-head team matchups. Meanwhile, the Baron girls continued their hot start by winning both team matchups to improve to 7-0 league and stay atop the Section Two standings.

On the boys side, Lancaster Catholic senior Mason Moore also won his second consecutive race after never having won before, while Octorara captured both of its team matchups to improve to 5-2 league.

Girls: Kauffman crossed the finish line in a personal best time of 21 minutes, 1 second.

“When we walked the course (before the race) I think the key was not to start out too fast,” Kauffman said. “We do three loops of it. The key is to not get in your head and stay focused.”

Manheim Central runners took the next four spots: Olivia Sunderland (21:17), Julie Lindberg (21:24), Reagan Ibach (21:25) and Jenna Moffett (21:28).

Kauffman and Sunderland were 1-2 most of the way until Kauffman created some separation over the final third of the mostly flat Octorara course.

“We were helping each other through it,” Kauffman said. “I wasn’t feeling the greatest coming into it. After the first mile I was feeling good so I just went for it.”

Manheim Central beat Lancaster Catholic, 21-40, and Octorara, 18-41. Lancaster Catholic edged Octorara, 27-32.

Boys: Moore crossed the finish line in 17:41, soon followed by Octorara junior Lucas Thaler (17:45).

“Believe it or not, the kid from Octorara actually beat me last year,” Moore said. “We had a nice pack the whole race.”

Moore and Thaler were part of a pack of six runners that stayed together at the front through the first two-thirds of the race. Third-place finisher Michael Greenwald of Manheim Central (17:49) edged fourth-place finisher Cooper Linkey of Lancaster Catholic (17:50) and fifth-place finisher Sam Bishop of Octorara (17:50), who was followed by teammate Finley Reynolds (17:55).

Octorara edged Lancaster Catholic, 26-30, and beat Manheim Central, 19-39. Lancaster Catholic topped Manheim Central, 22-34.

The Braves are experiencing a bit of a renaissance in Year Two under coach David Thaler, a former Millersville University runner. The girls are 4-3 after going 0-9 last year. The boys have already surpassed last year’s win total (3-8).

“I have a group of junior boys runners who have been running together since seventh grade,” Thaler said. “The girls are all friends. ...our summer running we got the guys out. The group of juniors were all motivated. They pulled everybody else up. It’s awesome.”

All of Tuesday's L-L League cross country results

L-L cross country standings

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