Westmont Hilltop signing

Westmont Hilltop seniors (from left) Ellie Dorian, Mount St. Mary’s University cross country; Katherine Horner, Marywood University soccer; Lauren Mock, Messiah University swimming; and Gavin Cramer, Pitt-Johnstown track and field; announced their college commitments on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at the high school.

Westmont Hilltop senior Ellie Dorian followed the disappointment of losing last year’s track and field season to the COVID-19 pandemic by winning a District 6 Class 2A cross country title in the fall.

The running news only got better for Dorian on Thursday, as she was among four Hilltoppers student-athletes to announce their college commitments.

Dorian will compete in cross country under full scholarship at the NCAA Division I level for Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

“I’ve worked hard all through track and cross country and in school,” said Dorian, who plans to major in education. “I’m excited to keep working and see what I can do in college.”

Dorian said Mount St. Mary’s, which competes in the Northeast Conference, provided a solid fit.

“They’re Division I. All the girls are super nice and it’s a super close team,” Dorian said. “The campus is really pretty. It’s a Catholic school, and I’m Catholic.”

In addition to winning individual 6-2A gold as a senior, Dorian was part of the Hilltoppers team that won the District 6 meet in 2019 under coach Mike Harchick.

The daughter of Shawn and Katie Dorian, she advanced to the PIAA cross country championship meet all four seasons and placed 16th as a junior.

In track, Dorian ran the 1,600- and 800-meter events, though an injury interrupted her sophomore season and her junior year was canceled due to the pandemic.

“I’m looking forward to being at a whole new competitive level and seeing how I could perform at the next level,” Dorian said.

Gavin Cramer, Pitt-Johnstown track and field

Cramer competes in the 100- and 200-meter races and the 400 relay as well as the high jump for Westmont Hilltop. He was a District 6 placewinner as a freshman and sophomore, but missed his junior season due to the pandemic cancellation of the season.

The son of Ron and Heather Cramer, he will major in nursing at Pitt-Johns-

town. The Mountain Cats compete in the NCAA Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

“What led me there was how good their nursing program is,” Cramer said. “It’s a good school, one of the best around here. They’ll get you right out of college and into a job. That’s basically my main goal.

“It’s close to home,” Cramer added. “I’m excited about that. I’ve always been a Pitt fan since I was a young kid. I’m just really happy to be a part of the Pitt family.”

Katherine Horner, Marywood University soccer

Horner played soccer for the Hilltoppers for four seasons and has been part of travel and AYSO programs. 

The center midfielder is headed to the NCAA Division III Pacers in the Atlantic East Conference.

Marywood is located in Scranton.

“I wanted to major in nutrition, and Marywood had a great five-year program where I could get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” Horner said. “I also wanted to play soccer. They had the best of both worlds there.”

The daughter of Paul and Mary Beth Horner, she will major in nutrition and dietetics.

Horner said being a part of Westmont Hilltop’s District 5-6 2A runner-up team in the fall was a great way to conclude her high school career on the soccer field. She played for coach Curtis Lichtenfels.

“This year we went to the championship,” Horner said. “We really came together as a team and built our team spirit throughout the four years I’ve been here. I made the best memories with my team and the girls are great.”

Lauren Mock, Messiah University swimming

Mock, who competes in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, is headed to a NCAA Division III program that has won six consecutive Middle Atlantic Conference championships from 2014-19.

The daughter of Vince and Jen Mock is undecided on a major, but said she’s leaning toward either English or peace and conflict studies at Messiah, located in Mechanicsburg.

“The faith aspect is really important to me,” Mock said. “I sort of clicked with a lot of people there. The coach just seems super invested in all of her swimmers and me as a recruit. Everyone that I met there was very welcoming.”

Mock was on the medal podium in each of her first three seasons of competition under Westmont Hilltop swimming coach Jay Hicks. She won the District 6 Class 2A 200-yard freestyle event as a junior, but was unable to compete at the state level in 2020 because the COVID-19 pandemic canceled part of the PIAA event.

“I think the atmosphere of our team is really encouraging and I’ve learned a lot about leadership,” Mock said. 

Mike Mastovich is a sports reporter and columnist for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5083. Follow him on Twitter @Masty81.

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