Mid-Penn XC Conference Championship Preview (Boys)

Cumberland Valley’s Luke Klingenberg at PTXC10

Boys Team Race:

Carlisle will be looking to defend the conference title they won in both 2016 and 2017, but it wont be easy. Leading the way for the Thundering Herd will be senior Jack Wisner. Wisner comes into the meet with a season best time of 15:54 run at the Carlisle Invitational the end of September. Carlisle is currently the #2 ranked team in PIAA District 3. That said, Carlisle won’t be the favorite on Saturday. That designation goes to State College, who is the top team in District 6 and currently ranked #8 in the state by Milesplit. State College has had 13 runners go sub 18 so far this year. Their top 7 all post PRs of 17:30 or faster and have 2 runners under 17 minutes. Chambersburg, Palmyra, and Hershey look to be the other contenders heading into Mid Penn Championships. Hershey may lack a top 10 individual finisher, but are arguably the second deepest team behind State College. Their top seven runners are all juniors and all are within ~:55s of each other. Hershey is well-positioned for success this year and next year. Chambersburg jumped out to a hot start at PTXC10 and Ben Bloser. They were the top finisher from District 3 at PTXC10 at Kutztown and were the top Mid Penn finisher at Ben Bloser, narrowly defeating Carlisle. More recently, Carlisle and Palmyra both finished ahead of Chambersburg at the Carlisle Invitational. Palmyra has only one senior in their top seven and have competed all year without last year’s number one ranked runner, Matt Carroll. Sophomore Jakolby Fackler has been leading the way for Palmyra this year with a PR of 16:20. Junior Zachary Toth and sophomore Markus Vottero have also run sub 17 min this year. If Palmyra’s #4-7 runners have a great day they could challenge for the team title.

Predicted Team Finish:

1. State College

2. Carlisle

3. Chambersburg

4. Palmyra

5. Hershey

Boys Individual Race:

19 boys in the Mid-Penn Conference have run sub 17:00 this season, but only 3 of those 19 individuals have broken 16:00 minutes. Considering this season was wrought with poor weather, with extreme heat early in the season and significant amounts of rain throughout, those times are very solid. Jack Wisner‘s 15:54 is the fastest in the conference, but sophomore Brayden Harris was literally on Wisner’s heels at the Carlisle Invitational where he ran 15:55. Cumberland Valley senior Luke Klingenberg ran 15:59 at Carlisle. Harris and Mifflin County teammate Chayce Macknair (sr) both finished ahead of Klingenberg at their dual meet earlier in the year. Macknair posts a season best of 16:18 from said dual meet. He ran 16:26 at Carlisle. Mechanicsburg senior Branden Knepper is the top returning runner from last year’s conference championship in which he placed 3rd. He has a 15:59 PR from the 2017 Carlisle Invitational. His season best this year is 16:20 (also Carlisle). He won the Council Rock Invite against good competition in 16:34 on Sept 22nd. Palmyra’s Jakolby Fackler also has an invitational title on his resume this year from the LVC Dutchmen Invitational with a 16:20 (PR). He ran 16:23 at Carlisle. Trentin Overcash from Chambersburg had his breakout race on the Big Spring course at the Ben Bloser Invite when he finished 4th in 16:42. While not his best time for the year (16:29 at Carlisle) it showed he can compete with the best on a tough course. State College will have two runners battling for top 5 spots in sophomore Bennett Norton and senior Owen Isham. Norton’s PR was run at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational at Penn State in 16:30 (7th place overall). Isham placed 8th at Penn State in 16:40 (SB). He has a PR of 15:59 from last year’s District 6 meet. The conference’s top freshman is Weber Long from Greencastle-Antrim. He has a PR of 16:40 from PTXC10.

Good luck runners!