Lancaster/Lebanon League Boys XC Championship Preview

October 13, 2018

Section 1 Title

An awesome regular season was capped off with a head to head battle this past Thursday to determine the section 1 champion. Both Warwick and Manheim Township came into the meet with 1 loss each. The meet was a make-up from earlier in the season after the Warwick course had become flooded due to heavy rain. Weather has been a factor this entire season and it again played a roll in this meet. Heavy rain and lightning delayed the start roughly 10 minutes and the start/finish line area had become flooded in several spots. The race was a great battle from the starting gun and was decided by one point, with Warwick defeating Township 27-28. Could this be the battle to watch at the Championship meet on Tuesday?

Team Race

Cedar Crest and Hempfield will very much be in the race with Warwick and Manheim Township for the team title. Cedar Crest has been led by freshman Luke Hinegardner and sophomore Tommy Bildheiser. Hinegardner has been the league’s top freshman this fall. He has run sub 17 minutes and comes into the championship meet with the 12th best aggregate 5k time in the league; Bildheiser comes in at #14. Hempfield’s top runner, sr Justin Rittenhouse, may be without running-mate Jack Mieszkalski (jr) who has missed the passed several meets. They would give Hempfield the #11 and #13 ranked runners if both run. If Mieszkalski is out it would certainly hurt Hempfield’s chances at a team title. Elizabethtown and McCaskey should also add some intrigue as they come into the meet as two of the hotter teams in the league. Both teams have quality depth, but may not have the low-stick scorers up front to compete with the top 3 in the league. By contrast, Warwick and Township each have two low stick performers each. Manheim Township has the #1 and #2 ranked runners in seniors Ian Miller and Evan Dorenkamp. Dorenkamp has had a very strong second half of the regular season and looks primed for a post-season run. He has a PR of 16.07 from his win at the William Tennent Invitational on 10/6. Coming in at #3 and #6 on this list are Warwick seniors Connor Shields and Noah Martin.

Top 3

Warwick, Manheim Township, and Cedar Crest are our picks to finish in the top 3 at the league meet. Each of these three have two runners who will contribute low points. All three have good depth. Warwick could place 4 runners inside the top 20 whereas Cedar Crest and Manheim Township could put all 7 inside the top 50.

Each Teams #3-#7 ranked runners:

Cedar Crest

#18 Ben McElroy (fr)

#42 William Sheffield (jr)

#46 Ryan Scicchiatano (jr)

#48 Jake Barrett (sr)

#57 Daniel Stebbins (jr)


#19 Jeremy Bell (jr)

#20 Parker Keares (jr)

#56 Jeremiah Hendrix (jr)

#58 David Bach (jr)

#75 Marcus Wachira (jr)

Manheim Township

#32 Drew Sassaman (so)

#34 Keven Perez (jr)

#37 Riley Horton (jr)

#40 Tyler Stevens (fr)

#47 Dieter Geib (jr)

Current District III Rankings: Cedar Crest #3, Warwick #5, Manheim Township #7, Hempfield #9.

Cedar Crest has had the best invitational finish this fall, winning the Ben Bloser Invite at Big Spring on Sept 15th. Warwick then edged Cedar Crest at the Carlisle Invitational on 9/29. Township finished 50-60 points back at Carlisle. Township re-asserted themselves with a strong 3rd place showing at the William Tennent Invite on October 6th.

Using analytics only, here are the projections for the team finish (Top 10):

Individual Race

The already mentioned duos from Township (Dorenkamp and Miller) and Warwick (Shields and Martin) will be in contention for an individual league title. Joining them will be Andrew Foster (Ephrata), Logan Horst (Lancaster Mennonite), and Evan Kreider (Cocalico). These seniors have had great seasons so far. Horst won the competitive Ben Bloser Invite in mid-September in 16.12. Foster is the top returner from last years league meet where he placed 2nd in 16.05. He has a season best of 16.12 from the Carlisle Invitational and running on his home course should provide some additional comfort. Cocalico’s Evan Kreider was 3rd last year and has a season best of 16.09 from the Lehigh University Paul Short Run.

Our favorites: Horst, Dorenkamp, Foster, Miller, Kreider, and Shields

Here is a listing of the top 50 individual runners going into championships using the aggregate 5k times mentioned earlier. This methodology should help balance out variances between courses; however, teams with difficult home courses are still likely under-valued here.

Should be a great race! The team competition looks to be a toss-up between Cedar Crest, Warwick, and Manheim Township. These three should also be battling each other for one of the 4 state qualifying spots at Districts later this month. The individual race looks to be equally compelling.

Good luck runners!!

We will have updates from the meet on Tuesday. Follow along on twitter @centralparunner