October 20, 2018
The top 3 teams and top 15 individuals not on one of the top 3 teams will all qualify for the PIAA State Championships in Hershey on November 3rd. So, who are the three teams most likely to earn one of those coveted team qualifying spots? Out of the 6 races at Big Spring, this one seems to be the easiest to pick. Northern should get their third straight district title next Saturday. The Polar Bears are loaded with talent, and get this, they don’t have a senior in their top 5. Northern could place three runners inside the top 10. Northern was runner-up at the Mid-Penn championship against some top talent in AAA. State College, currently ranked 5th in the state, only narrowly defeated Northern at those championships. Northern will look to lock up the District III title and then will turn their attention to winning a AA State Championship at Hershey a week later.
The two top AA teams in the York-Adams IAA, Gettysburg and York Suburban, and the top AA team in the Lancaster/Lebanon League, Donegal, will battle for the next 2 state qualifying spots. Berks county competitors Conrad Weiser and Wyomissing may also challenge for a top 3 position. At the YAIAA championships at Gettysburg, the team from Gettysburg defeated York Suburban, placing 3rd and 5th respectively. Gettysburg has a 1-5 split between 19:53-21:40 versus a York Suburban 1-5 split of 20:01-21:36. Both teams saw all 7 of their runners achieve season best times at those championships. Donegal could challenge Gettysburg and York Suburban for 2nd or 3rd. The fastest course the Indians have run on all year was at the flooded Carlisle Invitational. That said, 6 out of their top 7 ran season best times at Ephrata during the LL League Championships. I wouldn’t be surprised if they dropped more time at Big Spring. Donegal defeated both York Suburban (2nd) and Gettysburg (3rd) for the AA title at the Ben Bloser Invitational on Sept 15th (Conrad Weiser placed 6th at Bloser). Should be a very close battle for the 2nd and 3rd place state qualifying positions.
Only 5 points separated Conrad Weiser and Wyomissing at this past weeks BCIAA, with Weiser earning the narrow advantage. Look for these two squads to battle for 5th place.
District III AA Champion – Northern
District III AA Runner-up – Donegal
3rd Place – Gettysburg
4th Place – York Suburban
5th place – Wyomissing
This will be round two between Northern junior Marlee Starliper and Greencastle-Antrim junior Taryn Parks. Starliper won round one over Parks at the Mid Penn Championships, 17:37 to 18:03. The 17:37 was a season best for Starliper. Parks has a personal best this year from the Carlisle Invitational when she won in 17:59. These two will be in a race by themselves for the individual title.
It should be a very competitive battle behind them for 3rd place. Eastern York senior Olivia McLain finished 10th last year and comes into Districts with the third fastest 5k, 19:29. The top freshman coming into these championships is Bishop McDevitt’s Katelyn Deitrick who ran 19:39 on the Big Spring course during the Mid-Penn Championship. Sophomore Grace Kuhn from Wyomissing comes into the meet with the 5th fastest time. She ran 19:41 at the BCIAA Championships.
Others to watch – Season Best Time
Katie Anthony (jr, Northern) – 19:48
Anne Bair (fr, Gettysburg) – 19:54
Courtney Ohl (jr, York Suburban) – 20:02
Allie Engle (fr, Northern) – 20:24
Madison Saltsburg (soph, Northern) – 20:27
Lily Brubaker (sr, ELCO) – 20:29