The PIAA District III AA Track and Field Championships kick-off this Friday on the campus of Shippensburg University. The AA field receives 2 automatic qualifiers for next weekend’s state championship. In addition, if athletes outside the top 2 hit the championship meet qualifying mark they too will advance to the state championship.
Below is a preview of the distance events this weekend.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 9:48.01
Wyomissing’s Ben Kuhn has not yet reached the peak he achieved last season when he ran a 9:32.69 to finish runner-up at the district meet. Same can be said for Lancaster Mennonite’s Logan Horst who has a PR of 9:37.65 from when he placed 3rd at last year’s district competition. Kuhn finished one spot ahead Horst at the PIAA AA XC State meet this past fall as they finished 9th and 10th respectively. These two appear to be the clear favorites heading into the race. Keep an eye on Schuylkill Valley freshman Luke Seymour who has sub-2 min 800m speed. If the race goes out slow he could have the finishing speed to shake things up.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional team bettering 8:15.55
Wyomissing and Oley Valley appear to be the class of the field. That said, Wyomissing has 3 athletes competing in the 3200m on Friday evening. Could that result in any leftover fatigue come Saturday morning? Unlikely, as Wyo has 4 runners ranked inside the top 10 in D3 AA.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 4:31.13
This will be one of the closer battles in AA on Saturday as the top 4 athletes have separated themselves from the competition so far this season. As mentioned earlier, keep an eye on Ben Kuhn who has the fastest PR of the group having run 4:21 last season. Muscle memory is a powerful thing and he shouldn’t be ruled out in this race. Wyomissing’s Ryan Vargo is the #1 seed heading into Saturday.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 1:59.70
Freshman Luke Seymour is the #1 seed heading into Saturday’s events. He has a busy weekend running the 3200m on Friday evening, likely anchoring Schuylkill Valley’s #3 seeded 4x800m relay team Saturday morning, and then racing in the 800m Saturday early afternoon. The path to states may have gotten easier as Wyomissing’s Josiah Taylor (1:59.04) is focusing his individual efforts at 400m. Three seniors follow Seymour in the seedings and none of those three should be ruled out of winning on Saturday.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 11:35.00
Camp Hill’s Laura Sakol is coming off a 2 PR performance at Mid Penn’s last weekend. She’s qualified for states in XC, Indoor T&F, and should punch a ticket for next weekend on Friday evening. Sakol may get pushed by Wyomissing’s Grace Kuhn and Greenwood’s Amiyah Priebe.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional team bettering 9:50.40
Camp Hill and Boiling Springs are the head of class in the girls AA 4x800m. No team has hit the state qualifying time to date, so finishing top 2 is essential. Camp Hill won the AA District III XC title and I expect them to be victorious here as well.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 5:18.30
This event is almost an exact replica of the 3200m. Sakol and Kuhn will look to make it 2/2 in individual state qualifying following the 1600m on Saturday.
State Qualifiers: Top 2 + any additional athlete bettering 2:20.60
There isn’t a senior in the top 8 which could lead to an even more competitive race next season. For this season, look for Maddie Clabaugh to literally run away with this one. She will likely lead Boiling Springs efforts in qualifying for states in the 4x800m and then has plenty of recovery time before she runs the 800m. This could be a very close race for the 2nd and final qualifying spot. 3 other juniors are all within 1-second of each other. Cydney Lahr (Upper Dauphin) may be the one to watch. She hasn’t been pushed in a race since Pan Ram in mid-April. She could be due for a breakout.