Below you will find the 2019 Pre-Season Top 25 individual performer rankings for the BCIAA. Rankings were based off of individuals 2018 XC performances at the BCIAA and PIAA District III Championships. The individual’s 2019 returning ranks from those meets are listed in columns 2 and 3. 2019 Outdoor track and field performances for distances 800m-3200m also factored into the 2019 pre-season rankings. The Central PA Runner Pre-Season Rankings are seen in column 1 and that is how the list below is sorted.
Wyomissing’s Ben Kuhn is the defending champion in the BCIAA. He won the 2018 championship by 28-seconds over runner-up finisher Jonathan Thrush of Muhlenberg. Wilson senior Christian Gagliardi finished 4th last year, 43-seconds back of Kuhn. While Kuhn had an off year (for him) during the outdoor track season, both Thrush and Gagliardi set new PRs in both the 1600m and 3200m runs. Both athletes will challenge Kuhn for the individual county title in 2019. Based on historical performances it is hard to go against Kuhn, but any of these three could walk away with the championship.
Looking to challenge for top spots will be the Twin Valley duo of Griffin Schlegel (sr) and Noah Taylor (jr); Kutztown’s Mitchell Brett, who along with Taylor are the county’s top juniors; Wyomissing senior Thomas Foster; Wilson senior Chris Sayer; and Daniel Boone senior Alex Pingitore. Pingitore doesn’t have the same track performances as those ahead of him, but he appears to do better the longer the distance.
The top 2 returning underclassman are sophomores Luke Seymour (Schuylkill Valley) and Alex Holbrook (Exeter) and they come into the season ranked #10 and #11 respectively in the BCIAA. Seymour had one of the best freshman outdoor track and field campaigns in the state, running PRs in the 3200/1600/800 of 9:54/4:35/1:57. Its not uncommon for athletes to make a big jump between freshman and sophomore and sophomore and junior seasons.
While I did not include incoming freshman in the rankings, here is a look at some that could make an impact in 2019:
As I mentioned in the team previews, Conrad Weiser has some quality depth coming into their program this season. 3 newcomers finished in the top 10 at the PTXC10 MS Invite last fall. The runner with arguably the best portfolio entering his freshman season will be Twin Valley’s Anthony Engle, who dropped a 2:06.45 800m performance at HokaOne and a 4:50.90 1600m run at the Berks Co. Jr High Meet. He also has shown the ability to run up in distance when he finished 2nd at the Centaur MS XC Invite and won the Berks County Jr High XC title. Governor Mifflin’s William Troy finished runner-up to Engle and should make an impact on the team’s varsity squad this season.
Looking forward to who steps up and surprises this year in the BCIAA. Best of luck to all athletes as we enter the 2019 HS XC season!