Many familiar faces will be back and competing for a return top-20 finish in 2019. 16 of the top 20 performers from the 2018 league championship return this season, including defending champion Katie Locker (sr) of Elizabethtown. She will face stiff competition once again from Cedar Crest junior Gwyneth Young, who was league runner-up last fall. Madeline Quinn (jr, Elizabethtown), Mary Campbell (sr, Ephrata), and Anna Martin (jr, Warwick) round out the top 5 returnees from the 2018 championships. All 5 could win state XC medals this fall.
Katie Locker won her first league title in 2018, finishing the Ephrata course in 18:41. She placed 4th at the PIAA District III AAA (D3AAA) Championships and then 26th at the PIAA AAA Championships. Locker went on to win two indoor state medals (800m and 1 mile run) and two outdoor state medals (4x800m and 800m) to cap off her junior year. After running an outstanding anchor for the Bears 4x800m relay at states, she returned in the 800m final to set a new PR of 2:12.00 and place 5th overall. She won the 1600m at the league meet in 4:59.58. She is one of the state’s top mid-distance recruits for the 2020 class.
Cedar Crest’s Gwyneth Young was runner-up in 2018 and will look for her first XC league title this year. She would place 2nd at the D3AAA Championships and ended her fall season with a 6th place finish at states. Like Locker, she too went on to have a fantastic indoor and outdoor track and field season. She set PRs at 3200m (10:21.86), 1600m (4:53.45), and 800m (2:18.73) in 2019. She placed 4th at the state outdoor meet in the 3200m. Young enters 2019 as our favorite to win the LL and D3AAA titles and should also challenge for state gold this season.
Madeline Quinn is the #3 returning finisher from the 2018 LL Championships. She will join Locker in forming the most dangerous 1-2 combo in the league and D3AAA. Quinn too has continued to get better year over year. She finished 3rd at the D3AAA meet last year and 34th in the state. She will likely win her first state XC medal in 2019. She lowered her outdoor 3200m time to 10:58.20 and her 1600m time to 5:14.74. She won a state medal as part of Elizabethtown’s 4x800m relay this past spring.
Mary Campbell enters her senior season with a lot of momentum. She improved in the 1600m throughout the 2019 season and finished with a 6th place finish at the PIAA AAA State Championships. She lowered her 1600m PR to 5:02.44 and her 800m PR to 2:19.81. During her junior XC season she placed 5th at leagues, 13th at D3AAA, and 50th at the AAA State Meet.
Warwick junior Anna Martin placed 6th at the League XC Championships and 27th at the D3AAA meet in 2018. She was just 1 spot removed from qualifying for the state meet. She had a strong outdoor track campaign running PRs of 11:20.42 for 3200m, 5:13.46 for 1600m, and 2:21.72 for 800m.
Alyssa Fedorshak is another of the talented junior’s in the LL League. She placed 7th a year ago at leagues and improved to 6th place at the D3AAA meet. She would finish 64th at the AAA State Meet. She too set new PRs during outdoors running 5:18.67 in the 1600m and 2:28.73.
These 6 athletes have continued to get better each year and their 2019 outdoor track performances show they are likely to lead the league again this XC season.
Some of the other runners to keep an eye on who set PRs or had strong freshman debuts this past outdoor season include:
Shayla Bonzelet (sr), Cedar Crest – Bonzelet finished 15th at the league XC meet in 2018. You do not want her to be close to you near the finish line. She may have the best speed in the entire league as evidenced by her state medal winning performance outdoors at 400m. She also set a new 800m PR of 2:18.28. She may have the best range from 200m-5k in the state.
Delaney Minder (so), Hempfield – Minder finished 16th at the 2018 league XC meet. She had a strong HS track debut running 5:25.24 for 1600m and 2:27.08 for 800m.
Colleen Gilbert (sr), Lampeter-Strasburg – Gilbert finished 5th at the league outdoor championships in the 3200m running a new PR of 11:47.70. She also lowered her 800m PR to 2:24.98. She will look to significantly move up from her 29th place finish at the 2018 league XC meet.
Lexi Roe (so), Ephrata – Roe posted the leagues top freshman 3200m time in 2019. She ran 11:51.80 to place 6th at the league championships in the event. She finished 23rd at the league XC champs in 2018.
Braeten Peters (so), Annville-Cleona – Peters finished a spot behind Roe in the 3200m at the league championships, placing 7th overall. She ran her PR of 11:55.90 at leagues. She would run a 1600m PR of 5:24.51 when she placed 3rd at the PIAA District III AA (D3AA) meet. Peters placed 32nd at the 2018 league meet and is the #4 returner from the 2018 District III A (D3A) XC meet. She will look to medal at the “single-A” state XC championships this season.
Sierra Kapcsos (so), Elizabethtown – Kapcsos ran a leg on Elizabethtown’s state medal winning 4x800m relay team this spring. She posted an outdoor open 800m PR of 2:26.53. She placed 24th at the league XC meet last fall.
Avery Ebersole (so), Manheim Township – Ebersole placed 35th at the league XC meet last season. She ran a 3200m PR of 12:08.24. She placed 9th at the 3200m at leagues outdoors.
(The individual rankings are based on 2018 LL League and District III XC championship meet returnee place finishes as well as 2019 Outdoor track and field performances. Additional weight was given to runners who set PRs during the outdoor campaign with greatest weight going to 3200m PRs.)
Here is a look at our pre-season top 35 for the LL League (excludes freshman):
Here is a look at some of the freshman making their debuts this season that could make an impact on varsity. Inclusion was based on an athletes performance at the Iron Bridge MS Invite and/or outdoor track and field performances. The Iron Bridge Invite was run in some of the worst conditions I have seen so times aren’t too relevant as many athletes fell (and some multiple times).
Best wishes on a great 2019 XC season!
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