Muhlenberg, Tulpehocken, Wilson @ Conrad Weiser
Boys: Christian Gagliardi, now a senior, will lead Wilson in the Bulldogs opener. He is one of the BCIAA individual pre-season favorites. Conrad Weiser’s Alfonso Knoll had a terrific opener at the Northampton Invitational, placing 11th while running a big PR of 16:31. Tulpehocken may have only 1 returning member (Kyle Schermerhorn) of last season’s top 5 still in their top 5. Look for 3 freshman to have a positive impact for Tulpehocken this season as they should be a contender in D3A. The y defeated Northern Lebanon in a scrimmage last week.
Girls: The Wilson Bulldogs are our #1 ranked team in D3AAA and they open their season against a very good AA squad in the Scouts of Conrad Weiser. Weiser freshman Sydney Werner opened up her HS career this past weekend with a 5th place finish at the Northampton Invitational, running 19:42. Werner will be able to challenge the top of Wilson’s line-up. Bulldog sophomore’s Ella Kahn and Grace Mangold and senior’s Emily Velez and Talia Spillerman are back and all are potential top-10 performers in the BCIAA this season. Sophomore Caryn Rippey kicks off her HS XC career for Wilson tomorrow as well. She was one of D3AAA top 800m runners this past spring.
Ranked Teams: Wilson – #1 D3AAA
Reading, Berks Catholic, Exeter @ Oley Valley
Boys: Exeter appears to be the team to beat in this one. They sit on the fringe of our D3AAA top 10 as we enter the 2019 season. They are the #2 ranked team in BCIAA, trailing only Wilson. The Eagles will unfortunately be without sophomore Alex Holbrook this season as he continues to recover after being hit by a car during a training run this summer. He was an individual top 10 contender in BCIAA. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him back during the track and field season! The Eagles Jason Fisher ran a new PR of 16:47 and placed 21st at the Northampton Invitational over the weekend. Oley Valley‘s Mason Shirey had a strong 2019 track campaign and will lead the Lynx. Berks Catholic has a tight grouping of runners at 1-5. At last season’s BCIAA Championship meet only 29-seconds separated their top 5.
Girls: Exeter Twp opened up at the Oakbourne Relays and won the team title. With that showing, the Eagles moved up to #4 in our D3AAA team rankings. They have very strong depth and are led by returnees Kat Kerchner, Sarah Smith, Helene Shevick, Kira Marr, and Corinne Scherer. Oley Valley‘s Ava Lottig ran well at the Northampton Invitational, placing 24th overall in a time of 20:15. The Lynx team ran well overall and placed 4th/12 A/AA teams. Oley Valley could join or replace Berks Catholic on our AA watch list depending on the results of this early season race. The Saints return their top 3 performers from the 2018 season.
Ranked Teams: Exeter Twp – #4 D3AAA
Fleetwood, Schuylkill Valley, Twin Valley @ Governor Mifflin
Boys: Twin Valley had 6 athletes run between 16:12-16:39 at the Spring Ford scrimmage that featured 9 teams. While the course may be quick, those are still really fast times for August. They ran very well again in an out of league race against Great Valley and Haverford (results here). The squad missed out on states last year and look to be in good position to earn a spot for Hershey in 2019. Fleetwood has a strong top 5 that should make them very competitive in the BCIAA this season. They have top-5 potential in D3AA this year. Luke Seymour (Schuylkill Valley) is just a sophomore, but is one of the top runners in Berks County. He opened up with a big PR at the Northampton Invitational running 16:34. Governor Mifflin opened up with he Keystone Cup last week against Hempfield, Dallastown, and Lower Dauphin. David Mansell led the way with his 2nd place finish in a very strong opening time of 16:41. They went 2-1 at the meet, losing only to Hempfield.
Ranked Teams: Twin Valley – #3 D3AAA
Girls: Governor Mifflin is the favorite heading into this week 1 match-up. They are on the fringe (and likely deserving) of a spot in the top 10 of our D3AAA rankings. They ran incredibly well at the Keystone Cup putting 5 in the top 9. Kira Angstadt led the way with a time of 19:55. Twin Valley will be led by the Posh sisters. Freshman Laura Posh ran 20:52 to win their tri-meet competition against Great Valley and Haverford. Schuylkill Valley and Fleetwood are both very young squads, both led by sophomores.
Daniel Boone, Kutztown, Wyomissing @ Hamburg
Boys: Daniel Boone and Wyomissing enter the season ranked #5 and #6 respectively in our BCIAA pre-season rankings. Wyomissing returns only 2 of their top 5 from last year, but those 2 are Ben Kuhn and Thomas Foster who are both amongst the best in BCIAA. Kutztown is our #2 ranked team in D3A and are led by Mitchell Brett. This meet features 4 of our preseason top 10 runners in BCIAA (Kuhn, Brett, Foster, and Daniel Boone’s Alex Pingitore).
Ranked Teams: Kutztown – #2 D3A
Girls: Daniel Boone and Wyomissing enter 2019 as our #4 and #5 ranked teams in our BCIAA pre-season rankings. Vivian Kase and Carlina Davis will likely lead Daniel Boone while Wyomissing’s Grace Kuhn is back to lead the Spartans. The Kutztown girls could be a threat in D3A this year. Quinn Hall may be Hamburg‘s only competitor, but she’s a threat in BCIAA. She opened up her 2019 campaign with a 28th place finish at the Northampton Invite running 20:25.
Ranked Teams: Wyomissing – #4 D3AA
LL League (9/3/2019):
Hempfield, Penn Manor @ Lebanon
Boys: The Hempfield boys beat Hershey in a scrimmage on 8/20 and then ran very well at the Keystone Cup on their home course. The Black Knights had 3 athletes break 17-min at the Cup (Evan Eshleman – 16:36, Jack Mieszkalski – 16:57, and Dale Winand – 16:58). Their early season performances have jumped them up to #5 in our D3AAA team rankings. D3AAA’s top returning runner from 2018 is Penn Manor junior Graham Thomas. Thomas put together a strong outdoor track campaign and figures to be an individual LL League and D3AAA title contender. Lebanon may be the most improved team in the LL League.
Ranked Teams: Hempfield – #5 D3AAA
Girls: The Black Knights will have a solid and tightly packed top 7 this season. Delaney Minder led the way for Hempfield at the Keystone Cup running a 20:23. Only 1 minute separated their #2-7 runners (20:45-21:45). They are on the fringe of entering our D3AAA top-10 team rankings. Penn Manor may be without a senior in their top 7 and appear to be a program on the rise. Lebanon is probably a year away from fielding a full team for team scoring.
Cedar Crest, Manheim Township @ Solanco
Boys: D3AAA #1 Cedar Crest will look to avenge their only regular season loss in 2018 (to Manheim Township) in week one. The Blue Streaks narrowly defeated the Falcons in week 1 last season. Luke Hinegardner and Tommy Bildheiser were both top-10 district finishers a year ago and are back for 2019. Manheim Township will be without their top 3 finishers from the 2018 D3 Championship meet team. Evan Dorenkamp (PSU) and Ian Miller (High Point) are both now competing at the division 1 level. Junior Drew Sassaman has recently announced he will not be back (focusing on baseball). Solanco has a young team and are led by underclassmen.
Ranked Teams: Cedar Crest – #1 D3AAA, Manheim Township – #10 D3AAA
Girls: Cedar Crest‘s Gwyneth Young leads a Falcon group that sits just outside our D3AAA top-10. Young finished in the top 10 of the state last season and is coming off of a phenomenal sophomore track campaign. The Falcons will get their shot to prove their worth inside the top 10 as they match up against #9 ranked Manheim Township Blue Streaks. The Blue Streaks depth will be tested early as senior captain Anabelle Lapp is out with an injury. Look for Chloe Kline to lead the way for Township. Solanco freshman Daria Neaves had a great opener to her HS XC career. She placed 9th at the Bear Mountain River Run in 20:20.
Ranked Teams: Manheim Township – #9 D3AAA
Ephrata, JP McCaskey @ Conestoga Valley
Boys: JP McCaskey will have a very solid top half of their line-up, led by junior’s Alex Miller and Stephen Schousen. If the back half of their line-up fills in they could be dangerous in section 1. Those hoping to see Tyler Shue lace up for his first XC season will be disappointed. The Ephrata senior and 800m national champion will continue to focus on soccer this fall. Ray Truex and Jackson Hart are likely to lead the Mounts in 2019. CV graduated 2018 LL League Champion Nathan Grucelski, now at the US Naval Academy. The Buckskins have some young talent to build around.
Ranked Teams: JP McCaskey – #7 D3AAA
Warwick @ Elizabethtown
Boys: Warwick comes in at #4 in our pre-season LL League rankings while E’town starts at #7. The Bears may be a tricky match-up in section 1 as they return 7 of their top 8 from 2018. The E’town Advocate Sports did a pre-season preview on the Bears that can be accessed here. The Warriors will be without the services of Conner Shields (Notre Dame) and Noah Martin (Bucknell) this season, but have an experienced crew back, led by seniors Parker Keares and Jeremy Bell. Seniors Jesse Myers and Alex Hartman will lead the Bears.
Girls: Warwick and E’town both come into this meet with a strong top-half to their top 7. Anna Martin and Sophia Nau lead the Warriors while Katie Locker, Maddie Quinn, and Sierra Kapcsos lead the Bears. E’town Advocate Sports is reporting that Maddie Quinn is out with a foot injury (story here). This is a big loss for E’town if she is unable to return.
Columbia, Lancaster Mennonite @ Manheim Central
Boys: Manheim Central brings in an experienced squad to week one of the section 2 schedule. They will face very inexperienced teams from Lancaster Mennonite and Columbia.
Girls: Manheim Central‘s Olivia Sunderland and Lancaster Mennonite‘s Jillian Hargraves highlight this week 1 match-up. Sunderland is the #9 returner from the 2018 league meet. Central will be favored in this one.
Annville-Cleona, Octorara @ Garden Spot
Boys: Annville-Cleona may make the biggest leap forward from 2018 to 2019 in the LL League. They return almost everyone and have a strong group of newcomers set to make some noise this year. Junior Jack Tshudy is the team’s top returner. Adam Horning will look to lead Garden Spot this season. Octorara should improve in year 2 of LL League competition. The Braves may be led by freshman Lucas Thaler who won the Iron Bridge Invitational last fall by over 30-seconds.
Girls: The Little Dutchmen of Annville-Cleona (A/C) open the season as our #2 ranked team in D3A. They are led by sophomore Braeten Peters who had a great freshman campaign. Freshman Cassandra Clemson won the Jr High League 1600m title in 5:27 last spring and could provide A/C with 2 low-stick performers. Octorara‘s Rebecca Cassidy has top-15th potential in the league this season. Cloe Martin is back to lead Garden Spot.
Ranked Teams: Annville-Cleona – #2 D3A
Northern Lebanon, Lampeter-Strasburg @ ELCO
Boys: Gage Krall (N. Lebanon) opened his senior season in style placing 4th at the Bear Mountain River Run in a new PR of 16:06. He will challenge for the LL League individual title later this fall. This race will also feature ELCO‘s Mitchell Gray who is the #6 returner from the 2018 LL League Championships. This should be a closely matched meet between these three teams.
Girls: Lampeter-Strasburg may be the most improved team in the LL League this season. They are led by seniors Colleen Gilbert and Micah Gordley. Freshman Aubrey Magagna, the 2018 Iron Bridge Invite runner-up, adds additional depth and talent to the Pioneer roster. ELCO and Northern Lebanon are both rebuilding this season with ELCO hoping to have enough girl to score as a team. ELCO graduated 5 of their top 6 from 2018.
Donegal, Cocalico @ Lancaster Catholic
Boys: Lancaster Catholic will be favored at home in this week one match-up. Crusader senior Jotham Ngarama is the #7 returner from last season’s league championships. Mason Moore ran one of the leagues fastest freshman 1600m this spring, hitting 4:41. Donegal has some good team depth and will likely be led by Logan Fry. Cocalico has a ton of newcomers, but little experience heading into this season.
Girls: Donegal placed 13th at the 2018 PIAA AA State Championships. The 2019 version may be even better. The Indians return their top 5 form 2018 and add a potential impact freshman in Emma Myers (8th at Iron Bridge in 2018). Rachel Fernald and Hadley Shoaf were both top-15 performers at districts last fall. Lancaster Catholic juniors Ellie Bomberger and Maddie Zukus are back to pace the Crusaders in 2019.
Ranked Teams: Donegal – #2 D3AA