Centralparunner.com is proud to present a new feature highlighting area runners as they embark upon their senior seasons. Get to know the athletes who will be sharing their stories below. Our goal is to inspire, motivate, and encourage the next wave of distance stars in Central PA through the experiences and knowledge of some of the very best! Look for introductory posts from each athlete soon.
Mitchell Brett, Kutztown – Mitchell is coming off of his second consecutive PIAA District III A individual XC title. He followed his district title with a 13th place finish at states. He enters 2020 looking for his 3rd consecutive district crown. He is the #7 returnee in PIAA A. He showed additional growth during the indoor track and field season and lowered his 1600m PR to 4:38. Brett has great range from 400m-5k and was primed to go sub-2 in the 800m this spring.
Brendan Colwell, Penns Valley – Brendan has seen tremendous growth year over year. He is one of the state’s best distance runners as he enters his senior season. He placed 2nd to teammate Colton Sands at the 2019 State XC Championships. He then finished 11th at Footlocker NE, missing nationals by only 1 spot. He is now known on the national scene and will be a favorite to advance to Footlocker Nationals this season. This past November he ran a 9:16 2-mile at Temple University. He recently ran a 4:18 road mile during a solo time trial.
Colton Sands, Penns Valley – Colton immediately made his presence felt in the state of PA as a freshman when he placed 10th at the PIAA A State XC championships. He would go on to finish 5th and 6th in the state outdoors at 3200m and 1600m respectively. Entering his senior season he now has 3 state titles under his belt (2019: Outdoor 3200m and XC; 2020: Indoor 3k). As a junior, he advanced to the Footlocker National XC Championships and finished 10th in the country. Leading up to Footlocker he won the Temple 2-mile tune-up running 9:07! Sands is the #2 returning runner in the country based on Footlocker returnees.
Stephen Schousen, JP McCaskey – Stephen had a breakout junior season that started with a 6th place finish at the 2019 Ben Bloser Invite. He placed 12th at the PIAA District III Championships, running 90-seconds faster than he did on the course in 2018. During indoors he set PRs in the 1600 and 3k and was primed for a big outdoor season this spring. He ran a 15:38 5k on the track during a solo time trial in April. Schousen is one of the best in District III and should challenge for a state XC medal this fall.
Eli Spence, Shippensburg – Eli has improved tremendously since his freshman season. He has consistently improved each year in both XC and track. His finishing place progression at the PIAA District III AAA XC Championships from freshman to junior season looks like this: 125th – 69th – 5th. He returns in 2020 as the #3 runner in District III AAA. With his year over year improvements he should challenge for the individual title in 2020 and will battle for a top finish at states.
Margaret Carroll, Northeastern – Margaret enters her senior season with an impressive PR streak. Since last outdoor season (her sophomore year in 2019), she has set PRs in every event she’s run, from 800m-3200m outdoors to 5k XC to the mile and 3k indoors. She finished 9th in the state indoor mile this past February and was primed for a big outdoor campaign. She placed 5th at the PIAA AAA State XC meet and is the #4 returnee for 2020. She lowered her 5k XC PR to 18:06 as a junior. She won the girls open division at Nike XC NE Regionals in 2019.
Anna Martin, Warwick – Anna had a breakout junior season on the XC course. She improved each week of the season, finishing the post season with the following finishes: LL League Champs – 4th, PIAA District III AAA Champs – 10th, PIAA Champs – 16th. She lowered her 5k XC PR from 19:53 to 19:01 as a junior. Martin owns impressive track and field PRs from her sophomore season, running a 2:21 800m, 5:13 1600m, and 11:20 3200m. Her year over year improvements since her freshman season forecast big things ahead.
Erika Moriarty, Kutztown – Erika returns in 2020 as the defending District III A champion. She is the #6 returnee in PIAA A after finishing 9th as a junior. Moriarty is a legitimate state title contender this year. She too has seen significant time drops since her freshman season and in 2019 improved her PR on the district XC course by well over 1-min, running a new overall PR of 19:25. She owns a 2:25 800m PR from her sophomore year and with her improvements in XC would have seen nice PRs this spring.
Jordan Reed, State College – Jordan enters her senior season looking to make her 3rd consecutive trip to the PIAA AAA XC Championships. Shes been on the brink of medaling each of the past 2 seasons. She set a 5k XC PR when she placed 3rd at the PIAA District VI Championships this past fall, running 18:58. She is one of 4 returnees for a State College squad that placed 2nd in the state during XC. Reed went on to set indoor T/F PRs in the 3k, 1 mile, and 1600m runs this winter. She has consistently improved as a distance runner and a top-25 finish at XC states this season is well within her reach.
Gwyneth Young, Cedar Crest – Gwyneth appeared on Milesplit’s top 50 class of 2021 recruit list following XC season in November. She finished as the runner-up at the PIAA District III AAA XC Championships in 2019 and then placed 7th at the state meet. She finished her junior XC season with an 18th place finish at Footlocker NE. She will contend for a top 10 finish this year with a trip to San Diego well within her reach. She broke 18-min at Paul Short, finishing with a new PR of 17:54. She most recently finished 7th in the state indoors over the 3k distance. She placed 4th in the state outdoors (soph yr) during the EPIC 2019 3200m championships. She ran 10:21 missing the previous state record by less than 1-second.