2020 YAIAA XC Preview (Boys)

The YAIAA Boys XC Championship might be a showdown between the eventual District III AAA, AA, and A champions. York Suburban moves up to AAA this season and will be one of the favorites to win. They took home the 2019 District III AA team title. Kennard-Dale may be the favorite in AA. York Catholic and Fairfield should be able to mix it up with Kutztown for the class A title. The battle between York Suburban and Kennard-Dale for the YAIAA Championship should be fun to watch!

Individually, the YAIAA returns 22 of the top 30 finishers from last season’s championship, including 9 of the top 12. Suburban, Kennard-Dale, and Gettysburg each have 2 returnees from last season’s top 10. All told, this has the makings for a fantastic season.

Cole Adams (jr, York Suburban) is the favorite entering the 2020 season. He took home the YAIAA title in 2019 and has the fastest returning district’s time amongst class AAA participants this season. He ended his sophomore campaign 14th in the state (AA). Northeastern junior Cole Perry was 4th a year ago and then ran the 2nd fastest time amongst returning YAIAA athletes from districts (he finished 13th in AAA). He had a strong indoor campaign before COVID shut things down. Collin Wolf (sr, Kennard-Dale) and James Herman (sr, Northeastern) finished 2nd and 3rd in the YAIAA last season. Wolf finished 8th at districts before finishing 26th at the state AA Championships. Herman placed 41st at districts (AAA) and will be looking for an individual state qualifying berth this year. Keep an eye out for Grant Kern (jr, York Suburban). He placed 10th at YAIAAs last fall and went on to have great district and state meets. He would finish 6th at districts and then placed 1 spot behind teammate Cole Adams to place 15th in the state.

Others in contention for post-season accolades include Drew Cole (jr. Gettysburg), Dan Gibney (sr, Kennard-Dale), Garrett Quinan (jr, Kennard-Dale), Jacob Bordatto (sr, Gettysburg), Shernel Singh (so, South Western), and Matthew O’Brien (so, Susquehannock). Singh and O’Brien were two of the top freshman runners in the district last year. Look for both to make a big jump this fall.

Evan Jennings (Northeastern) and Gavin Cole (Gettysburg) had strong middle school performances a year ago and figure to be two of the top freshman in the YAIAA this season.

Team by Team Preview and Pre-season Rankings:

1. York Suburban (AAA) – Suburban is well-prepared to handle the transition to AAA this season. The squad is loaded. They will be one of the favorites to take home the District III AAA team title. We mentioned Cole Adams and Grant Kern earlier, but the talent extends beyond them. Shea Walsh (jr), Alex Gleba (sr), and Jacob Wingard (sr) are all top 25 returnees in the YAIAA. Walsh finished just outside of a state medal in 2019, finishing 29th. The future remains bright for Suburban with Jacob Pflaum (so) and freshman newcomers Karson Daugherty and Tyler McClimans.

2. Kennard-Dale (AA) – The Rams return their top 6 from the 2019 team that finished 8th at the state championships. The 2020 team is even better. Lewisburg is likely the pre-season #1 ranked team in the state (class AA). Kennard-Dale may be pre-season #2. Collin Wolf, Dan Gibney, and Garrett Quinan could all battle for state medals this year. Look for sophomore Dylan Cunningham to make a big jump in year 2. If Kennard-Dale’s #5 runner can close the gap with Suburban’s #5 then the YAIAA title could be up for grabs. The Rams are one of the best team’s in District 3, regardless of classification.

3. Susquehannock (AA) – Susquehannock made it a clean sweep for the YAIAA at Districts in 2019, finishing 3rd behind York Suburban and Kennard-Dale. They return their top 5 from last year’s team that ended the season 11th in the state. They could end this year with a top 5 finish at states. Matthew O’Brien will lead the way in 2020. He had an off day at YAIAAs last fall, but ran really well at districts and states. He’ll be looking for a AA state medal this November after finishing 36th as a freshman. Seniors Jacob Derkosh and Sam Pugliese have YAIAA top 20 potential. Nathaniel Coggins (jr) isn’t far back. The Warriors have great depth and a small spread. Freshman Andrew Hetzer could contribute in his first season.

4. Gettysburg (AAA) – The graduation of Andrew Hirneisen (now at VMI) and 3 other seniors hurts, but Gettysburg has developed a strong program over the years. Drew Cole and Jacob Bordatto give the squad a strong 1-2 duo up front. Cole qualified individually for states last season and Bordatto has state qualifying potential this season. Sam Douds (sr) is also back as a potential top 25 finisher. Gavin Cole will be one of the top freshman in the YAIAA.

5. South Western (AAA) – South Western was one of the youngest teams in the district last year and will still be one of the youngest again this season. Shernel and Shernan Singh enter their sophomore years as two of the top underclassman in the District. They will look to make a big jump forward in their development in 2020. Evan Freil (jr) joins the Singhs in forming one of the top trios in the area. The Mustangs may be without a senior in their top 5 this year. This is a team to keep an eye on over the next few years.

6. Northeastern (AAA) – Cole Perry and James Herman may form the top 1-2 punch in the YAIAA. They are proven talents. Perry qualified for the state championships last year and Herman is a likely qualifier this year. Both had strong indoor seasons, setting multiple PRs. A lot of questions remain after these two, however, as they graduated the remainder of their 2019 post-season team. Look for freshman Evan Jennings and Zachary Reeping to make an immediate impact. Jennings and Gettysburg’s Gavin Cole may battle to be the YAIAAs top freshman this fall.

7. Dallastown (AAA) – Dallastown graduated 3 of their top 4 from a season ago. Jakob Rager (so) was the Wildcats top performer at districts and will lead the way this fall. The really good news for Dallastown is that they had one of the areas top MS/JrHS programs last year. Look for freshman and sophomores to make up a large portion of the varsity team this year. Tyler Hunt and Rocco Dumnich provide senior leadership and post-season experience.

8. Central York (AAA) – Central York has a strong junior class, led by Sean Baxter. Baxter is the #15 returning runner from the 2019 YAIAA Championships and he could challenge for an individual state qualifying spot this season. Fellow juniors Eli Eisenberger, Nathan Kopp, and Tyler Billet form a tight pack behind him.

9. Dover (AAA) – Dover returns everyone from their 2019 top 7. Look for Tyler Rackley (sr) to once again lead the Eagles. He is the #21 returning runner from last season’s championship. Jensen Glatfelter (so) and Camdyn Buohl (so) had nice freshman campaigns and will look to build upon that in 2020.

10. West York (AA) – West York is another team returning everyone from 2019. Thomas Urrunaga (sr) leads the way. He could be state bound in class AA this season. Dylan Ackerman (sr) gives West York a solid #2. He ran well indoors this past winter, setting PRs in the 800m and 1600m runs, and could be set-up for a strong senior season. West York will use pack running to try to work their way up the YAIAA team rankings.

11. York Catholic (A) – Catholic will challenge Kutztown for the District III A title this season. With class A receiving 2 team state qualifiers this season and next, the Fighting Irish are a good bet to make it to Hershey. Joseph Rizzuto (sr) is the #21 returnee in the YAIAA. He ran his best race at the 2019 district meet, finishing 4th overall. He’ll be the #2 returning runner for the district meet. Mosley Driscoll (jr) is the #6 returning runner from districts.

12. New Oxford (AAA) – New Oxford has a solid #1 in senior Lukas Raullerson. Raullerson placed 16th at YAIAAs last season and ran his best race of the year at Districts. He has the talent to qualify individually for the state meet. Unfortunately, the Colonials didn’t have great participation last season and only 3 athletes competed in the post-season. Freshman Neal Price should contribute immediately.

13. Fairfield (A) – Fairfield narrowly missed out on a trip to states last season. They should be in contention again this year as they return 5 of their top 7 runners. They will likely do battle with York Catholic and Kutztown for one of the 2 team qualifying berths in class A. Gabe Schubring (jr) leads the way for the Green Knights. He is the #5 returner from the 2019 District III class A Championships.

14. York County School of Technology (AAA) – Return 6 of their top 7 runners in 2020. Sean Smith (sr) gives them a legitimate low-stick performer. He’ll be looking for a top 15 finish at YAIAAs this season and an individual qualifying spot at states. For YCST to be competitive they will need to close the gap between Smith and the rest of the team. If that happens, they will move up from this pre-season ranking.

15. Delone Catholic (A) – Graduated their top 3 performers from a year ago, but return a nice mix of experience and underclassmen. Delone Catholic will be looking for Aden Davis (so) to make a nice jump in his second year. He ran well last season as a freshman

16t. Eastern York (AA) – Like Delone Catholic, Eastern York was hit hard by graduation and will be rebuilding this season. Anthony Roselli (jr), Chase Curry (so), and Brandon Bolton (so) provide a solid base moving forward.

16t. Littlestown (AA) – Very little separates their top 3 returning runners in Zachary Eader (jr), Alexander Lehigh (sr), and Anthony Riedel (jr). If one or two can make a nice jump forward in 2020 the Thunderbolts will be in good shape.

16t. Bermudian Springs (AA) – Less than 1 minute separates Bermudian Springs top 5 returnees from last season’s district meet. Trevor Wiley (sr), Ryan Durbin (so), and Nathan Taylor (sr) enter 2020 as the team’s top 3.

NR. Red Lion (AAA) – Red Lion was hit hard by graduation and return only 2 athletes from their 2019 post-season team. Logan Crowe (jr) and River Vanwicklen (so) are two nice building blocks to have moving forward.

NR. Biglerville (AA) – Biglerville has two runners returning with post-season experience in Kalani Crum (jr) and Dante Aguilar (jr). They will look for an influx of new talent to build a complete team for 2020.

NR. Spring Grove (AAA) – graduated all but one runner from their 2019 District’s team. Will be a rebuilding year.