Notes: For state qualifying, PIAA District VI AAA receives 1 team berth and 5 additional individuals. State College won the district title in 2019.
Pre-Season Rankings (District VI class AAA)
1. State College – The Little Lions have won every district title since 2013. Don’t expect them to break that streak this season. Here is their team preview copied from the Mid-Penn preview already released:
District 6 powerhouse State College appears to be the favorite to win the 2020 Mid-Penn Conference title. That said, the Little Lions have been known to hold out key runners at the conference meet to better prep for districts. They have that luxury since they haven’t lost a District VI title since 2012. If they do run a complete team at conference they could place as many as 3 runners inside the top 10.
Brady Bigger (sr), Bennett Norton (sr), and Sean Adams (jr) lead the way for State College. They went 1, 4, and 5 at the 2019 District 6 class AAA championships and have 5k XC PRs of 15:59, 16:01, and 16:17, respectively. All three had fantastic indoor track campaigns this past winter. Bigger set PRs of 2:01/800m, 4:26/1-mile, and 8:53/3k; Norton set PRs of 2:04/800m and 4:32/1-mile; and Adams set PRs of 1:57/800m and 4:28/1-mile. Charles Endres (jr) and Trent Dinant (jr), the #14 and #26 returnees from the 2019 Mid-Penn XC Championships, round out the team’s top 5 returnees. Dinant won the Mid-Penn JV Championship race in 17:25 last fall. Freshman Henry Adams will push for a varsity position this year.
2. Hollidaysburg – This is the best Hollidaysburg team in over a decade. They moved up the rankings last season to finish 3rd behind Mifflin County and appear ready to take a seat behind State College this year. The Golden Tigers will be led by Ben and Chris Love. The juniors both ran 16:43 at districts a season ago to place 6th and 7th overall, qualifying both into the state championships. During the indoor season Ben lowered his indoor mile PR while Chris lowered his 3k PR. Jeremy Jones (sr) proves a solid #3 man for Hollidaysburg and is the #10 returnee in the district.
3. Altoona – Altoona edges out Mifflin County for 3rd in our pre-season rankings. They return 5/7 from last year’s district team and will have a minimal 1-5 time spread. Only :46s separated these 5 returnees at districts last fall. Look for senior Jack Hatch to lead the way for Altoona in 2020. He’s the #8 returning runner in the district and showed continued improvement indoors setting new 800m and 1-mile PRs. In fact, all 5 returnees had great indoor seasons this past winter. If those progressions continue this fall, Altoona could challenge Hollidaysburg for 2nd. Gabe Ebersole (jr) and Aiden Farabaugh (sr) join teammate Jack Hatch in seeking 1 of the 5 individual state qualifying spots. They are the #11 and #13 district returnees, respectively. Freshman Alex Lieb will provide some additional depth for the Mountain Lions.
Individuals to watch who are not on one of these top 3 teams (Returning District VI class AAA rank in parentheses):
Brayden Harris, sr – Mifflin County (#2) – Expect Harris to challenge State College Area’s Brady Bigger (sr) for the district VI title. Bigger won the 2019 title while Harris won in 2018. Harris is without a doubt one of the states top distance runners.
Michael Cashwell, jr – Central Mountain (#9)