Week 1 Review/Week 2 Preview (9-20-20)

Sports are back! XC IS BACK! To say I was excited to see the kids race some this week would be a drastic understatement. I think we have all had this week circled on our calendar since the outdoor track and field season was cancelled. While slightly delayed, we got to see some races this week.

This will be a challenging season. We have already seen some of these challenges play out. Late last week we learned that Conestoga Valley shut down in person education and all extracurricular activities for 2 weeks because of several Covid+ cases, making it impossible for the Buckskin XC team to get in their mandatory 10 day practice requirement. Which leads me to ask, why can’t we waive the 10 day practice requirement for non-contact sports? That said, CV’s week 1 and possibly week 2 LL League meets will need to be rescheduled. At press time, the LL League week 2 matchup between CV, Hempfield, and Manheim Township has been rescheduled to Oct 10. Early this week Gettysburg closed for a week which will mean no week 1 match-up against Susquehannock.

If there is a positive to any of the in-person closures, it’s that it’s better to happen now than over the conference weekend. Don’t participate in the conference meet, then you can’t qualify for districts and your season is over.




*these rankings will be very fluid through the first 2-3 weeks

Key performance takeaways from week 1:

Freshman are going to have an impact on the girls team and individual races. Here are the week 1 sub 20min performances by freshmen girls:

Claire Paci, Greencastle-Antrim – 18:55 @Greencastle (scrim)

Kaitlyn Highduch, Governor Mifflin – 19:39 @Hamburg

Ava Shirk, Manheim Township – 19:47 @Carlisle (scrim)

Gabby Keith, Exeter Township – 19:59 @Conrad Weiser

The area’s best performances of the week:


Brendan Colwell (sr), Penns Valley – 15:54 (Course Record) @Altoona Mt. Lion Invitational

Weber Long (jr), Greencastle-Antrim – 15:58 @Greencastle (scrim)

Noah Taylor (sr), Twin Valley – 16:13 @Conrad Weiser


Caryn Rippey (jr), Wilson – 18:03 @Hamburg

Claire Paci, Greencastle-Antrim – 18:55 @Greencastle (scrim)

Lauren Shaffer (jr), Portage – 19:50 @Altoona Mt. Lion Invitational

Margaret Carroll (sr), Northeastern – 10:32 @Hoka Postal Nats (virtual 3200m)

Grace Kuhn (sr), Wyomissing – 19:13 @Conrad Weiser

Sophomore boys on the move:

These guys were good last year as freshmen, but have shown that they are ready to make a big leap forward this season.

Aidan Hodge, Hempfield – 16:36 @Hempfield (scrim)

Anthony Engle, Twin Valley – 16:33 @Conrad Weiser

Andrew Booths, Carlisle – 16:52 @Carlisle (scrim)

Kevin Shank, Carlisle – 16:52 @Carlisle (scrim)

Carter Paul, Mechanicsburg – 16:58 @Hershey (scrim)

Holden Rice, Conrad Weiser – 17:37 @Conrad Weiser

Looking ahead to next week:

There are more great meets on tap for next week. The LL League and the YAIAA open up there regular season this upcoming week.


JP McCaskey and Elizabethtown @Manheim Township – 9/24/20

This meet features a very strong JP McCaskey team. We know they have a really strong 1-4, do they have enough depth to challenge Cedar Crest and Hempfield for the league title this year? This Thursday will give us our first look. Individually, this should be a fun one up front. Stephen Schousen (sr, JPM) is the top returnee. Both he and teammate Lachlan McLane (jr) were state qualifiers last season. Alex Miller could be the 3rd state qualifier for the Red Tornado this season. Manheim Township’s Tyler Stevens (jr) was a 1st team league all-star (as was Schousen) in 2019 and also has state aspirations this year. These 4 are all top 10 LL League athletes. McCaskey’s Ben Blough (so) might not be far behind. Check out LNPs article on Stephen Schousen from this past week here.

Kutztown, Schuylkill Valley, and Wilson @Exeter – 9/22/20

This race features 3 of the top 5 runners in Berks County in Mitchell Brett (sr, Kutztown), Luke Seymour (jr, Schuylkill Valley), and Alex Holbrook (jr, Exeter). Brett did not race this past week. Seymour and Holbrook both looked very strong. Holbrook’s 2nd place finish to Twin Valley’s Noah Taylor was his first race back in one year and he ran 16:22. Seymour took home the victory at home against Daniel Boone and Hamburg running 17:09. He wasn’t pressed.

Muhlenberg, Oley Valley, and Wyomissing @ Governor Mifflin – 9/22/20

The top 2 class AA teams in Berks clash in this one. Wyomissing narrowly defeated a solid Conrad Weiser team last week. Can the knock off Oley Valley this week?


JP McCaskey and Elizabethtown @Manheim Township – 9/24/20

The JP McCaskey and Manheim Township girls could be two of the highest risers in District 3 this season. Both have impact freshmen that add to already solid depth. McCaskey gets the edge in this one based on the return of the Breuninger sisters, Arielle (sr) and Milana (so). Both are top 10 returnees in the league. Arielle is a state medal contender this season. Look for McCaskey freshmen Isabella Shertzer and Gabby Thiry to join the race leaders. Township will be led by freshman Ava Shirk. Shirk was sub-20 in a scrimmage this past week. In fact, three freshmen could be in Township’s top 5. Elizabethtown’s Madeline Quinn recently committed to run at division 1 High Point University. She too is a state medal contender this year. This should be a fantastic race up front.

Dover @Northeastern – 9-24-20

Northeastern is coming off a win at the the HOKA Postal Nats virtual 3200m this past week. Margaret Carroll paced the Bobcats running 10:32. Junior’s Marissa Pritchett and Bella Treglia both ran 11:25. Dover’s super sophomore Summer Hogan makes her debut in this one. These 4 should put up fast times in this one!

Muhlenberg, Oley Valley, and Wyomissing @Governor Mifflin – 9/22/20

Governor Mifflin makes a big move up the D3AAA rankings after defeating Wilson this past week. They showed impressive depth and introduced us to two top freshmen in Kaitlyn Highduch and Emily Gauker. Highduch ran 19:39 to finish 2nd to Wilson’s Caryn Rippey (who ran 18:03). Wyomissing’s Grace Kuhn took home the win in her debut this week running an impressive 19:13 at Conrad Weiser.

Kutztown, Schuylkill Valley, and Wilson @Exeter – 9/22/20

I’m interested in seeing how Wilson responds this week against Exeter following their defeat at the hands of Governor Mifflin. Exeter looked good in week 1 and may make a push to be one of Berks 2 team qualifiers for districts in AAA. Individually, look for Caryn Rippey to continue to roll. Erika Moriarty (sr, Kutztown) took the victory on a tough Oley Valley course last week and should challenge up front. Look for Exeter’s Kira Marr (jr) and Gabby Keith (fr), and Wilson’s Katie Dallas (jr) to push Moriarty for 2nd. Marr and Keith both broke 20-min at Conrad Weiser.