Week 2 Review/Week 3 Preview (9-27-20)

Another incredible week of competition culminated in strong performances at the PIAA Foundation Invitational on 9-26-20. This was the second week of regular season competition across Berks County and the first week of regular season action in the LL League and YAIAA. The Mid-Penn Conference finally kicks off their regular season this upcoming week.

Here are the updated District 3 Team Rankings:

Boys

Girls

Team Notes:

BCIAA

After 2 weeks of action it looks like the Twin Valley boys are well on their way to yet another county title. Exeter likely gave them their closest competition of the year in week 1. They may have had a bit of an off day for their standards at thePIAA Foundation Invite on Saturday, but they are still one of the top teams in District 3.

The Governor Mifflin girls missed their home meet on Tuesday due to the high school closing that day due to a positive Covid case. They still appear to be the team to beat in the BCIAA. I think Exeter will be their toughest test.

I have no idea what to make out of the District 3 class A boys team race. Kutztown and Fairfield aren’t running away with it. I haven’t received any results from York Catholic, so they are a bit of unknown. The best team could end up being Tulpehocken. This one might take a while figure out.

LL League

The JP McCaskey boys and girls are loaded up front. Both teams #1-4 runners are league and district medal contenders. Both teams desperately need to develop the other half of their top 7 though. That said, only 8 teams (56 individual team scorers) compete at districts this season. This means the #5 scorer impacts a team’s overall scoring less than it has in the past. If either of these two can get through the LL League and advance into the District Championships, then they could both be dangerous.

The Hempfield boys look to have the fire power up front with Aidan Hodge (so), Evan Eshleman (sr), and Dale Winand (jr) to compete for a title. They have better depth than McCaskey and Cedar Crest.

Cedar Crest has yet to compete, but will have two meets this upcoming week. More to come.

The Lampeter-Strasburg boys could be the sleeper in the LL this season. They introduced freshman Colin Whitaker this week. Whitaker took home their tri-meet victory, running 16:21 en route. The Pioneers had 3 guys run 17:00 or faster.

The Annville-Cleona girls, led by Braetan Peters (jr) and Cassi Clemson (so), take over the top spot in the girls District 3 class A rankings this week.

Mid-Penn

The big meet in the Mid-Penn this week will be at Cumberland Valley as the Eagles host Chambersburg and State College. This one should tell us a lot about Chambersburg and CV as we have yet to see them race this season. This one is equally competitive for both the boys and girls. Dan Beck of PaMilesplit plans to be on hand to cover the action!

The Hershey boys had a fantastic meet at the PIAA Foundation Invite, upsetting Berks County favorite Twin Valley. They did this with strong performances by senior’s Peter Barto and Evan Alander and a minimal spread 3-7. They were the highest risers in this week’s poll.

The Mechanicsburg girls look to be the team to challenge Chambersburg in the Mid-Penn this season. They finished one spot ahead of State College at Foundation to place 3rd as a team. Hope McKenney (jr) leads the way.

YAIAA

While the YAIAA kicked off this week, 3 of the top teams did not compete. York Suburban had the week off and Susquehannock‘s meet against Gettysburg was postponed due to Covid cases at Gettysburg. Kennard-Dale did compete, however, and their boys looked as good as advertised. Even with some directional miscues on the course, they still had 4 guys run well under 17-minutes. Suburban and Kennard-Dale remain the top 2 teams in the YAIAA until further notice.

The Northeastern girls have looked really good so far this season. They have a dominant #1 in Margaret Carroll (sr) and they have at least 3 other runners who on any given day could be the team’s #2.

District 6

State College boys and girls seem well-positioned to claim their respective class AAA District 6 titles this season. The girls finished 4th and the boys finished 6th at this weekend’s Foundation Invitational. Hopefully, they will bring their full contingent to Cumberland Valley this week to compete against the Eagles and the Trojans of Chambersburg.

The Penns Valley boys were without both Colton Sands (sr) and Brendan Colwell (sr) this weekend. Hopefully, this was just precautionary and the two aren’t injured.

Individual Performances of the week:

Boys:

Stephen Schousen (sr, JP McCaskey) – broke Evan Dorenkamp’s Manheim Township course record from 2018 running 16:05 at Manheim Township. He proves he’s a threat for league and district titles.

Aidan Hodge (so, Hempfield) – ran 15:53 at home to lead the way for the Black Knights. 5 runners ran 16:21 or faster at Hempfield on Thursday. Has a big meet on Thursday at Elizabethtown with Cedar Crest and Penn Manor. Expect a great race up front.

Weber Long (jr, Greencastle-Antrim) – ran 16:43 to claim 1st in class AA at the PIAA Foundation Invitational. His time was the 2nd fastest of the day. He’ll open his Mid-Penn regular season on Tuesday at Waynesboro.

Tyler Stevens (jr, Manheim Township) – finished 2nd to Schousen at home on Thursday, but he too broke the old course record running 16:17. 2 days later he ran 16:44 to run the 3rd fastest time of the day at the PIAA Foundation Invitational. He finished 2nd in class AAA.

Alex Holbrook (jr, Exeter) – took home the win at home on Tuesday against Kutztown, Schuylkill Valley, and Wilson. He then put up the 5th fastest AAA time of the day at the PIAA Foundation Invitational, running 16:58. May have established himself as the one beat in Berks County.

Brady Bigger (sr, State College) – placed 4th in class AAA at the PIAA Foundation Invitational on Saturday, running 16:56. Has a big matchup at Cumberland Valley against the Eagles and Chambersburg on Tuesday.

Cole Perry (jr, Northeastern) – took the victory at home against Dover on Tuesday. He then placed 7th at the PIAA Foundation Invitational running 17:00.

Garrett Quinan (jr, Kennard Dale) – ran 16:10 to take 1st at New Oxford. This was the season opener for the Rams. Kennard-Dale heads to Susquehannock on 10/3 for a huge YAIAA matchup that will determine who’s #1 in District 3 AA.

Colin Whitaker (fr, Lampeter-Strasburg) – won his debut HS race at home running 16:20. May be the top freshman in the area this season.

Top 4 Central PA boys performances at the PIAA Foundation Invitational (girls photos not available for top 4)

Girls:

Margaret Carroll (sr, Northeastern) – took home the win in her home opener against great competition in Dover’s Summer Hogan. She then went out and ran the 2nd fastest time of the day at the PIAA Foundation Invitational, running 18:35. Faces a strong Dallastown contingent on Tuesday.

Caryn Rippey (jr, Wilson) – won her Berks County meet at Exeter on Tuesday, running 19:31. She proceeded to break 19-minutes, running 18:56 at the PIAA Foundation Invitational on Saturday. Probably won’t be pushed now until districts.

Arielle Breuninger (sr, JP McCaskey) – broke Katie Locker’s 2018 course record at Manheim Township on Thursday, running 18:45!

Madeline Quinn (sr, Elizabethtown) – placed second to Breuninger at Manheim Township, but she too was under the old course record, running 18:55.

Ava Shirk (fr, Manheim Township) – ran 19:17 to finish 3rd behind Breuninger and Quinn on Thursday. With a short turnaround, she ran 19:58 to place 8th in AAA at the PIAA Foundation Invitational.

Claire Paci (fr, Greencastle-Antrim) – posted the top freshman time of the day at the PIAA Foundation Invitational, running 19:32. She placed 5th overall.

Hope McKenney (jr Mechanicsburg) – finished 7th at the PIAA Foundation Invitational with a time of 19:51. Faces off against Hershey, again, on Tuesday at home.

Braetan Peters (jr, Annville-Cleona) – won her season opener at ELCO by nearly 1 minute, running 20:47.

Marlee Kwasnica (so, State College) – posted a 20:00 to finish 9th at the PIAA Foundation Invitational. Teammate Jordan Reed (sr) finished in 11th with a 20:04. They have a big meet at Cumberland Valley, with Chambersburg, on Tuesday.

Week 3’s best match-ups:

Chambersburg and State College @CUMBERLAND VALLEY – great matchup in both the girls and boys races. Dan Beck from PA Milesplit will be on-site cover the action. Follow him on Twitter @penntrackxc

Mechanicsburg @Hershey (girls) – Mechanicsburg has had Hershey’s number this season, winning a scrimmage and then defeating them at the PIAA Foundation Invitational on Saturday.

JP McCaskey @PENN MANOR (boys) – Graham Thomas Vs Stephen Schousen. Should also be a good team matchup.

Northeastern @Dallastown (girls) – the two top teams in the YAIAA meet up in this early season contest.

Cedar Crest and Warwick @SOLANCO (girls) – Cedar Crest’s Gwyneth Young opens her season against Warwick’s Anna Martin at Solanco. The Cedar Crest girl’s team is one to watch.

Kennard-Dale @Susquehannock (boys) – the top 2 teams in District III AA face off. This will be Susquehannock’s season opener.

Cedar Crest. Hempfield, and Penn Manor @ELIZABETHTOWN – great match-up in both boys and girls races. Great team and individual match-ups.

Shippensburg @BOILING SPRINGS – good boys team match-up featuring the 3rd ranked AA squad, Boiling Springs. Peyton Ellis (so) and her Bubblers squad opens up their season.