Preview: 2020 PIAA District III Class AA Championship

When: Saturday, October 31st

Where: Big Spring High School

Time: Girl’s Race – 11:45a; Boy’s Race – 12:45p

To qualify into the class AA championships, athletes had to be on one of the top 2 teams in their respective conference/leagues or one of the top 10 athletes not on one of those 2 conference/league qualifying teams. To earn a berth in next weekend’s PIAA Championship one must be on the winning team, or 1 of the top 6 runners not on the winning team.

Weather may make a difference this weekend. Those who prefer the cold may have a leg-up on those who enjoyed the warmth of the season to date. Hopefully, the wind on Friday will help dry out the course come Saturday morning.

Spectators will be allowed as each athlete will be receiving two vouchers that can be exchanged for $5 to enter the school parking lot. Spectators are asked to leave immediately following their athlete’s race to minimize any social gathering.

Boy’s Race

The team race in boys class AA may be the most lopsided of all of the races on Saturday. This isn’t a knock against the other teams, its a compliment to the boys of Kennard-Dale. In our pre-meet individual rankings, we have 4 KD runners in our top 10. They are very likely one of the top 2 or 3 teams in the state. They are coming off an impressive victory over class AAA York Suburban at the YAIAA Championships last weekend. Susquehannock, Boiling Springs, and Lampeter-Strasburg are all closely matched and will likely be battling for the team runner-up spot.

Individually, this appears to be Weber Long’s race. The Greencastle-Antrim junior won the Mid-Penn class A/AA title last Saturday, nearly breaking the meet record in the process. His time of 15:48 beat the field by nearly 1:15. While he won’t win by that much this weekend, he is the favorite heading into it. Kennard-Dale’s trio of Garrett Quinan (jr), Dan Gibney (sr), and Collin Wolf (sr) all figure to challenge for top 3 finishes. Berks County runner-up, Luke Seymour (jr, Schuylkill County), Lampeter-Strasburg’s Colin Whitaker (fr), and Susquehannock’s Mathew O’Brien (so) all also figure to be near the front of the pack.

Projected Team Finish (top 3):

1. Kennard-Dale – 37 points – STATE QUALIFIER

2. Susquehannock – 72 points

3. Boiling Springs – 75 points

Projected Individual Top 6 + additional State IQs (in alphabetical order)

William Brown (sr, Middletown)

Dylan Cunningham (so, Kennard-Dale)

Dan Gibney (sr, Kennard-Dale)

Weber Long (jr, Greencastle-Antrim)

Matthew O’Brien (so, Susquehannock)

Garrett Quinan (jr, Kennard-Dale)

Luke Seymour (jr, Schuylkill Valley)

Michael Singley (jr, Susquenita)

Colin Whitaker (fr, Lampeter-Strasburg)

Collin Wolf (sr, Kennard-Dale)

On the Bubble:

Nathaniel Coggins (jr, Susquehannock), Owen Doyle (sr, Wyomissing), Evan Kase (sr, Boiling Springs), Cade McLaughlin (sr, Berks Catholic), Jay Thompson (sr, Conrad Weiser), Jack Tshudy (sr, Annville-Cleona), Thomas Urrunaga (sr, West York), Gibran Varahrami (sr, Boiling Springs)

Girl’s Race

While the boys team race in class AA may be a run away, expect one of the closest battles of the day to occur in the girls class AA team race. Look for a re-match between Berks County foes, Wyomissing and Berks Catholic, for the team title. The Saints may place their top 5 within the top 25 in the district and still fail to earn the lone qualifying spot to states. Why? Wyomissing has 2 runners looking for top 5 finishes and may place 2 others inside the top 20.

Individually, Peyton Ellis (so, Boiling Springs) may be the favorite. She ran away with the Mid-Penn class A/AA title last weekend, winning by 1:21 over teammate Katryn Yocum (sr). Grace Kuhn (sr, Wyomissing) and Erika Moriarty (sr, Kutztown) should also be in title contention. Kuhn finished runner-up to WIlson’s Caryn Rippey at the BCIAA championships. While Moriarty placed 5th at BCIAA, she was the 2019 District III class A champion. Expect a good race out of her come Saturday.

Projected Team Finish (top 3):

1. Wyomissing – 46 points – STATE QUALIFIER

2. Berks Catholic – 49 points

3. Bishop McDevitt – 99 points

Projected Individual Top 6 + additional State IQs (in alphabetical order)

Anna Burke (so, Bishop McDevitt)

Addie Cohen (fr, Wyomissing)

Peyton Ellis (so, Boiling Springs)

Angelina Hammond (fr, Kennard-Dale)

Gwen Kuhn (sr, Wyomissing)

Ava Lottig (jr, Oley Valley)

Erika Moriarty (sr, Kutztown)

Katryn Yocum (sr, Boiling Springs)

On the Bubble:

Bella Auchenbach (jr, Conrad Weiser), Michaela Burkey (so, Berks Catholic), Mackenzie Langdon (fr, Berks Catholic), Madison Moylan (sr, Conrad Weiser), Mikaela Ward (so, Big Spring)