2020 PIAA State XC Championships

Complete Results

In a PIAA State Championships like none other, Central Pennsylvania athletes proved their toughness, and incredible talents, bringing home a ton of hardware. Four separate races in each of the 3 classifications forced athletes to go out hard, racing against not just their competitors, but the clock. Unseasonal heat and poor air quality (per weather.com) made an already difficult course much more so. By the afternoon races, AA and AAA, temperatures were in the low to mid-70s. There was next to no cloud coverage. At 130pm, mid-way through the AAA girls races, the Air Quality score was over 100, pushing it into the high risk zone. For as busy as the day was for those of us in the media, it was even busier for the athletic trainers and EMS providers!

The battle between Jenna Mulhern (jr, West Chester Henderson) and Margaret Carroll (sr, Northeastern) in class AAA highlighted the challenges the athletes faced today. Mulhern led Carroll by about 50m with 0.1 miles to go. She falls, Carroll passes, but then she too struggles to get to the finish line. This was the type of strength and courage we would witness throughout the day, especially in the afternoon races.

To add to the challenges, the course may have run long (as it did at the Foundation Invite) with most athletes posting strava runs of 3.17 miles -3.21 miles. There are many turns on this course, however, which could make it challenging for watch GPS to get an accurate result. This my have been the difference:

That said, I still think this is a fantastic course that is well-suited for a state championship level meet.

Class A Girls

The Class A girls kicked things off with races running between 9a-10a.

The Penns Valley (PV) girl’s got things off to a fantastic start for Central PA athletes, taking home the team title with only 37 points! Kelsey Hull (sr) led the way for PV, finishing 7th overall in 20:46. Teammate’s Anna Stitzer (jr) and Alexis Durn (so) also earned state medals, placing 23rd and 25th. York Catholic was the District 3 team representative, but unfortunately had 3 girls placed on quarantine this week and were not able to score as a team. Shenango’s Carmen Medvit (sr) was the individual winner (20:16).

Other area medal winners in Class A girls were:

20th – Julia O’Bren, sr Delone Catholic – 21:33

21st – Braetan Peters, jr Annville-Cleona – 21:35

22nd – Alex Chobany, fr Portage – 21:35

Class A Boys

These races took place between 10a-11a.

The Penns Valley (PV) boys finished 2nd in the state with 84 points. York Catholic finished 6th in the state with 140 points. Jenkintown took home the team title with only 44 points!

PV’s Colton Sands (sr) took home the individual title after battling injuries all season. The UNC recruit has put together one of the most impressive high school resumes in the history of Pennsylvania. He ran 16:42 out of the first of four sections to take the win. Teammate Brendan Colwell (sr) put together an incredible early season run, breaking multiple course records and putting up numerous 15-min 5ks. He missed the meet with an injury. Colwell is committed to run at Penn State. Thaddeus Smith (sr) is the 3rd star senior runner for PV and he finished 10th today running 17:17.

The Penns Valley boys were the only individual state medal winners from Central PA. York Catholic’s Moseley Driscoll (jr) just missed the medal stand finishing 26th in 17:57.

Class AA Girls

These races took place between 11a-12p.

Warrior Run took home the state title with 40 points. Central Cambria put up a good fight to finish 2nd with 77 points. Berks Catholic finished their season with an 8th place state finish.

The individual champion in Class AA was Blue Mountain’s Olivia Haas (jr) who went 18:56. She won by a whopping 42-seconds! Boiling Springs sophomore Peyton Ellis was the top Central PA finisher running 20:25 to place 9th.

Other area medal winners in Class AA girls were:

15th – Julia Dill, jr Westmont Hilltop – 20:40

16th – Annaliese Niebauer, so Central Cambria – 20:42

20th – Stella Kuntz, jr Central Cambria – 20:52

23rd – Erika Moriarty, sr Kutztown – 21:00

Special call-out to Ava Lottig (jr, Oley Valley). She had a medal winning performance until the final .05 miles. Her legs gave out on her, but she managed to get back up, and managed to finish. She just missed out on a medal, finishing 27th overall.

Class AA Boys

These races took place between 12p-1p.

The Lewisburg boys came into the meet as the team favorite and they did not disappoint. They take home the team title with 57 points. Central Cambria and Kennard-Dale finish 2nd and 3rd with 71 points and 81 points, respectively.

Gary Martin (jr, Archbishop Wood) blazed a 16:12 out of section 2 to earn the state title. Greencastle-Antrim’s Weber Long (jr) finished 3rd in 16:47 to lead Central PA.

Other area medal winners in Class AA boys were:

6th – Garrett Quinan, jr Kennard-Dale – 16:58

8th – Toby Cree, sr Central Cambria – 17:07

12th – Colin Whitaker, fr Lampeter Strasburg – 17:18 (another athlete who fell in the home straight, but managed to get up and finish the race!)

13th – Collin Wolf, sr Kennard-Dale – 17:19

17th – Devon Morgan, so Central Cambria – 17:29

20th – Dylan Cunningham, so Kennard-Dale – 17:32

21st – Evan Kase, sr Boiling Springs – 17:33

25th – Matthew O’Brien, so Susquehannock – 17:36

Class AAA Girls

These races took place between 1p-2p.

North Allegheny wins a close AAA team competition, putting up 59 points. State College takes home 2nd place with 73 points! Northeastern finishes 4th with 80 points. Great team race!

The drama was real in this one. At this point in the day the conditions were nearing their worst. This was about running fast, but it was also about finishing. Mia Cochran (jr, Moon Area) took home the individual title running 18:28! Wilson’s Caryn Rippey (jr) ran tough and charged home to place 2nd in 18:46! She took her section out hard and maintained her early lead throughout her race. Margaret Carroll (sr, Northeastern) took a punch from the conditions in that final tenth of a mile, but she fought back to finish and place 3rd overall in 19:01. Greencastle-Antrim freshman Claire Paci ran great to place 4th in 19:08.

Other area medal winners in Class AAA girls were:

9th – Jordan Reed, sr State College – 19:42

13th – Alyssa Fedorshak, sr Ephrata – 19:49

16th – Kaitlyn Highduch, fr Governor Mifflin – 19:54

21st – Anna Martin, sr Warwick – 20:02

22nd – Lydia Tolerico, jr Dallastown – 20:03

Just missing out, but running great, was York Suburban’s Brooke Sargen (sr) who was 26th in 20:13.

Class AAA Boys

These races took place between 2p-3p.

North Allegheny swept the AAA titles with their boys also taking home the victory (49 points).

Hempfield finished 4th overall with 85 points, just 9 points out of 2nd. State College placed 5th with 95 points. Hempfield and North Allegheny are the early favorites for next year!

Individually, Central PA performed their best in this race. Leading the way was State College Area’s Brady Bigger (sr) who took home the state title running the fastest time of the day, 16:07! The senior finished a fantastic post-season with state gold. Penn Manor senior Graham Thomas raced to 3rd overall, finishing out his outstanding season with a 16:14. 9 more District 3 runners found themselves on the medal stand!

Other area medal winners in Class AAA boys were:

7th – Cole Adams, jr York Suburban – 16:33

9th – Stephen Schousen, sr JP McCaskey – 16:40

11th – Grant Kern, jr York Suburban – 16:45

13th – Jordan Tiday, so Cumberland Valley – 16:46

15th – Cole Perry, jr Northeastern – 16:47

19th – TJ Roden, so Central Dauphin – 16:49

20th – Tyler Stevens, jr Manheim Township – 16:50

21st – Aidan Hodge, so Hempfield – 16:50

23rd – Evan Eshleman, sr Hempfield – 16:55

Final thoughts:

– To say I am grateful that the PIAA decided to increase the number of individual qualifiers from District 3 (and 1 and 7) in class AAA is an understatement. I said all year how talented District 3 was and today proved that point. 10 boys from District 3 won state medals today.

– This was a tough course, on an even tougher day!

– 5 LL League runners medaled in boys class AAA. This makes the 2nd time in 3 years. In 2018, the LL League also placed 5 boys in the top 25 (Dorenkamp – MTWP (now at PSU); Miller – MTWP (now at High Point); Foster – Ephrata (now at Shippensburg); Shields – Warwick (now at Notre Dame); Martin – Warwick (now at Bucknell)).

– Congrats to the PIAA and the state of Pennsylvania for getting their XC season in this year!

– Thank you to Mark Byers and Melissa Mertz (from the PIAA) for giving me the privilege of covering this event today!

Tweets and pics from throughout the day:

Cole Adams and Grant Kern, state medalists from York Suburban