The girl’s team race in Berks County may be the closest of all District 3 league meets. Exeter Township, Governor Mifflin, and Wilson are all very evenly matched. Exeter and Governor Mifflin may have the best depth while Wilson is the most experienced, (led by 4 seniors). Exeter may put 5 girl’s inside the top 20. Governor Mifflin and Wilson have our top 3 pre-season ranked runners, with Wilson having 2 in the top 3. When I run the numbers, only 7 points separates 1st and 3rd place. Based on a District 3 qualifying proposal that is being circulated, there is a chance that only 2 of these schools may advance to Districts. Stay tuned for more information on District qualifying…
Berks has the strongest grouping of class AA schools in the district. In fact, its entirely possible that the 3 state qualifying teams from AA will come from the BCIAA. Berks Catholic, Wyomissing, and Conrad Weiser will all look to advance to Hershey. Catholic returns everyone from last season and could have as many as 8 or 9 girls breaking 22-minutes at the district meet. Wyomissing returns everyone but 2020 Berks runner-up, Grace Kuhn (graduation).
Tulpehcoken has a rebuilt roster and could make things interesting at the class A District 3 meet. They may be one of the most improved teams in Berks since last season.
Individually, Wilson’s Caryn Rippey (sr) and Katie Dallas (sr), and Governor Mifflin’s Kaitlyn Highduch (so) are the front-runners to take home the Berks County crown. Rippey took home the title last season and went on to finish as the class AAA state runner-up last fall. She had a fantastic spring outdoor track campaign, lowering her PRs to: 800m – 2:18.93; 1600m – 4:58.89; and 3200m – 10:42.09. She would place 3rd in the state 1600m final. Dallas just missed qualifying individually for XC states last season, but then went on to have a monster spring on the track. She lowered her PRs to: 800m – 2:12.85; 1600m – 5:05.50; and 3200m – 10:53.72. She ended the year as the state runner-up for 800m. She may be the state’s top middle-distance runner entering the 21/22 school year. Highduch was one of the state’s top freshman a season ago. She showed no signs of fatigue throughout her first HS season as she placed 3rd in Berks, 8th at the District 3 meet, and then 16th in the state! She ran a very solid 11:10 3200m and 5:20 1600m this past spring.
There is a deep chase pack that includes:
Ava Lottig appears to get stronger the longer the race. Sydney Werner really came on during the spring and posted impressive PRs of 11:26 (3200m) and 5:12 (1600m). One other name that could sneak into this pack is Exeter Township freshman Madelyn Holbrook. She won the 2020 Berks County Jr HS Championship. Another runner to keep an eye on is Helene Shevick (sr, Exeter Township). Look for her to move up significantly from her performance last year. She appears to have made a nice leap forward this past spring as she lowered her track PRs in the 1600m and 800m runs to 5:29 and 2:24.
Pre-Season Team Rankings
(More detailed team by team analysis to come in the District 3 previews)