2021 YAIAA Boys XC Preview

The top 4 place finishers from the 2020 YAIAA (YA) XC championships return this season. Cole Adams (sr, York Suburban) will look to defend his title as Garrett Quinan (sr, Kennard-Dale), Cole Perry (sr, Northeastern), and Grant Kern (sr, York Suburban) will look to prevent the 3-peat (Adams also took home the title in 2019). Perry has finished in the top 5 of the YA meet his previous 3 attempts and will look to go out on top of the award’s stand. Susquehannock’s Matthew O’Brien (jr) will also factor into the individual title chase. He had a breakout track and field campaign this spring and lowered his 3200m and 1600m PRs to 9:30.19 and 4:26.67, best amongst YA runners.

At the 2020 state XC meet, the following athletes brought home medals:

In class AAA

Cole Adams – 7th

Grant Kern – 11th

Cole Perry – 15th

In class AA

Garrett Quinan – 6th

Dylan Cunningham – 20th

Matthew O’Brien – 25th

The YA is solid up front, with 16 returning runners breaking 17-min at either the league or district meet. Here is a look at the top 20 returning athletes from the 2020 Championships with their season best (SB) outdoor track and field performances from this past spring:

The team race was won by Kennard-Dale in 2020, but graduation hit them hard. Expect a very close battle for the 2021 team title with at least 4 teams closely matched. Susquehannock, South Western, Central York, and York Suburban are separated by only 16 points in our pre-season projections.

York Suburban could walk away with the title if they can develop the back half of their roster. There is no doubt they have the top 1-2-3 trio in the YA league and possibly all of District 3. Adams, Kern, and Shea Walsh (sr) should all place in the top 10, if not top 5 or 6 at the league meet. 2 more guys inside the top 40-50 may win them the team title.

Central York may have the best depth. They return everyone, including 3 seniors amongst their top 4. Sophomore Christian Henry was one of the area’s top freshman last year and he set a 3200m PR of 10:06.38 this spring. He’ll pair with Sean Baxter (sr) to form a nice 1-2 combo for the Panthers. Only 35-seconds separated their 3-6 runners at last year’s YA meet.

South Western returns 6 of 7 including their top 3 from 2020. The Mustangs top 3 can keep it close to York Suburban and they have the depth to score well with their #4 and #5 runners. Shernan Singh (jr), Shernel Singh (jr), and Evan Freil (sr) could all challenge for a top 10 finish.

Susquehannock has an individual title contender in O’Brien. A strong class of 2023 could have the Warriors looking for back to back titles beginning this year. Nathaniel Coggins (sr) is their #2 returning runner, but runners 3-5 could all challenge for a top 25 finish at the conference meet. Susquehannock’s depth could be developed further, but if they stay healthy, their top 5 could bring home a YA Championship.

Gettysburg always seems to put together a strong squad and they return a good core from last season. Senior Drew Cole appears to be a legit #1 performer. Do they have enough firepower behind him to compete for a title this year? Dallastown may be a year away from title contention, but return 5 runners and should have a good entering freshman class.

Pre-Season Team Rankings

(More in depth team by team analysis to be provided during the District 3 previews)