2021 Mid-Penn Boy’s XC Preview

Everyone in the Mid-Penn will be chasing Weber Long this fall. The senior from Greencastle-Antrim is coming off one of the best track and field seasons any boy in PA has ever had. He joined a very small group of HS runners who have broken the 9-minute barrier for 3200m when he finished 2nd in the state (to Archbishop Wood’s Gary Martin) in 8:58.15. He ran a 14:55 5k a week later at the John Hay meet in West Chester. During XC season, he won the Mid-Penn and District 3 (AA) titles before finishing 3rd in the state. He finished his XC season with a 42nd place finish at the XC Town USA Meet of Champions. The AA state championship showdown between Long and Martin should be epic! You can follow along with Weber as he writes for our “Senior Journal” series here.

While Long appears to be in a field by himself, the Mid-Penn does have a strong chase pack. That pack will likely be led by a pair of juniors in Central Dauphin’s TJ Roden and Cumberland Valley’s Jordan Tiday. Roden and Tiday are the #2 and #3 returnees from the 2020 Mid-Penn Championships. Both had successful district and state meet performances. Jordan finished 3rd at districts and then 13th at states while TJ placed 6th at districts and 19th at states. Roden then had a fantastic sophomore track campaign and lowered his 1600m PR to 4:20.25.

Others looking to make their mark on the 2021 post-season will be Mechanicsburg’s Carter Paul (jr), Carlisle’s Kevin Shank (jr), Ray Bondy (sr), and Andrew Diehl (jr), State College Area’s Sean Adams (sr), Trent Dinant (sr), Nick Sloff (jr), and Charles Endres (sr), and Chambersburg’s Nick Monheim (sr). Adams ran an impressive 1:54 800m this spring. The following athletes had strong spring track seasons and will look to move up from their performances last XC season: in class AAA – Isaac Moats (sr, Waynesboro) dropped his 3200m PR to 9:55.36 and Dillan O’Shell (sr, Hershey) lowered his 1600m PR to 4:25.83; in class AA – Dalton Noblit (jr,Greencastle-Antrim) ran 10:11.79 for 3200m and Blake Wenger (so, Big Spring) lowered his 3200m PR to 10:14.66. Jasper Burd (jr, Trinity) will battle for a top 15 finish at Mid-Penn’s and enters the 2021 season as the top class A performer.

Here is a look at the top 25 returners from the 2020 Mid-Penn Conference Championship, with associated post-season XC and 2021 track and field performances (where applicable):

The State College boys will look for back to back Mid-Penn Conference Championships. While they graduated 3 of their top 7 from last year’s Mid-Penn team, they return 6 of 7 from the team they took to Districts. The Little Lions have 4 athletes who could challenge for top 10 finishes in the Mid-Penn this year. Carlisle returns 6 from last year’s post-season team and will challenge State College for the team title. Chambersburg, Cumberland Valley, Mechanicsburg, and Hershey could all finish in the top 3 of the conference. The Hershey boys could be sneaky good. They return 4 seniors who were separated by only 20-seconds last fall. If they find a #5 they could be a real threat. Greencastle-Antrim is our projected #1 class AA team in the Mid-Penn with Trinity projected as the #1 class A team. I have not incorporated freshmen into the team calculations based on very limited available results; that said, two year’s ago, Chambersburg had a very strong middle school program.

Pre-Season Team Rankings

(More details team by team analysis to come with the District 3 previews)