Hempfield took home the district title a season ago, a season in which they finished 4th in the state. Even with the graduation of 2 from their top 5, I think that they have a great chance to repeat in 2021. That said, this was the most difficult pre-season rankings to put together. I think there are at least 13 teams in class AAA that could earn one of the 4 coveted spots to states.
Individually, Graham Thomas took home the district title in 2020. He is now running for Temple University. This is the deepest class in district 3 this year. 7 state medalists return this year in class AAA. Let’s take a look at some of the top contenders to take home the district title in 2021, starting with the 7 returning state medal winners:
* Cole Adams (sr, York Suburban) – Adams placed 7th at states a season ago and is the #2 returner this season. He ran 9:31.51 for 3200m this past spring. He will be looking for his 3rd consecutive York Adams League title this season while also challenging for the state title.
* Grant Kern (sr, York Suburban) – Kern placed 11th in the state last fall and teams with Cole Adams to form the best 1-2 combo in the state of Pennsylvania. He seems to get better with longer distances. He ran 9:54.58 for 3200m this past spring.
* Jordan Tiday (jr, Cumberland Valley) – Jordan finished 13th at states last November as just a sophomore. He finished 3rd at the District 3 meet in 2021 and is the top returner this season. He ran a 4:31.75 1600m in the spring.
* Cole Perry (sr, Northeastern) – Giving up baseball and wrestling to run year round seems to be paying off for Perry. He was 15th in the state last XC season and had a strong junior track campaign, running new PRs of 9:34.93 for 3200m and 4:28.67 for 1600m.
My interview with Cole Perry and Alex Holbrook (and Lauren Shaffer and Weber Long)
* TJ Roden (jr, Central Dauphin) – Placed 19th at the PIAA XC meet and then pounded out new PRs in the 1600m (4:20.25) and 800m (1:57.15) this spring. He was a state qualifier in both events. He’s shifted more focus to running and has put basketball to the side. Look out!
My interview with TJ Roden (and Trent Dinant and Marlee Kwasnica)
* Tyler Stevens (sr, Manheim Township) – Stevens ended his junior year with a 20th place finish at the state championships. He then had a great spring, setting new 3200m and 1600m PRs of 9:23.14 and 4:21.41. He was a state qualifier in the 3200m following his 3rd place finish at districts.
* Aidan Hodge (jr, Hemfield) – Hodge is the #2 returnee from last year’s district meet where he was 4th overall. He would finish 21st at the state championships a week later. He had a great track season as well, running 9:24.86 (3200m) and 4:27.79 (1600m) while running on Hempfield’s state medal winning 4x800m relay.
* Ryan Wolfe (sr, Cedar Crest) – Wolf just missed medaling at states when he finished 33rd in 2020. He continued to progress during spring track as he ran 4:21.33 for 1600m and ran on Cedar Crest’s state medal winning 4x800m relay.
* Alex Holbrook (sr, Exeter Twp) – While he didn’t end his 2020 XC season with a trip to states, he put up one of the district’s best overall track and field seasons when he ran PRs of 9:22.76 (3200m) and 4:18.39 (1600m) this spring. He was 3rd in the BCIAA last fall.
Others with top 10 potential include:
* Luke Hinegardner (sr, Cedar Crest); Joe Fahrney (jr, Hempfield); Dale Winand (sr, Hempfield); Caleb Hershey (sr, Lebanon); Shea Walsh (sr, York Suburban); Carter Paul (jr, Mechanicsburg); Kevin Shank (jr, Carlisle); Ray Bondy (sr, Carlisle); Drew Cole (sr, Gettysburg); Jakob Rager (jr, Dallastown); Dillan O’Shell (sr, Hershey).
State Qualifying Breakdown: 4 teams and the top 20 individuals not on one of the qualifying teams advance to the PIAA State Championships.
Team Rankings (Top 25 ranked)
1. Hempfield – Hempfield has a great 1-2-3 trio in returning district medalists Aidan Hodge (jr), Joe Fahrney (jr), and Dale Winand (sr). Hodge is a threat to win the individual title this season while Fahrney and Winand could both push towards top 10-15 finishes. Ryan French (sr), Sam Freedman (so), Isaiah Hollinger (jr), and Chris Titter (jr) fill out the top 7 returnees. Ryan French could have a breakout senior XC season as he has made significant strides each year in fitness, most recently dropping his 3200m PR to 10:23. Freshman Sam Meyer could contribute as well. If Hempfield does repeat, they will need strong performances from their #4-7 runners.
2. Carlisle – Carlisle returns an experienced 5 for 2021, all of whom have the potential to break 17-minutes on the district course this season. Kevin Shank (jr), Ray Bondy (sr), and Andrew Diehl (jr) all appear to be district medal threats. Bondy ran nice PRs of 9:47.83 (3200m) and 4:29.94 (1600m) this spring. Shank also broke 10-min in the 3200m going 9:50.45. Seniors Briar Thompson and Connor Morrow return as the #4 and #5 runners entering the season.
3. Hershey – The biggest question that Hershey needs to answer this season is who will step into their #5-7 spots. They have 4 really good seniors returning for 2021. Dillan O’Shell (sr) will likely lead the way and could be a sleeper in District 3. He dropped a big 1600m PR this spring running 4:25. Only 21-seconds separated Hershey’s returning 4 at Mid-Penn’s last year. Adam Nielson (sr), Nathan Nielson (sr) and Nick Kelly (sr) are likely top 50 district finishers.
4. Chambersburg – The Trojans return a strong 5 that was separated by less than 1-minute at the 2020 Mid-Penn Championships. A strong group of underclassmen could rise into the top 7 this season. Nick Monheim (sr) figures to lead the way for Chambersburg and is a district medal contender this season. Billy Prentice (sr), Ben Colli (sr), Ari Snyder (so), and Zack Yourkavitch (sr) provide solid scoring depth. “Ambrose’s Army” could be state bound this fall!
5. Exeter Township – No team may have improved their positioning during the spring more than Exeter Township. Holbrook, mentioned above, developed into one of the states best over 1600m and 3200m. Look for him to individually challenge for a district title this season. Cody Schabener (sr) and Denis Fantilli (sr) both ran big 3200m PRs, each running 10:00. Schabener then ran 4:33 for 1600m while Fantilli hit 4:35. Jack Sahaida (jr) returns as the #3 runner from the Eagles 2020 squad. Johnathan Fisher (jr) and Michael Sheman (so) round out their 6 returnees. The Eagles also welcome 2020 BCIAA Jr High XC Champion, Dylan Holland (fr).
6. Manheim Township – Township returns 6 of 7 from last year’s league championship team. Tyler Stevens gives the Blue Streaks a legit individual title contender and someone who has significant post-season experience. He’ll be looking for a top 5-10 finish at states this year. Cole Schwartz (sr) provides additional senior leadership. He ran well over the spring, lowering his 3200m PR to 10:14. Luke Papadimitriou (jr), Aaron Wood (jr), Dylan DelVecchio (so), and Liam Rockwell (jr) also return to provide solid depth. Newcomers Jacob Mathers (sr) and Cole Stevens (fr) will contribute immediately. The younger Stevens won both the 1600m (4:46) and 800m (2:09) at the LL League Jr High T/F Championships. Township could be a sleeper pick this season.
Coach Stover: “2020 was a strong year for the MT cross country teams. We are returning a strong nucleus of runners with both teams. Senior leadership should help guide us throughout the season. This summer the kids have trained hard with high expectations for a successful 2021 season.”
MTWP key returners: senior Tyler Stevens (placed fourth at 2020 L-L League championship, placed 15th at 2020 District 3-3A championship, placed 20th at 2020 PIAA 3A championship), junior Luke Papadimitrio (placed 33rd at 2020 L-L League championship), senior Cole Schwartz (placed 36th at 2020 L-L League championship), junior Liam Rockwell, sophomore Gunner Geib, sophomore Dylan DelVecchio, junior Aaron Wood
Key newcomers: senior Jacob Mathers, freshman Cole Stevens
Last year’s record: 6-3 league (placed fourth at L-L League championship)
7. Cedar Crest – You can’t look past Cedar Crest. Ryan Wolfe (sr), Luke Hinegardner (sr), and Ben McElroy (sr) have had so much success on the XC course as part of the Cedar Crest team and as individuals. Wolfe and Hinegardner both have top 5 potential in the district. Both have very good chances of medaling at states. The two also teamed up to earn 4x800m state medals this past spring. Sophomore Jake Perhonitch was one of the area’s top freshman a season ago. These 4 give the Falcons a great chance to head back to Hershey this year. Coach Risser will have to develop depth beyond these 4, though, to ensure that trip to states. Viseth Meng could be a freshman to keep an eye on.
Coach Risser: “We are going to rely on the leadership and experience of our strong senior class this season. While we will definitely miss several key runners from last year’s team, I’m really excited to see what this group is going to achieve if they keep training with a purpose and pushing each other to be the best that they can be. Our key returners and promising newcomers for the upcoming season are Ryan Wolfe, Luke Hinegardner, Jake Perhonitch, Jayden Heagele, Ryan Horst, Ben Causak, Ben McElroy, Owen Sparks, Caleb Peters, Kyle Rauchut, Tyler Steffy, Derrick Nolan & Viseth Meng.”
8. South Western – The Mustangs return a really solid trio in Shernan Singh (jr), Shernel Singh (jr), and Evan Freil (sr). All are potential district medalists and individual state qualifiers this year. Austin Tyler (jr), Ben Bouselli (sr), and Allen Divel (jr) will likely determine if the Mustangs will qualify for Hershey this fall. If they can shrink the gap between themselves and the top 3 then this team could cause problems for others in the district.
9. Cumberland Valley – The Eagles return 6 this season and will be led by Jordan Tiday (jr), the top returner from last season’s District 3 Championships. He’s an obvious title contender based on the first two years of his high school career. Shane O’Connell (so) had a good freshman year which ended in him running 10:11 for 3200m. Cumberland Valley will have a tight pack of runners between #2-#6 as only 53-seconds separating them at Mid-Penn’s in 2020. Reuben Thomas (sr), Teodor Hellgren (sr), Teddy Rothman (jr), and Matthew Tokarz (sr) are all experienced runners.
10. Mechanicsburg – The Wildcats return 6, including district medal contender Carter Paul (jr). Paul looks to provide Mechanicsburg with the low stick they will need to move onto states. He lowered his 1600m PR to 4:35 this spring. Mechanicsburg’s has 4 other returnees who are all closely bunched together, with just 44-seconds separating them at the 2020 Mid-Penn Championships. Cohen Manges (jr), Spencer Nolan (jr), Jordan Wiedman (sr), and Luke Wertz (sr) round out Mechanicsburg’s top 5. Look for Manges to take a leap forward this season after he posted a 10:17 3200m PR in the spring.
11. Central York – Sophomore Christian Henry and senior Sean Baxter give Central York a formidable 1-2 combo out front. Henry will battle to be the district’s top sophomore (AAA) this season. Both guys should have district medal and state qualifying aspirations this year. Henry ran a 10:06 3200m time as a freshman this spring. Tyler Billet (sr), Nathan Kopp (sr), Owen Strickler (jr), and Eli Eisenberger (sr) return to give the Panthers an experienced top 6. Only 36-seconds separated these 4 at the York/Adams Championship.
12. Twin Valley – Twin Valley graduated 3 of their top 5 from last season’s district meet, but have developed solid depth across their classes. Anthony Engle (jr) appears ready to rake the reigns as the team #1 this year. Classmate Ben Meister (jr) may not be far behind. Engle (1600m – 4:33.19), Meister (1600m – 4:34.70), and sophomore Nate Meister (3200m – 10:09.63) all appeared to improve over the spring. Jaden Brighter (jr) also returns with valuable experience. Twin Valley has a trio of freshmen that could make an impact this fall. Frankie DiSilvestro (sr) will likely contribute from day 1 and could be one of the top freshman in the entire district.
Coach Holden: “Twin Valley Boys did lose 3 seniors including Noah and Iain Taylor and Nolan Meincke. However, we expect to still be extremely competitive in both Berks and District III. We are lead by Anthony Engle and Ben Meister. Then we expect Nate Meister and Jaden Brighter and several other juniors to fill in the rest of the varsity. Our returning JV depth along with the addition of Frankie DiSilivestro (4:50 and 2:08 in 8th grade) will be rounding out a varsity which should allow us to contend for that 4th position at Districts.”
13. York Suburban – (DISCLAIMER: This is the most difficult team to assess heading into 2021). Suburban has the best 1-2-3 trio in District, if not the entire state. Cole Adams (sr), Grant Kern (sr), and Shea Walsh (sr) are all potential top 15 runners at districts. Adams and Kern are individual district title contenders and both are top 10 returnees in the state. If Suburban can get 2 more guys to finish inside the top 100 at districts then they are likely heading to states. If a smaller field takes shape at Districts in 2021 then they benefit. Freshman Neil Oestereich is one to watch. He was 11th at the Carlisle Meet of Champions as a 7th grader in 2019. The only reason Suburban is this low is unknowns about their depth. That said, it still doesn’t feel right having them ranked this low. I have a feeling this ranking changes dramatically once the season starts and we see how their roster fills in.
14. JP McCaskey – Graduation hurts McCaskey entering 2021. That said, Lachlan McLane (sr) and Ben Blough (jr) form a strong 1-2 duo. Both have individual state qualifying talent. In fact, McLane qualified for states back in 2019, but dealt with injuries throughout 2020. He’s back and more importantly, healthy! The development of Jonah Keener (jr), Theron Plumb (sr), and Henry Clapper (jr) will dictate how far McCaskey can go this year.
Coach Craighead: “We have a strong 1-2 punch in Ben and Lachlan. The key to our season will be the development of our 3-4-5-6 runners as we battle the top teams in Section 1. Our goal has and always will be that we want to be running our best by the end of the season. I am looking forward to seeing a new group of runners make their mark at McCaskey.”
Other runners to watch: Theron Plumb (sr); Henry Clapper (jr); Jonah Keener (jr); Derek Kendig (jr)
Key Newcomer: Sam Richard (fr)
15. Governor Mifflin – Zack Zerbe (so) had one of the best freshman track season in Central PA this past spring. He ran 10:03 for 3200m and 4:35 for 1600m. Look for him to make a big leap forward this fall. Will Troy (jr) is the Mustangs top returner from 2020. He and Zerbe could both be top 10 runners in the BCIAA. They could also be close to individual state qualification in 2021. Clayton Hickey (jr) and Grant Kellenberger (jr) are solid. Kellenberger ran a 10:25 3200m in the spring and could be on the rise this XC season. This team may knock on state’s door in 2022.
16. Gettysburg – Gettysburg returns a solid 5 and will be led by seniors Drew Cole and Auden Day. Cole was 23rd at districts in 2020 and will be looking to medal and move onto states this year. Day may not be too far behind. Gavin Cole (so), Colin Arnold (sr), and Ryan Clayton (sr) all received valuable district experience in 2020. Freshman Owen Clapsadle is a newcomer to watch.
17. Dallastown – The Wildcats may be a year away from contending for a state berth, but a very strong class of 2023 could get them there. They return 5 from last season’s squad, including potential top 15 finisher, Jakob Rager (jr). Jack Gable (jr) will look to keep it close to Rager this season. He dropped his 3200m PR to 10:23 this spring. Jackson Gutekunst (jr), John Riley (jr), and Gabriel Kolsevich (jr) crossed the Y/A finish line within 23-seconds of each other. Freshmen Seiju Berg and Aiden Granger add to the team’s depth.
18. Conestoga Valley – No team has a tighter returning pack than Conestoga Valley. Mani Gitonga (sr) led the way for the Bukskins at last season’s LL League, but #5 man Micah Aldrich (jr) was only 10-seconds back. Yep, their top 5 returnees finished within 10-seconds of each other at the league meet. #6 man Dante Velasco was only 30-seconds back from team #1. Tyler Slingluff (jr), Timothy Gitonga (so), and Adam Harris (jr) are the other members of the “pack.”
Coach Amway: “Boys team is returning 2 seniors in Emmanuel Gitonga and Dante Velasco. Junior Tyler Slingluff and sophomore Timmy Gitonga will round out the top returners. The team has the potential to finish in the top 6 of the LL League.”
19. Lower Dauphin – Lower Dauphin returns everyone from last season’s Mid-Penn team that placed 11th in class AAA. Look for improved output from them in 2021. Cory Miduri (jr), Jacob Dunkelberger (so), and Jack Francis (sr) are the team’s top 3 returnees.
20. Wilson – The Bulldogs look to have a deep and competitive crew this season. They appear to be on the rise from where they have been the last 2 seasons. Seniors Nate Diaz and Zack Wendel will provide senior leadership and a solid 1-2 punch out front for Wilson. Spencer Hahn (jr) looks to provide solid middle line-up support. Expect an internal battle to determine the next 4 spots on their varsity squad this season. Several freshmen could be in the mix. Liam Easteadt (fr), Ezekial Eberly (fr), and Matt Foight (fr) finished 5th, 11th, and 13th respectively at the 2020 BCIAA Jr High XC Championships.
Coach Falk: “Group that will need to continue to improve and stay healthy throughout the season to compete for a top 3 spot at the league championship. Several athletes who came into their own late last XC season and into the track season show a lot of promise to be much improved since a year ago.”
21. Waynesboro – Waynesboro returns 5 from last year and all 5 appear to have improved during the 2021 track season. Isaac Moats (sr) ran nice PRs of 9:55 (3200m) and 4:33 (1600m) and should figure into the district medal and individual state qualifying mix this fall. Noah Bockstie (so), Paytin Moore (sr), Joel Weber (sr), and Joseph Jacobs (jr) round out a competitive top 5.
22. Warwick – Returning LL League Medalist JH Mertz (sr) and teammate Jake Forgione (jr) lead the Warriors in 2021. The team returns their top 6 from a season ago and will welcome freshman Troy Weidler to the mix. Weidler finished 3rd at the 2020 Bridge the Gap MS Invite. Sophomore Summit Smoker showed promise as a freshman a season ago and should make a bigger impact this fall.
Coach Bomberger: “The Warwick Boys XC team is bringing a solid lineup of senior to freshmen talent that will keep them competitive during the 2021 season. They return 11 of their top 12 from last year, and are bringing along some encouraging freshmen talent to add to the mix. They are led by 7 seniors that bring experience, continuity, and a tough work ethic to the squad. Their leadership will inspire and guide the underclassmen talent to grow and be their best. The Boys team has built a lot of momentum in the past year, and will look to challenge some talented teams in the LL and district with their depth, hard work, and determination. Summer training has proved to be a solid start to their 2021 season as they look to ramp up the intensity and workouts to get themselves ready to compete both mentally and physically. The Warwick coaching staff is both encouraged and excited to get the 2021 season started!”
23. Solanco – Anthony Solis (jr) was a top 20 finisher in the LL League and ran a solid 17:08 on the district course last year. Avery Jacobsen (sr) has been a solid contributor for the Mules since his freshman year. He’s a potential LL League medalist this fall. Look for underclassman Wyatt Tomison (so) to make a solid leap forward this year. 5 runners return from Solanco’s 2020 league team.
24. Daniel Boone – 6 experienced athletes return, including 5 of whom are seniors. Luke Gehringer (sr) and Cory Miller (sr) are both potential top 10 finishers in the BCIAA this year.
Coach Snyder: “Daniel Boone Boys Cross Country is a senior loaded team this fall. Daniel Boone returns 2020 District 3 Qualifiers Luke Gehringer and Cory Miller from a team that finished 9-5 in 2020. Daniel Boone Boys are expecting another winning season in 2021.”
25. Dover – Dover may not have a senior in their top 7 this season. The team will also welcome a strong group of freshmen in 2021, making them a team to watch over the next several years. Jensen Glatfelter (jr) and Camdyn Buohl (jr) could both be top 20 finishers in the Y/A this season. Glatfelter was a district qualifier last fall. Caleb Hogan will likely make an impact as a freshman.
Coach Miller: “Dover’s cross country team is definitely looking to improve on their performances from last year. We expect to have much more depth to the team than last year. On the boys side, we only lost Tyler Rackley (22nd at the YAIAA meet and district qualifier) to graduation, but everyone else is back, including Camdyn Buohl, Jayce Corbin, Jensen Glatfelter (21st at the YAIAA meet and district qualifier), Ronan Mailey, Ryan Mitchell, and Bobby Repp. Newcomers like Caleb Hogan and Garrett Franks will be able to score and add that needed depth to our team. Rising freshman Caleb Hogan is projected to be one of our top runners.”
NR. Muhlenberg – Will be a rebuilding year for Muhlenberg as only 3 runners return from last year’s varsity. That said, they do have a strong #1 to help with the building process in Kyle Hernandez (sr). Hernandez has top 15 potential in the BCIAA this fall.
Coach Conrad: “The Muhlenberg boys and girls cross country team is in a rebuild for the 21-22 season. The team is young, with the majority of the runners being in their first or second year of running cross country. However, the team has a lot of young talent with a high ceiling, looking to set the foundation for years to come. The team also comes with the motivation to improve upon last year’s record. Some runners to look out for are Kyler Stoudt, Zachary Keith, Daniel Heydt, and Dante Fioravanti.”
NR. Northeastern -Return 4 from last year, including state medalist, Cole Perry (sr). Perry will battle for Y/A and District 3 titles this fall and could be a top 5-10 finisher at states. Wyatt Peeling (jr) is a solid #2 returner. Northeastern will likely be a young team this season. Look for Griffin Riddler (fr) to slide into one of the vacant varsity positions this fall.
Coach Lobianco: “We return four boys from last year’s top seven including Cole Perry who finished 15th at the AAA State Championships. Cole is looking to improve on last year’s success and compete for a top ten finish at states. We are adding two ninth grade athletes who will be competing for a varsity position, Griffin Ridler and Kaiden Helmeczi. Most of the varsity boys and several past JV athletes have been working hard toward a competitive 2021 season.”
NR. Penn Manor – Lose all-state performer Graham Thomas and LL League medalist Lou Lindsley to graduation. Kaleb Kabakjian (so) appears ready to take over #1 duties for the Comets this season. He ran a 4:39 1600m as a freshman last spring and could press for a top 15 finish at the league XC meet this fall. JT Hetrick (sr) will provide valuable senior leadership and experience to what could be a young roster.
Coach Ecker: “Top returning runners include Senior J.T. Hetrick, Junior Isaac Braegelman and Sophomore Kaleb Kabakjian. A majority of the boy’s team is made up of underclassmen with limited experience. Their goal is to improve their individual racing performance from last year and finish the year with a winning season.”
NR. Ephrata – Ephrata returns 5 from 2020, but the team has small numbers this season. The upperclassmen that return will need to push the newcomers to contribute early. Miles Campbell (jr) is the team’s top returning runner.
Coach Molchany: “Both our boys and girls teams are small, so staying healthy is going to be crucial for us. On the boys side, most of our top 5 has no varsity experience, but what they lack in experience, they have picked up in hard work and dedication. From a team standpoint, we may struggle early on with the lack of experience, but the focus is improving physically and mentally each day, and keep chipping away at fitness. Cayden Landis and Tanner Eshleman are my top newcomers. Cayden is an incoming ninth grader and has been very dedicated this summer and training. He was a solid junior high runner, but I think he has made great strides this summer. Tanner came out for the team last year, but was injured the entire season. He is a rising senior, but again, very dedicated and keeps chipping away at fitness, so I’m excited to see what he can do. A lot will be learning how to successfully race a 5k and finding his race plan by the time post season rolls around.”
NR. Lebanon – Graduation has hurt the Cedars over the past few years, but they are beginning to show more depth cycling through year after year. Caleb Hershey (sr) may be one of the most improved runners entering the 2021 season. He ran 9:50.42 for 3200m this past spring and has been running really well in road races this summer. Freshman Gavin Sheetz will likely contribute right away.
Coach Pearson: “Lebanon will be in a bit of a rebuild this year. Lost 3 of our top 5 from last year. This provides an excellent opportunity for some younger kids to step up and show some growth. Freshman, Gavin Sheetz had a nice spring track season as an 8th grader but I expect him to make an impact. He also will be hitting the links for the Cedar golf team. Senior, Caleb Hershey will look to continue to improve off of his solid track season. His summer training has gone well, and I’m excited to see what he can do this fall.”
NR. Garden Spot – An experienced group of 5 runners return for Garden Spot in 2021. Zane Kauffman (jr) and Alan Krock (jr) are the team’s top 2 returnees. They should gain valuable district experience this season.
Coach Tempone: “Our boys team has many senior athletes who along with their younger teammates have created a positive and hardworking environment. They are a dedicated group and hope to improve as a team and individually. I am excited to see how they work together this season to accomplish their goals.”
NR. Central Dauphin – TJ Roden (jr) will go for the individual District 3 title this season and should be aiming for a top 5-10 finish at states after medaling as sophomore in 2020. The Rams return 4 additional upperclassmen and could surprise this season.
NR. Palmyra – This will be a rebuilding season for Palmyra as they graduated 4 of their top 6 runners from 2020. 3 seniors return and should provide leadership for the underclassmen. Alex Nazeeri (sr) is the team’s top returnee and could be in position for a top 25-30 finish at Mid-Penns.
NR. CD East – Noah Spayd (sr) will lead a group of 4 returning runners. Spayd has progressed nicely over his high school career and could be in contention for a top 20-25 district finish. That type of finish will get him into states.
NR. Cedar Cliff – Cedar Cliff returns 6, including team #1 Jackson Green (sr). Green is a potential top 20 runner in the Mid-Penn. James Bechtel (jr) is a solid #2 returner. Freshman Isaac Burd could make an immediate impact.
NR. Red Lion – 6 athletes return from last season’s Y/A Championships. River Van Wicklen (jr) leads the way. He has top 20 potential in the Y/A this year.
NR. Northern – Northern returns a pack of 5 that were only separated by 52-seconds at Mid-Penn’s last fall. Forrest Dohner (sr) and Jack Little (jr) are the top two returnees.
NR. Elizabethtown – Nathan Johnson (sr) is Elizabethtown’s top returner this season. He could be pushed by freshman Dalton Fink. Fink was a top 20 finisher at the LL Junior High Championships as a 7th grader in 2019.
NR. Manheim Central – Central returns 4 seniors for 2021. The opportunity for some underclassmen to shine is there for the taking. Zeke Ruffner (sr), Michael Greenwald (sr), and Bailey Garman (sr) will run as a pack for the Barons this year.
NR. Cocalico – Senior Colin Knepper returns to pace the Eagles in 2021. 4 additional upperclassmen return to give Cocalico an experienced top 5.
NR. New Oxford – New Oxford graduated 5 from last season’s top 7. Neal Price (so) ran well as a freshman and will likely lead the Colonials in 2021.
NR. Red Land – Matt Johnson (sr) gives Red Land a strong #1 entering the season. He has top 15 potential in the Mid-Penn. Only 2 other athletes return from last year’s top 7.
NR. Shippensburg – The Greyhounds return 3 from last year. Isaiah Shively (sr) is the team’s top returner.
NR. York County School of Technology – Ethan Schuler (jr) is the top returner for YCST.