The Carlisle Invitational has become one of the area’s largest over the last several years and this year will be no different. 80 teams from 5 states will converge upon Carlisle High School for the 28th edition of this invite. Carlisle’s course offers runners an opportunity to run a fast 5k on a spectator friendly course, making it an athlete and fan favorite. There are two divisions at Carlisle. The “Champions Race” usually features schools with smaller enrollment while the “Challenge Race” features larger schools.
Here we highlight the District 3 and 6 competitors in both fields.
Champions Race – 11:30AM
Central Cambria enters Saturday as your favorite in the Boy’s Champions Race. The District 6 powerhouse has run well early in the season and will look to make a statement this weekend. The Annville-Cleona boys have been one of my surprise teams this season and they recently moved up to #5 in the CPAR class AA Team Rankings. Trinity enters Saturday as the #1 ranked team in District 3 class A. #3 ranked Kutztown will look to keep it close with the Shamrocks.
Individually, those with top 5 potential include:
Adam Lechleitner, sr Central Cambria – Ran a 16:43 in finishing 5th in his division at the Red, White, and Blue Classic.
Michael Singley, sr Susquenita – Placed 7th at Big Valley with his 16:51. Placed 10th in class AA at last weekend’s Ben Bloser Invite, running a time of 17:06.
Elijah McKell, sr East Pennsboro – Finished just behind Singley at Big Valley in 16:53. Finished just ahead of Singley at Ben Bloser to place 9th with a 17:05 performance.
Challenge Race – 12:30PM
5 of the state’s top 10 teams, per PAMilesplit, will be competing in this one – #2 Hempfield, #3 LaSalle College HS, #6 Butler, #7 Carlisle, and #9 Lewisburg. This will be a great test for Hempfield and Carlisle who are ranked #1 and #2 in our District 3 class AAA Team Rankings. Other class AAA schools ranked amongst our District 3 AAA top 12 include: Hershey (#6), Chambersburg (#7), and Cumberland Valley (#10). JP McCaskey is knocking on the door of the rankings and they too are in this race. Greencastle-Antrim and Susquehannock, ranked #2 and #3 in District 3 class AA are also competing in this division.
Individually, this one is absolutely loaded up front. CJ Singleton of Butler is the state’s top returning performing from the class AAA state championships. Jacob Hess (sr, Lewisburg) and Weber Long (sr, Greencastle-Antrim) are the #2 and #3 returnees in class AA. In addition, University of Oregon commit Larry Josh Edwards is also in the field, competing for University High out of West Virgina. Let’s take a look at our local contingent looking for top 20 finishes this weekend, starting with Weber Long.
Weber Long – The Wake Forest University commit ran last weekend in Raleigh at the Adidas XC Challenge and finished 16th in 15:57. Look for him to challenge for the individual title.
Aidan Hodge, jr Hempfield – Won the Keystone Cup on his home course in 16:07 the first weekend of the season. Just this week, he lowered his own course record in a regular season meet, running 15:31! Hodge won the overall title at the Unionville 2-mile Bash in 9:44. He was 21st in the state last season, but looking to move into the top 10 this year.
Caleb Hershey, sr Lebanon – This has been a breakout season for the Lebanon senior. He finished 2nd at the LVC Invite, running 15:59. He then placed 2nd to Aidan Hodge at Hempfield this past Tuesday running 15:39!
(PS – talked to a few athletes from different teams who have run at Hempfield this season, and all of their GPS have shown the course to be between 3.06-3.11 miles; so, its legit :)).
Ray Bondy, sr Carlisle – Bondy is another athlete having a breakout XC season. He placed 2nd to Larry Josh Edward at the PSU Spiked Shoe Invitational running 15:52.
Matthew O’Brien, jr Susquehannock – Finished 2nd in the class A/AA race at Ben Bloser, running a very solid 16:06. Look for him to go sub-16 at Carlisle. He placed 25th in class AA at the state championships last year. A top 10 finish seems very possible this season.
Ben Blough, jr JP McCaskey – Another athlete enjoying a breakout XC season. Blough was 5th at the Unionville 2-Mile Bash and placed 5th last weekend at Ben Bloser, running 16:25.
Dillan O’Shell, sr Hershey – Following up his strong spring track season with a solid start to his fall XC season. He was 14th at PTXC 12.2 running 16:30.
Cole Perry, sr Northeastern – Finished one spot behind O’Shell at PTXC 12.2 to place 15th while running 16:31. He finished 15th in class AAA at the state championships last fall.
Kevin Shank, jr Carlisle – Was 5th at the Harry Groves Spike Shoe Invitational at PSU with a 16:11 performance.
Jordan Tiday, jr Cumberland Valley – Finished 20th at PTXC 12.2 running 16:49. He finished 13th at the AAA state meet last November.
Others with medal winning aspirations at Carlisle this weekend include: Andrew Diehl (jr, Carlisle), Nick Monheim (sr, Chambersburg), Joe Fahrney (jr, Hempfield), and Dale Winand (sr, Hempfield).