2021 Mid-Penn Conference XC Championships Preview

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The 2021 post-season kicks off with the Mid-Penn Conference Championships Saturday morning at Big Spring High School. The girls race at 10AM and the boys follow at 1045AM. Expect close team races on both sides and a loaded individual field, especially in the girls race.

This is the first year for the new District 3 qualifying standards. To recap, here is how to qualify for districts by classification:

Class AAA Girls – Top 7 teams and the top 21 individuals not on one of those teams

Class AA Girls – Top 4 teams and the top 12 individuals not on one of those teams

Class A Girls – Everyone advances

Class AAA Boys – Top 7 teams and the top 28 individuals not on one of those teams

Class AA Boys – Top 4 teams and the top 14 individuals not on one of those teams

Class A Boys – Everyone advances


Girls Preview

Mechanicsburg, Hershey, Chambersburg, Cumberland Valley, and District 6’s State College all appear to have the firepower to contend for the overall team title. Mechanicsburg probably enters as the hottest team in the conference. They have been running lights out since Paul Short and look to be the team to beat. Hershey and State College will likely give Mechanicsburg a strong challenge. State College will face their toughest competition until states this weekend. They appear to be a lock to take home the District 6 title in a couple of weeks.

Here is how we project the team race (by class) to play out for District 3 team qualification:

Individually, look for Claire Paci (so, Greencastle-Antrim), Olivia Walter (sr, Mechanicsburg), Camy Kiser (jr, Chambersburg), and Vanessa Alder (jr, Carlisle) to contend for the overall title. Paci finished ahead of Kiser at the Carlisle Invitational by 9-seconds in their one showdown this season. This will be the first time either have raced Mechanicsburg’s Walter. Walter has made big gains in her XC running as a senior this season. Adler won the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invite very early in the season in 18:39 and should also contend for the title. Hershey’s Brooke Preputnick (jr), Mechanicsburg’s Hope McKenney (sr), Mifflin County’s Kylee Cubbison, and State College Area’s Marlee Kwasnica will also contend for a top 5 finish. Cubbison and Kwasnica look set for an upcoming showdown for the District 6 title.

Here is a look at 12 individuals likely to challenge for a top 10 finish (in alphabetical order – you make the pick!):

I am missing some results from dual meets and/or I ran out of time to update during that week! Purple are District 6 athletes

Boys Preview

This could be an incredibly close team race between Carlisle, Hershey, Chambersburg, and State College. Cumberland Valley has a recent track record of performing well in the post-season and the Mechanicsburg boys (like there girls team) have been coming on of late. Both could also be in the mix for the team title. Carlisle enters as the favorite.

Here is how we project the team race (by class) to play out for District 3 team qualification:

Weber Long (sr, Greencastle-Antrim) recently committed to Wake Forest. Having the stress of picking a college off of his plate should give him the focus he needs to make a strong post-season run. He’s our pick to take home the individual title on Saturday. He should get pushed, however, by Central Dauphin’s TJ Roden (jr), Hershey’s Dillan O’Shell (sr), and the Carlisle duo of Ray Bondy (sr) and Kevin Shank (sr). Two other athletes who appear to be rounding into post-season form are Trinity’s Jasper Burd (sr) and Cumberland Valley’s Jordan Tiday (jr). State College teammates Trent Dinant (sr), Charles Endres (sr), and Nick Sloff (jr) could also factor into the top 5 and look to be the top 3 challengers out of District 6.

Here is a look at 15 individuals likely to challenge for a top 10 finish (in alphabetical order – you make the pick!):

I am missing some results from dual meets and/or I ran out of time to update during that week! Red are District 6 athletes