The LL League hosted a terrific championship event today at Ephrata Middle School. Kudos to the event organizers, coaches, and athletes! For race videos visit centralparunner on Instagram.
The Hempfield boys and Manheim Township girls took home the team titles while Colin Whitaker (jr, Lampeter Strasburg) and Isabella Shertzer (jr, JP McCaskey) won the individual titles. Shertzer also won the title in 2021.
Coming into the day it looked like it would be a very close team battle between the Hempfield and Manheim Township boys. While it was close, it wasn’t that close. Each team’s top 3 runners did as expected, but the Black Knights 4-6 runners performed incredibly well. Hempfield put 6 guys in front of Manheim Township’s #4. Emerson Long (jr), Sam Freedman (jr), and Isaiah Hollinger (sr) won the title for Hempfield by placing 11th, 12th, and 16th respectively. Hempfield tallied 37 points to Manheim Township’s 59. Lampeter Strasburg was 3rd with 123 points.
Elena Barrall’s (so) runner-up finish and Manheim Township’s minimal spread between their #2-#5 runners helped to carry them to the team title. Only :45s separated team #2 Kaila Atteberry (fr, 8th place) and team #5 Macyn Fogleman (so, 27th place). Cedar Crest placed 5 inside the top 40 and got a 4th pace finish from freshman Eliana Schneider to earn them team runner-up. With 3 girl’s in the top 5, JP McCaskey brought home 3rd place.
Individually, Colin Whitaker took the lead about 3/4 of a mile in and never looked back. He went on to run the 2nd fastest time ever on this course at the LL League Championships (2008-present). Nathan Henderson ran 15:47 in 2015. Whitaker ran 15:49 today. Only 3 guys have ever broken 16-min on this course (Zach Lefever, Ephrata is the 3rd). Aidan Hodge (sr, Hempfield) passed teammate Joe Fahrney over the final 1k to run the 5th fastest time ever crossing the finish in 16:00. Fahrney’s time of 16:07 ties Graham Thomas (Penn Manor) for 9th fastest all-time. Here is the all-time top-time list from Solanco XC – click here.
The girls saw a lead pack of 7 form about a mile into the race. With about a mile to go, 4 girls began to break away and with a half mile to go, it was a 3 person race. Isabella Shertzer (jr, JP McCaskey), Elena Barrall (so, Manheim Township), and Gabby Thiry (jr, JP McCaskey) raced to the finish with Shertzer’s speed leading her to victory in 19:26. Barral finished 2nd in 19:29 with Thiry 3rd in 19:33. Milana Breuninger (sr, JP McCaskey) chased down Eliana Schneider (fr, Cedar Crest) over the final 1/4 mile but Schneider held onto her position to finish 4th by 1/10 of a second. Here is the link to the all-time girl’s top times at the LL League Championships – click here.