PIAA XC Championship Preview: Class AA Boys

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Projected top 5 Teams and Individuals

Here is a look at our top 5 team and individual projections. We also include projected finishes for Central PA Teams. Central PA state medal contenders are outlined below.

Team Top 5 Projections

Should be an awesome battle between Grove City and Hampton. Both squads could make the argument that they are the #1 team in the state, regardless of Class.

Individual Top 5 Projections

Pajak and Whitaker Round 2 should be a good one. Pajak took the win over Whitaker at Paul Short by 11 seconds. Whitaker has been working on going out hard in anticipation of a fast opening mile at states. Look for this one to stay close through the final mile. How often do you get to watch 2 returning Champs (Footlocker) National XC Finalists square off for a state title?

In case you didn’t already know, Class AA is absolutely loaded this year, especially within the top 10.

Central PA State Medal Contenders (with recent performances):

Colin Whitaker, sr Lampeter Strasburg – Whitaker has been fantastic this year and it feels as though his season has been building to this showdown with Ringgold’s Ryan Pajak. The two will be teammates at Notre Dame in a year but for now will compete against each other for the Class AA Championship. Whitaker most recently ran away with the District 3 (15:39) and LL League (15:14) titles. He finished 2nd to Pajak at the Lehigh University Paul Short Run running 15:18. He was 4th at the state meet in 2022. Projection: top 2

Andrew Namatka, sr East Pennsboro – Namatka has finished 2nd or 3rd in 6 different invitationals this season. He finished 2nd to Whitaker at the District 3 Championships running 16:28. He placed 12th at Mid-Penns (16:30). He ran 16:18 to place 3rd in the Paul Short “White” Race (16:18). He was also 3rd at Gettysburg (16:18), 2nd at Carlisle (16:25), 3rd at Ben Bloser (16:18), 3rd at Big Valley (16:12), and 2nd at the Hershey Run for Chocolate (17:10). Projection: top 12

Wyatt Stroup, jr Juniata – Stroup won the District 6 title running 16:16. He also won the TVAA League title in 16:44. He placed 4th at Paul Short (White) in 16:19 and was 9th at PIAA Foundation in 17:02. Projection: top 12

David Giles, sr Wyomissing – David Giles won the 2023 BCIAA Champion (16:20). Last weekend he ran 16:32 to finish 3rd at Districts. He was 7th at the Lehigh University Paul Short Run (16:24). Projection: top 15

Tyler Shunk, sr Northern Lebanon – Placed 4th at the District 3 Championships running 16:51 to help lead his team to a surprise 2nd place finish. He was 14th at the LL League Championships (16:28) and 4th at the Gettysburg Invitational (16:21). Projection: top 30

Alexander Crist, sr Bellefonte – Finished 3rd at the District 6 Championships (16:27) after finishing runner-up to Class A favorite Tyler Rader at LHACs. 

Ryan Gourley, so Oley Valley – Has been one of the top underclassmen this fall. He finished 5th at Districts (16:53) and 5th at BCIAAs (16:52). He placed 6th at Carlisle running 16:45. 

Peyton Small, sr Littlestown – Small was 6th at the District 3 Championships (16:58) and 3rd at YAIAAs (16:45). Ran on the states course at PIAA Foundation and placed 29th in 17:39. 

Sean Carpenter, sr Fleetwood – Carpenter was 7th at District 3 (16:59) and 10th at BCIAAs (17:16).