PIAA XC Championship Preview: Class AAA Girls

Our PIAA State Championship Previews are sponsored by PCN. PCN is your headquarters for PIAA State Championship Coverage!

Live Championship Video Coverage from PCN

Learn more about PCN’s State Championship coverage here

Live Results

Projected top 5 Teams and top 10 Individuals

Here is a look at our top 5 team and top 10 individual projections. We also include projected finishes for Central PA Teams. Central PA state medal contenders are outlined below.

Team Top 5 Projections

North Allegheny is the heavy favorite but as many as 6 or 7 teams could battle it out for the 2nd podium position, including District 3 Champion Manheim Township.

Individual Top 10 Projections

Logan St. John Kletter only began her senior season on October 7th. She’s run 17:19-17:47 in each of the 4 races shes competed in so far this season. She won the District 7 title in 17:47 which was 6 seconds faster than Robin Kucler and 9 seconds faster than Eva Kynaston, both of North Allegheny. While this is a deep field we’d expect Olivia Cieslak to be the biggest challenger to St. John Kletter. Cieslak won the District 1 title in 17.35. Don’t count out District 3 Champion Ella Wolfe who has looked unstoppable in her last two outings winning both the District 3 and LL League titles with ease.

College Notes:

  • St. John Kletter is committed to the University of North Carolina
  • Wolfe is committed to the University of Arizona (triathlon)
  • Woehlcke is committed to the University of Virginia
  • Paci is committed to UConn
  • Kynaston is committed to Penn State
  • Miller is committed to Duquesne (triathlon)

Central PA State Medal Hopefuls (with recent performances):

Ella Wolfe, sr Hempfield – Has been outstanding over the past three weeks. She dominated the LL League Championship taking the lead from the beginning and she never looked back. She won in 18:12 which was 25 seconds faster than 2nd place finisher Elena Barrall (jr, Manheim Township). Her performance at District 3 was even more impressive. Running with the leaders through the first 2 miles she took control with a mile to go and won by 23 seconds over a very strong field that included Claire Paci, Kaitlyn Highduch, Gabby Keith, and Lydia Drago.

Claire Paci, sr Greencastle-Antrim – Paci has already won 3 state XC medals, finishing 4th-7th-7th over her first 3 seasons. She’ll look to win a 4th on Saturday and should contend for a top 5 finish. She was runner-up to Wolfe at District 3 running 18:23. She won the Mid-Penn title running 18:35 and was 3rd at Carlisle finishing in 18:15. She ran 17:54 to win the Ben Bloser Invite early in the season.

Kaitlyn Highduch, sr Governor Mifflin – Highduch placed 16th in the state as a freshman in 2020 but injuries over the next 2 seasons prevented her from competing at states. If not for injury she would likely be looking for her 4th state XC medal. She placed 3rd at District 3 in 18:31 and won the BCIAA title in 19:02. She finished 2nd at the Carlisle Invitational running a time of 18:06.

Gabby Keith, sr Exeter Township – Has finished no worse than 6th in major invitationals this season. She placed 4th at District 3 with a time of 18:35. She was 2nd at the Gettysburg Invitational (18:47), 5th at the Lehigh University Paul Short Run (18:26), and 6th at Ben Bloser (19:06). She’ll look to win her first PIAA medal this weekend. 

Lydia Drago, jr Governor Mifflin – Drago continues to improve and seems ready to challenge for a top 15 finish at states this Saturday. She placed 5th at District 3 running 18:51. She was runner-up to teammate Kaitlyn Highduch at BCIAAs (19:02). She ran her 5k PR when she placed 4th at the Carlisle Invitational in 18:19. 

Ana Bondy, so Carlisle – Has been getting stronger as the season has progressed. She has looked controlled in each race and always seem to have a strong finish to her races. She was 6th at District 3 with a time of 18:55. She was runner-up to Claire Paci at Mid Penns (18:51), placed 2nd at the William Tennent Invitational (18:25), and finished 10th at the Carlisle Invitational (18:51). Projection: top 20

Neila Granger, fr Dallastown – Granger has been one of the top freshman in the state this season. She placed 7th at District 3 (19:01) after winning the YAIAA title (19:12) a week and a half earlier. She was also 4th at the Gettysburg Invitational (19:17) and 7th at Lehigh University’s Paul Short Run (18:32). Projection: top 25

Ruby Garner-Valle, fr JP McCaskey – Battling Granger for CPAR Freshman of the Year honors is McCaskey’s Garner-Valle. She finished 6 seconds back of Granger at Districts to place 8th overall (19:07). She was 5th at the LL League Championships (19:09) and 10th at the PIAA Foundation Invitational (19:50). Projection: top 30

In a field with this much talent a lot of different individuals could finish within the top 25. Here are a few more state medal contenders from Central PA:

  • Sophia Kim, so Hershey
  • Isabella Shertzer, sr JP McCaskey – committed to Columbia University
  • Devon Jackson, so State College
  • Elena Barrall, jr Manheim Township
  • Gabby Thiry, sr JP McCaskey – committed to Gettysburg College
  • Chloe Poindexter, sr State College – committed to Howard University

Chloe Poindexter had a season breakout performance at the District 6 Championships winning in 18:44. Her time was 39 seconds faster than runner-up and teammate Devon Jackson. If she repeats that type of performance on Saturday she should win a state medal.