Saturday in Hershey, at the PIAA Cross Country Championships, has the potential to be a very big day for the Lackawanna League, in particular, and District 2, in general. A number of teams and individual runners are expected to do well.
Montrose boys (Class 1A), Holy Cross girls (Class 1A) and Scranton Prep girls (Class 2A) are among the top contenders in their respective classes. Dallas boys are seeking their third straight state championship in Class 2A.
Individually, Abington Heights senior Katie Dammer is one of the favorites to win the Class 3A girls race. Wallenpaupack junior Tyler Wirth is a contender in Class 3A boys, while others such as Western Wayne senior Jake Pasake (Class 2A boys), Holy Cross sophomore Andrew Healey (Class 1A boys) and Elk Lake junior Shayanne Bennett and sophomore Sadie Bosscher (Class 1A girls) are considered medal contenders if they finish in the top 25 in their respective races.
It all begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Class A girls race. Weather forecast looks good: Sun in the morning, increasing clouds in the afternoon, high of 57 degrees with winds out of the east at 5-10 mph and little-to-no chance of precipitation (0-5%).
Here is a link to the course map, courtesy of the PIAA website.
A look at each of the six competing classes:
CLASS 1A GIRLS
Start: 9:30 a.m.
Last year’s champions: District 6 Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy (team); Sera Mazza, District 6 Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy (individual)
Top returning finisher: Mazza
District 2 qualifiers: Holy Cross (Lexi Walsh, Molly Repecki, Abby Sempa, Alex Tomaine, Mollie Burda, Ericka Pica, Emily Ferguson, Virginia McDonough); Shayanne Bennett, Sadie Bosscher, Elk Lake; Victoria James, Madison Swanchak, Lackawanna Trail; April Kupsky, Wyoming Seminary
Around the state: Saint Joseph’s Catholic Academy is seeking its third straight state title. It won the District 6 championship this year behind the 1-2 finish of junior Julia Cusatis (18:52.80) and Mazza (18:54.90). Cusatis finished 30th at last year’s state meet. … Marian senior Tina Capparell won the District 11 title in 19:42.88 and Pine Grove junior Christina DiFalco finished second in 20:49.29. Last year at states, DiFalco placed second and Capparell was fourth. … New Brighton senior Alyssa Campbell, who was third last year at states, took second at the District 7 meet in 19:26 behind Our Lady of Sacred Heart sophomore Haley Hamilton (19:03). … Warrior Run freshman Lauren Trapani won the District 4 title in 19:04. … Senior Emma Seifried of Sacred Heart Academy finished third at the District 1 Championships. Seifried was seventh at last year’s state meet. … Northern Potter sophomore Danielle Perry won the District 9 title in 19:47. Perry finished 19th last year at states. … After missing the second half of her junior year with an illness, Holy Cross senior Lexi Walsh recapture the District 2 title she won as a sophomore. That year, she was eighth at states.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
Start: 10:15 a.m.
Last year’s champions: District 10 Villa Maria (team); Taryn Parks, District 3 Greencastle-Antrim (individual)
Top returning finisher: Parks
District 2 qualifiers: Scranton Prep (Mia Bellucci, Adiya Golden, Abby Bowen, Anna Brier, Kate Welby, Allison Walsh, Frances Doherty, Katherine Malone); Dallas (Megan Borton, Kaitlyn Hodakowski, Madison Baloga, Abby Zolnar, Grace Jarden, Emily Finnegan, Rebecca Balara, Shreena Patel); Anna Capaci, Lindsey Williams, Holy Redeemer; Mackenzie LaMorte, Honesdale; Jade Fry, Jace Garnick, Abby Paczewski, Lake-Lehman; Georgia Smith, Montrose; Santina Burak, Valley View; Anya Rusnak, Annie Skirpan, Western Wayne.
Around the State: Parks finished third at this year’s District 3 Championships in 18:25. Northern sophomore Marlee Starliper won the district title in 17:25. She was second last year at states. Eastern York’s Maddie McLain, who place sixth last year at states, was second in District 3 in 18:20. Rebecca Snyder, third last year at states, was fourth in District 3 in 19:14. … Allentown Central Catholic senior Emily Deschler won the District 11 title in 19:20.94. Deschler took fifth at states last year. … District 10 champion Villa Maria is seeking its fourth straight state title. Senior Lexi Seifert was second at the district meet in 19:25; she placed 25th last year at states. … Danville claimed the District 4 title with 36 points behind the 2-3 finish of junior Elaina Klinger (19:40) and sophomore Emma Mikita (19:41). Klinger placed 13th last year at states. … Forest Hills edged Central Cambria, 41-46, for the District 6 title. Junior Emily Montag led the way for Forest Hills, winning the individual district title in 19:43.40. … Quaker Valley sophomore Annie Wicker won the District 7 title in 19:15. Wicker finished 24th at states last year. … Holy Redeemer senior Lindsey Williams placed 23rd at states last year. … Scranton Prep junior Mia Bellucci, the District 2 individual champion, finished 37th last year at states.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Start: 11 a.m.
Last year’s champions: District 12 Cardinal O’Hara (team); Aislinn Devlin, District 1 Downingtown West (individual)
Top returning finisher: Clara Savchik, District 7 North Allegheny (2nd)
District 2 qualifiers: Abington Heights (Katie Dammer, Abby Marion, Hannah Hughes, Sarah Bath, Emma Marion, Erika Beehan, Modupe Osuntokun, Emma Arburkle); Laina Bogusta, Delaware Valley; Katie Balay, Hazleton Area; Nicole Zambetti, Pittston Area; Katie Shea, Scranton; Sam Killiany, Wallenpaupack
Around the State: After Savchik, the next top returning finisher is Abington Heights senior Katie Dammer, who placed sixth last year. Dammer is the two-time District 2 champion. … Savchik finished third this year at the District 7 Championships in 18:20. Oakland Catholic junior Hannah Schupansky won the district title in 17:58. … North Penn senior Ariana Gardizy won the District 1 title in 18:09. Gardizy finished ninth last year at states. … Chambersburg senior Abby Yourkavitch won the District 3 title in 18:23. Last year at states, she finished 10th. Cocalico senior Jamie Zamrin, who was eighth last year at states, placed fifth at the District 3 meet in 19:11. Also at the District 3 meet: Dallastown sophomore Emily Schuler (16th last year at states) was second in 18:32 and Hershey senior Andie Demko (25th) was third in 18:39. … Easton junior Lauren Maddison won the District 11 title in 19:30.88. … Cardinal O’Hara senior Elizabeth Mancini won the District 12 title in 19:08.20. She was 19th last year at states.
CLASS 1A BOYS
Start: 11:45 a.m.
Last year’s champions: District 7 Winchester Thurston (team); Noah Curtin, District 10 Mercyhurst Prep (individual)
Top returning finisher: Tristan Forsythe, District 7 Winchester Thurston (3rd)
District 2 qualifiers: Montrose (Brandon Curley, Liam Mead, Colin Spellman, Max Brewer, Eric Bixby, Jerome Washo, Nick Coy, Damien Riley); Peyton Jones, Cody Oswald, Elk Lake; Andrew Healey, Holy Cross; Noah Chup, Zach Reeves, Lakeland
Around the State: Forsythe, a senior, won the District 7 individual title in 16:21. … Jenkintown had the top five finishers at the District 1 Championships to win the team title, led by junior Jack Miller. Last year at states, Miller finished 11th. Senior teammate Joshua Jackson was second at the district meet. Jackson was 24th last year at states. … Penns Valley had five of the top eight finishers at the District 6 meet (2-3-4-7-8) to capture the team title. Senior Chris Colwell led the way, placing second in 16:23.80. Colwell was 21st last year at states. … Elk County Catholic sophomore Ben Hoffman won the District 9 title in 16:46. Last year at states, Hoffman just missed at medal, finishing 27th. … Montrose senior Brandon Curley, the District 2 champion, finished 61st last year at states. Holy Cross sophomore Andrew Healey was 33rd last year at states, while the Elk Lake duo of junior Peyton Jones and senior Cody Oswald were 41st and 42nd, respectively.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Start: 12:30 p.m.
Last year’s champions: District 2 Dallas (team); Ben Bumgarner, District 7 Waynesburg Central (individual)
Top returning finisher: Isaac Davis, District 4 Jersey Shore (3rd)
District 2 qualifiers: Dallas (Jack Zardecki, Mitchell Rome, Josh Wyandt, Adam Borton, Josh Jarden, Noah Cooper, Tony Caravaggio, Thaddeus Mead);
Holy Redeemer (Connor Stevens, Bryce Zapusak, Scott Williams, Dominic Capaci, George Strish, Lucas Volpetti, Nick Pikul, Chris Hine); Mitchell Martin, Berwick; Matthew Brunetti, Clay Kimsal, Kyle Price, Crestwood; Dustin Edsall, David Mead, Honesdale; Nicholas Gershey, Justin Goodrich, Kerry Lyons, Scranton Prep; Jake Pasake, Western Wayne
Around the State: Dallas will try to win its third consecutive state crown. Senior Jack Zardecki, the District 2 champion, leads the Mountaineers. He finished seventh last year at states. … Jersey Shore senior Isaac Davis won the District 4 title in 15:58. Loyalsock senior Quinn Serfass was second at the District 4 meet in 16:15. He was 10th last year at states. … South Fayette senior Sam Snodgrass won the District 7 title in 16:33 Snodgrass placed sixth at states last year. … Harbor Creek won the District 10 title with 38 points. Junior Ryan Starvaggi led the way, finishing second in 15:58. Starvaggi was 20th at states last year. … Led by junior John Koons’ winning time of 16:42.69, Notre Dame Green Pond captured the District 11 team title. Koons was 25th at states last year. … Senior Anthony Harper of Monsignor Bonner & Archbishop Prendergast won the District 12 title in 17:16.40. Harper finished 14th last year at states. … Senior Bryce Ohl of York Suburban won the District 3 title in 16:14. Ohl was eighth last year at states. … Western Wayne senior Jake Pasake is a three-time state qualifier. Last year, he earned a medal with a 12th-place finish.
CLASS 3A BOYS
Start: 1:15 p.m.
Last year’s champions: District 1 Council Rock North (team); Noah Affolder, District 3 Carlisle (individual)
Top returning finisher: Noah Beveridge, District 7 Butler (5th)
District 2 qualifiers: Wallenpaupack (Tyler Wirth, Thomas Johnson, Deiter Burckes, Stephen Kober, Jack Monte, Kyle Kellstrom, Seth Brown, Nikkos Saviolis); Kyle Burke, Dan Uhranowsky, Abington Heights; Franklin Cunningham, Hazleton Area; Josh Christianson, Scranton
Around the State: Beveridge, a Syracuse University commit, won the District 7 title in 15:47. … Neshaminy senior Rusty Kujdych won the District 1 title in 15:11. Kujdych was 10th last year at states. … Also at the District 1 meet, Council Rock North senior Ryan Campbell was fourth in 15:29. Campbell was seventh at states last year. … Mechanicsburg senior Morgan Cupp won the District 3 title in 16:04. He was 13th last year at states. … State College senior Michael Etter won the District 6 title in 15:43.20. … Seniors Tavonne Davis (16:04) and Ethan Hermann (16:13) finished 1-2 for Taylor Allderdice at the District 8 Championships. … Southern Lehigh senior Colin Cramer won the District 11 title in 16:30.53. … LaSalle College senior Evan Addison won the District 12 title in 16:29.20. … Wallenpaupack junior Tyler Wirth won the District 2 title in 16:12.63 and is making his first trip to states. Senior teammate Thomas Johnson is a three-time state qualifier. He finished 204th as a sophomore and 153rd as a junior in the tough Class 3A field. … Last year at states, Abington Heights seniors Dan Uhranowsky and Kyle Burke finished 122nd and 144th, respectively.
— SCOTT WALSH