Briarwood Invitational - Meet Preview
Girls' Challenge Race - VIRTUAL MEET
Pearl River (NY)'s Mary Borkoski will be going for her fourth straight Briarwood victory. The senior has won in convincing fashion at Belmont Plateau each of the last three seasons. Saturday will be her last go at it in Philly. Central Bucks East's Mckenna Brophy and Episcopal's Caitlin Jorgensen could each challenge Borkoski for the top spot. Brophy has run a pair of strong races to start her 2018 XC season.
In the team race, it will be Pearl River and Central Bucks East fighting for the top spot. Pearl River won the Challenge Race with 35 points a year ago and five girls from that team are back this year.
Girls' Championship Race - VIRTUAL MEET
The team race in the girls' championship race on Saturday will likely come down to a pair of out-of-state squads. West Springfield (VA#3 per MileStat.com) and Indian Hills (NJ) will be the teams to watch for. Conestoga, Council Rock North, and North Penn are among the top PA teams in the field.
Indian Hills has a strong pair that are two of top returners from last year's Briarwood Invite -- Corinne Barney and Madeline Barney. Corinne was fourth last year and has a 17:46 to her name. Look for those two to work off each other near the front. West Springfield, meanwhile, will be led by Sarah Coleman, who was seventh at the VA state meet last year.
PA has two top 25-ranked girls that will look to spoil it for the out-of-staters. PA#21 Allyson Clarke of West Chester East will be making her invite debut on Saturday and will be looking for a strong start to her season. Neshaminy's Kaylee McCullough (PA#23) was an impressive fourth place at PTXC 10 last week and that is a good sign as she heads into another big race this weekend. Conestoga's Nia Goddard and North Penn's Maeve Gimbert will also be worth keeping an eye on in this field.
Boys' Challenge Race - VIRTUAL MEET
Central Bucks East should have a number of boys up near the front of the pack on Saturday. Seniors David Endres and Cade Sands are expected to lead the way. They will get a good race from Cheltenham's Jason Cornelison. The senior is making his season debut and should be worth watching for after a strong season last year. Cumberland Regional's Miguel Vera and Lawrenceville School's Robert Enck will also be in the mix.
Central Bucks East (PA#9) will look for another strong performance in the Challenge Race. The Lawrenceville School (NJ), Hasbrouck Heights (NJ), and West Deptford (NJ) will look to challenge East in what should be an exciting race.
Boys' Championship Race - VIRTUAL MEET
The reigning AAA state champs and PA#1 LaSalle College boys will make their season debut on Saturday at Belmont Plateau. Last year, the Explorers started their season with a commanding win at Briarwood last year and will look to do the same this year. LaSalle will be challenged, though. West Springfield (VA#7) will likely have a few lowsticks. PA#10 West Chester East will be making their season debut.
Other teams to watch for include North Penn, 2017 AAA state runners-up Council Rock North, Great Valley (fresh off a win at Abington last week), and Twin Valley in what should be a great Championship Race.
The race for the top individual spot will be close. The top returner from last year's race is Colin Kane of Delsea Regional (NJ). Kane was fifth last year at Briarwood. Look for the LaSalle boys to pack up. PA#23 Vincent Twomey and PA#24 Bradden Koors are among the top boys, and Ethan Maher and Jack Seiberlich should also get in the mix.
West Chester East's Joshua Lewin (PA Bubble), Great Valley's Seth Hoffritz, Twin Valley's Dylan Servis, North Penn's Noah Demis and Samir Razi, and West Springfield's Chris Weeks will also shoot for spots inside the top five.