After coming up short for state glory in 2013, North Allegheny and Cardinal O'Hara have been favored to stay on track as two of the best teams in the NXN Northeast Region in 2014!
North Allegheny received the #4 ranking on the top 25 list, as they will be returning 4 of their top 5 runners, the core of their success last season thanks to their incredible pack running. Matt McGoey, Seamus Love, Hunter Wharrey, and Scott Steel will hope that replicating their 2013 form will result in big rewards. Cardinal O'Hara are right behind them on this list at #5 after a 3rd place finish in 2013. The 2012 NXN finalists will have Kevin James back for his senior season. James will lead the likes of Drew Pastore, Ryan James, and Rob Morro back into the mix for that long elusive first state title win in cross country. O'Hara has finished in the top three for 4 straight seasons and will be looking to make it 5 in a row this season.
Up and comers Conestoga (#10), Downingtown West (#12), Pennsbury (#20) and Malvern Prep (#24) round out the list for the PA squads. Conestoga impressed late in cross country, led by Andrew Marston, who will be back to lead last year's 7th place team. Despite not qualifying for states out of District 1 last season, Downingtown West bring back their top six from their 8th place district finish. Drew Alansky and Ryan Barton ran in the top two for Downingtown West as freshmen and will hope to make big strides in 2014. Pennsbury will look to make a return trip to the state meet after a 4th place district finish. Sam Webb has proved to be one of the top guys in the state after a great 2013-14 year. Inter-Ac and Independent School State Champions Malvern Prep make the list at 24, with a talented group led by Jaxson Hoey, his brother Josh and Billy McDevitt. Jaxson will be one of the runners to watch in 2014 after a big sophomore campaign that saw him run 1:54/4:15/9:09 in the 800/1600/2 mile.
You can check out the entire boys top 25 list for the NXN Northeast Region here.