The defending team champions, Lower Dauphin, are back to defend their title without their top two runners from last season. Jeff Groh and Cole Nissley’s graduation will make Lower Dauphin’s shot at a repeat a tough challenge. Both runners finished in the top ten at PTXC 5 to lead them to the crown. So which teams are ready to step up and vie for the PTXC 6 title?
Severna Park (MD) were 2nd to Lower Dauphin last season by 15 points and are the current 4A Maryland state champions. They return two sub 16 minute runners from that team who can have a big impact in the race on Saturday. District 3 rivals Red Land and Cedar Crest are back to make a run at the Gold Race title. Both teams graduated their top two runners, which will make a return to the top five difficult. Altoona came close to defeating State College last weekend, but looked impressive in defeat.
Individually, Dominic Hockenbury of Lake-Lehman will be entering the Gold race as the favorite after his impressive start to the season. The junior tops the state list with his 15:51 performance last weekend. But he will have strong competition standing in his way, including the 2013 AAA cross country state runner up Colin Abert of Easton. Abert was 4th last season behind three seniors. Can he start his season on a high note against his district rival, or will Hockenbury’s hot streak be too much for Abert to handle? Brad Foust of Altoona had a good start to the season last week at Big Valley with a 3rd place finish. Severna Park bring two sub 16 minute runners to the race in Kevin Hines and Clay Whitney. Can one of them become the first non-PA boy to win the PTXC crown?
The Blue race will feature Hatboro Horsham senior Casey Comber. The 2013 season was a breakthrough season for Comber and he is the reigning champion from the PTXC 5 Blue race. Can he start the new season with a successful title defense? His efforts could also lead his team to the team title, one they just missed out on at PTXC 5 behind district rivals Coatesville. Both teams will be back to compete against each other on Saturday. A win for either side will be a good confidence boost going forward.
The chase for the individual girls’ championship has always been hotly contested and this season should be no different.
Mady Clahane of Cumberland Valley will be making her season debut at the Kutztown University layout. She finished 3rd in the Gold race last season ahead of Marissa Sheva of Pennridge. Saturday will be the rematch, and the first of what could be many matchups in the 2014-15 running year. Clahane has never finished worse than 5th in any PA race in her first two years. Can she continue that streak and overtake a determined Sheva?
Also joining the chase behind those two will be Parkland’s Mikayla Stoudt, who was 5th in this race a year ago. AAA 800 meter champion Maddie Villalba of Central Bucks West will also be back. She finished 11th last year, but started off this season well with a 4th place finish at John Sharp over the weekend. Lindsey Oremus just missed out on a victory last weekend at Cliff Robbins, but the senior will look for a big race at PTXC 6, following in the footsteps of former teammate Regan Rome.
With Pennsbury not entering PTXC 6, runners up Central Bucks West and Chambersburg will be back to improve on their PTXC 5 performances. They tied for 2nd at PTXC 5 with 158 points. CB West finished 2nd at the John Sharp Invite on Friday, while Chambersburg have yet to debut. Chambersburg has traditionally done well at this meet. Can they continue that streak on Saturday or will CB West flex their District 1 muscle and come out victorious?
The Blue race will feature one of the hot contenders for the Class A state championship on November 1. Central Cambria will make their return to PTXC after finishing 2nd last year by a single point behind Lower Dauphin. A majority of the Red Devils come back from their state bronze medal performance. Samantha Koss will lead the way for Central Cambria, but can they start the season with a win? Ella Breidenstein of Lower Dauphin was 2nd in this race last season and is the top returner.
A passionate and fierce competitor, Abbey D’Agostino is the most decorated athlete in Dartmouth history. Abbey’s accomplishments – along with her dedication and team player attitude – make her a perfect fit for Team NB. And as she kicks off her professional career, we look forward to helping her achieve her goals.
LEADING THE WAY TO EXCELLENT
1st Dartmouth Woman to Win a National Title (2012)
1st League Woman to Win the 3K, 5K and 10K at HEPS in a Career (2014)
1st Leaguer to Win the Cross Country National Championship (2013)
1st Woman to Ever Win Both the 3K and 5K at National Indoors Twice in a Career