Returning junior Adam Shrawder was 17th in 2006 for the PA#1 AA West Middlesex team.
It's that time of the year again. Time to hit the trail for 10 mile runs, and the hills for endless repeats. Time to pull on the spikes and kick up the dirt. Time to push your body to the limit, and still keep going. Yes it's cross country time again... let the races begin!
AA Boys Team
As for the PIAA championships, the favorite looks to be last year's champion, West Middlesex, who return 6 of their runners from. Also running for the top spot is District 10 rival General McLane (7 returners), whose tight spread will help them challenge Middlesex at a large championship type event. Devon Prep (5 returners), Tulpehocken (3 returners), and York Suburban (4 returners) round out the top 5 returning teams. North East had a good track season in the distance events, and their leader, Garret Gray, should be looking for a top finish in the individual race.
Terrence Lee, Engineering & Science,
was 11th, the top AA returner.
AA Boys Individuals
With the top 10 boys AA place winners graduated, the race for individual champion is literally wide open. There are a host of runners who have the potential to place in the top 10 of this race with a solid summer of preparation. The top returner is Terrence Lee from Engineering and Science, who ran a 4:22 1600 this spring. Also in the hunt will be Alex Zubey of Tamaqua (4:24), Garrett Gray of North East, Mike Stone of Wyomissing, Joe Beveridge of Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg (9:36), Garth Watson of Canton (9:40), and Ethan Laudermilch of Northeast Bradford (4:35).
AAA Boys Team
North Allegheny is the team to beat in the AAA race this year. They return 6 runners from last years team with the addition of a talented frosh plus a strong junior class. Making them even better is the re-addition of Patrick Morgan who spent the past year in Germany in a student exchange program. Morgan returned to the U.S. in July, and brings a resume that includes a state medal as a sophomore.
Senior Matt Jacob leads a veteran, recharged, refocused
North Allegheny team, trying to return to the #1 spot in PA
after a ten-year drought.
Also looking strong is Upper Dublin, who return 5 runners with a 17-second compression. Rounding out the top 6 returning teams are West Chester Henderson, Hatboro-Horsham, Seneca Valley, and Mt. Lebanon, all of which return 4 or more runners. West Chester East, Coatesville, Cumberland Valley, and Cedar Cliff are powerhouses that don't rebuild, they reload, and can't be counted out of the top 10. North Penn should challenge as well.
AAA Boys Individuals
A thrilling race should develop at the front of this year's pack with two sub-4:12 1600 meter runners and three sub-9:20 3200 meter runners leading the way. Senior Vince McNally tops the list of returners with his last chance at a state cross country title. He comes with the speed (4:11) and the endurance (9:23) to get the job done. He also is coming into the season with a full year of training after a late start in 2006 because of biomechanical problems that have been resolved.
Vince McNally (right), nearly caught Chris Aldrich at the line
in 2006. His 4:11 in the spring gives him a slight edge.
On his heels will be Henderson senior Chris Aldrich (4:16), who finished just ahead of McNally in 2006. Also in the hunt will be T.J. Hobart, a junior with the stride of Galen Rupp, but with more range. T.J. comes into the season with a 4:11.7 1600 and a 48.4 400m relay split, making him dangerous down the final straight of any cross country course. But this is far from a two man race with Greg Kareis (9:15), Chris Cipro (9:19), Mark Dennin (9:19), and Nick Crits (4:13) all posting times that show that they belong at the top of the cross country pile this fall. Also notable are Trevor Van Ackeren (4:15), and Chris Bodary (4:19). Hobart's Baldwin teammate, senior David Adley has shown some pre-season fitness that will surprise more than a few competitors this fall.
Germantown Friends looks like a very strong cross country team this year with Max Kaulbach (15:24.07), Isaac Ortiz (15:33.72), and Jake McKenzie (15:43.29) all running fast 5k's this past track season. Germantown Friends begins the season as PA#2 behind North Allegheny.