Boys Preview - PIAA District 1 Championships
- State Qualifying Spots For Teams: 1
Jenkintown is set for an encore this season in D1-A. The Drakes took the first five spots at the district meet last year en route to a perfect 15 points and district title. Jenkintown is possibly even better this season and poised for another perfect day at Lehigh.
Jack Miller, one of the top runners in the state, is the heavy favorite for the individual crown for a second straight season. Miller, along with Carter Geer, Pat Wagner, Luke Miller, and Travis Geer, make for a dynamite top five. Jenkintown is not only one of the best 1A teams, but one of the state's top overall squads. On Friday, they will look to take the top seven spots.
- State Qualifying Spots For Teams: 1
Shane Cohen will go for the repeat in the D1-AA race on Friday. The Lower Moreland senior dropped a nice PR and kicked to the win last year. He's a little less "under the radar" this time around and he'll be worth watching for on Friday.
Looking to give Cohen a run for his money will be the Pope John Paul II duo of Jack Brosius and Jack Phillips. Brosius is the only other boy in the field besides Cohen to have run sub-17 this season. Upper Moreland's Shane Coll and Pottsgrove's LaRee Hills will also be worth watching for in this race.
Pope John Paul II are the favorites to repeat as team champions. Last year, PJP beat out Holy Ghost Prep by a point for the lone states spot. Ghost has moved to AAA and PJP will be looking to hold off the likes of Pottsgrove and Lower Moreland for the win.
- State Qualifying Spots For Teams: 6
There's no clear-cut favorite for the individual title in District 1, so we'll get a very good race on Friday for the D1-AAA title. Among the best bets are a quartet of boys, who have run well all season long. Boyertown's Christian McComb (PAC champ), Unionville's Cole Walker (Ches-Mont champ), North Penn's Noah Demis (SOL Continental champ), and Downingtown West's Payton Sewall will battle it out. All four have posted impressive performances all season long, though rarely have they squared off head-to-head.
The wild card in this field is Bishop Shanahan's Jonah Hoey, the 4:17 miler, whose only finish this season was an impressive 9:41 3200 meter on the track at Henderson last week. Hoey will race on Friday, and he certainly can't be counted out.
Plenty of other individuals will likely look to mix it up with the favorites, knowing this is such an open field. West Chester East's Joshua Lewin, Haverford's Mike Donnelly, Cheltenham's Jason Cornelison, Lower Merion's Joey Litvin, Penncrest's Patrick Theveny, and Owen J. Roberts' Linus Blatz are among those contenders. The door, however, is open for any number of breakthrough performers that bring it on race day.
The team race is also very wide open. District 1 gets six state spots this year, up from five from last year. Downingtown West seems like the lone true lock in this field. The Whippets are the reigning D1-AAA champs and have some great depth with Sewall, Isaac Valderrabano, Aiden Barnhill, Kevin Wagner, and Ben Datte. D-West should be in line for its third district title in four years.
After that, it get wild in D1-AAA. Haverford has looked strong as of late, winning DELCO and CAL teams titles. Owen J. Roberts looked solid winning the Pioneer Athletic Conference last week. The same goes for Council Rock South, which had a terrific 1-5 spread in its winning SOL National effort. The Ches-Mont has some talented teams after D-West, including West Chester East, Unionville, and Great Valley, each of which could make a good run for the top six.
North Penn, Central Bucks East, Lower Merion, West Chester Henderson, Wissahickon, and Methacton could all find themselves looking at hotel rooms in the Hershey area come Friday afternoon. This is be really close and very competitive.