Jonah Powell got his first state title, besting a strong group of challengers in a close AA race. Greensburg Salem, meanwhile, rose to the top of the podium with a terrific performance on the team side.
The senior went 16:29 for the win. It was a race that saw the lead change hands multiple times, particularly in the final mile. Powell broke free in the final half mile to win his first title.
Juniata's Garrett Baublitz took second in 16:36, improving on his ninth place finish from last year. General McLane's Nate Price took third, closing out his PIAA season on a high note. Price went 16:42. Dallas' Mitchell Rome, who led on the final road crossing, came in fourth in 16:45.
Greensburg Salem brought its best on Saturday, and no one could match the Lions' A game in AA.
The Lions scored 63 points, 37 points better than second, to seal the state title for the Greensburg Salem boys. Cameron Binda led the way with a fifth place finish. Mark Brown was 11th, and Dylan Binda was 21st, making it three medalists for GS. Ethan Kelley (39th) and Mason Jobe (60th) ran strong races to round out the scoring for the champs.
There was no match for Greensburg Salem's mix if frontrunning and depth.
Indiana Area was very impressive, taking second in the team race with its top five in between spots 28 and 52 and just a 16-second spread. Indiana scored 100 points, and 5 of 7 will be back next year It was a big day for the WPIAL in AA with the three qualifying teams taking 1-2-7 (New Castle was seventh).
Grove City Area, paced by Powell's one-stick, was third with 119 points. Lewisburg Area, which returns its whole top 7 next year was fourth (136 points), followed by fifth place Holy Redeemer (197 points)