Fast Times Coming At Lehigh: Paul Short Preview

Girls' Brown Race Preview - Paul Short Run


Friends' Central's Lydia Russell returns to action this weekend to start off her October after what was a huge September for the junior. She won at Briarwood and then went 17:19 to win at the George School. Now she heads to the fast course at Lehigh with a chance at another fast time and against the deepest field she will have faced yet this season.

Russell will have a shot at the 13-year-old meet record, a 17:03 by Aislinn Ryan of Warwick Valley (NY), set back in 2005. Keep an eye on the clock.

The field is strong after Russell, with a mix of PA talent and a host of out-of-staters that should make a run to the front and challenge the 18-minute barrier on a good day.

Cedar Crest's Gwyneth Young will be one to watch. The junior was second (to Marlee Starliper) at LVC and then won at Big Spring. Young is running better than her sophomore season that resulted in a sixth place state finish and should compete for another high finish. Northeastern's Margaret Carroll was second to Young in a photo finish at Big Spring. She was fourth at Carlisle and having a terrific season. She should be up with the leaders, too.

Isabelle Goldstein of Germantown Academy was second to Russell at the George School, running a 5K PR of 18:18. She's in a good spot to drop another good race Saturday. The same goes for Blue Mountain's Olivia Haas. She has two wins already this season, and should go after a sub-18 time on Lehigh's 5K. Neshaminy's Kaylee McCullough and Penn Charter's Emma Zwall are among the other top 25-ranked girls in the loaded Brown Race field.

Juliette Whittaker of Mount De Sales (MD) has won at two invites this season and was third at the loaded Oatlands Invite in VA. She should be in contention for a high finish. Cornwall (NY)'s Karrie Baloga will be a serious factor. She dropped a 10:35 3K at Bowdoin last week to win by nearly two minutes. Expect the freshman to be up near the front in her first 5K of the season (she went 19:02 to win at Carlisle last year as an eighth grader). Baloga is also the eighth grade national record holder in the 2K steeple, having run 6:43 a year ago.

Two of Pennsylvania's top freshmen -- Claire Zubey of Owen J. Roberts and Summer Watts of Perkiomen Valley -- are in the field. After strong races at Foundation, both should be in line for big breakouts (and big PRs) here.

Among the others to watch for in the Brown Race are Ciara Conboy (Stroudsburg), Rebecca Wusinich (Friends' Central), Micah Trusty (Friends' Central), Roshni Singh (Bay Shore), Caryn Rippey (Wilson), Hope McKenney (Mechanicsburg Area), and Delaney O'Sullivan (Perkiomen Valley).


Plenty of top teams will toe the line at Lehigh for the Brown Race. PA No. 6 Northeastern has a quick turnaround after a strong sixth place finish a week earlier at Carlisle. Led by Carroll, and with some talented medal contenders after her, this will be a tough team to beat.

A number of teams are just on the cusp of the top 10 in PA's team rankings. Friends' Central is the state's top independent school. With the lowstick in Russell and some other strong runners after her, the Phoenix will be a factor in its biggest test of the season. Avon Grove returns to action and should be strong with its depth. Wilson (3) wasn't far off Northeastern at Big Spring earlier this season -- expect the Bulldogs to compete well for that top spot. Perkiomen Valley was fourth in an impressive 5K invite debut at Foundation a few weeks ago. The Vikings could very well win the Brown Race, led by its strong frosh Watts.

New York squads Cornwall and Niskayuna should compete for high finishes. Exeter Township, Germantown Academy, Owen J. Roberts, and Cedar Crest are among the other teams that could threaten the top five.