Patrick Anderson put on a dominating display, running to his second straight AAA state title individually and shattering the course record. It was a great battle for the state title on the team side with a clash between two of the northeast region's best. Downingtown West came out victorious, getting big contributions from its whole squad.
If last year's state championship run by Patrick Anderson was a surprise to some, Saturday's race was the exact opposite as Anderson, who has been PA No. 1 from the start of the season delivered in a big way in the final race of the day at Hershey.
The Mount Lebanon senior went to the front of the pack early, slowly but surely broke the field in the middle mile, and piled it on in the last mile to run to his second straight AAA individual title. Anderson clocked a 15:25 on the modified course, the fastest time in Parkview course history, eclipsing the previous best of 15:33 by Noah Affolder from 2016.
The win keeps up Anderson's undefeated season, which has seen the UNC commit dominate at every race. Anderson's time from Saturday was credited with a 195 speed rating on TullyRunners, the fourth best grade in the nation so far this season.
North Allegheny's Daniel McGoey placed second in 15:50. The senior hung with Anderson the longest, losing touch with the eventual race winner just before the two mile. After third place finishes in 2017 and 2018, it's another strong state meet performance for McGoey.
Unionville's Ethan McIntyre had a terrific race the take third in 15:56, the top non-senior in the AAA field. His teammate Cole Walker was right behind him, taking fourth also in 15:56 for a solid day for the U'Ville 1-2. LaSalle College's Ethan Maher was fifth in 15:58 and Downingtown West's Aiden Barnhill was sixth in 16:06 to provide some crucial low scores for their respective teams.
Williamsport Area's J. Henry Lyon was seventh in 16:08, closing out his strong junior PIAA season. Zach Marmol of Peters Township was eighth, Butler's Sage Vavro was ninth, and Garnet Valley's Sean Garrett rounded out the top ten.
It was a marquee team matchup that lived up to its billing, as two of the state and region's top teams -- Downingtown West and LaSalle College -- duked it out on the Hershey hills with a state title on the line.
In the end, it was Downingtown West that took home the state title, ending the Whippets' streak of three straight third place finishes in Class AAA. D-West put just 65 points on the board for the win, the lowest point total in AAA boys since D-West scored 57 points to win their last state title in 2015.
Aiden Barnhill paced the Whippets on Saturday with a sixth place finish in 16:06. Declan Rymer had a big day, taking 12th in 16:17. Then Ben Datte and Holden Betz came in together, both running 16:29 with Datte getting a 25th place medal and Betz just missing the medal stand in 26th. Caelan Sims, a senior, was the crucial piece of the puzzle for D-West. He took 52nd as the fifth runner in 16:49.
It was just a 42-second spread for the D-West scorers, which displayed its mix of frontrunning and depth to return to the top of Pennsylvania.
LaSalle College placed second with 84 points, a second straight runner-up state meet performance for the Explorers. Ethan Maher paced LaSalle with his sixth place finish. Bradden Koors earned a 22nd place medal, running 16:27, while Vincent Twomey was 37th in 16:42. LaSalle is the first team to score double digit points and not win in AAA boys since North Allegheny in 2013.
North Allegheny, the 2018 state champions, placed third with 112 points. Dan McGoey's runner-up finish led the way for NA. While the Tigers lose McGoey, five varsity boys are back next year for NA, which should be strong once again.
Butler placed fourth with three medalists -- Sage Vavro (9th), CJ Singleton (13th), and Skyler Vavro (24th) -- who all return next year. Penncrest took fifth, Unionville was sixth, Lower Merion was seventh, and Council Rock South placed eighth.