Salute To Seniors: Josh Christianson (Scranton)

Throughout the summer, we will be honoring graduating seniors with our annual Salute to Seniors series! To submit your own questionnaires to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (


Today we salute Josh Christianson of Scranton.

The distance runner was a two-time AAA state medalist in XC, taking 25th as a junior and 17th this past fall as a senior. He ran his XC 5K PR of 15:50 at the Paul Short Run in 2019. On the track, he achieved PRs of 4:32.69 in the 1600 meters and 9:47.40 in the 3200 meters. He was the District 2 champion in the 3200 last spring.

Christianson, a Temple University recruit, reflected on his career for PennTrackXC.

What was your most memorable race/competition?

My most memorable race was at states in 2018. Going in I was a low ball, top 70 returning and had high hopes going in. It was a breakout season for myself and had eyes on a state medal. I ended up finishing 25th, the last place to get a medal, beating 26th and 27th by hundredths of a second. It was a very memorial day for me.

Where did you face your biggest competition?

I have always faced my biggest competition at either the state or regional meets. They've always brought out the fastest times have always been a blast.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, what stands out the most?

Winning the District 2 3200 title stands out the most to me because everything that could've went wrong in that race, did. It went out very slow and I was gassed from the mile earlier so it was very hard to negative split, which was what my opponent was planning on doing. Had a side stitch in laps 6-7 and just had to hang on for one more lap, tried to kick as hard as I could in the final 200, ended catching him in the final meter.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?

I would've started taking it seriously sooner, I started summer training my sophomore year and I wish I had done so since my 7th grade year.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

Most difficult obstacles I had to overcome was probably the mental side of the sport. I've been lucky to not have any serious injuries throughout the season. I would just overthink everything and freak myself out, whether it was a dual meet or the state meet.

What will you miss the most?

I will definitely miss all the road trips to different meets, my teammates, and coaches.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 

My advice is to not let anyone tell you that you can't achieve your goals, just because you think your not fast now, doesn't mean you can't be fast later in your career. Set your goals high

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?

My coaches have always gave their advice or their honest opinion to keep me moving in the right direction. They've really helped me grow as a runner and a person.

What are your post-high school plans?

Post high school plans are to attend Temple University to run cross country and track and to major in sports medicine.

Any shoutouts?

Shout out to Marcus Ward, Andrew Lopez, and Nilang Suther for training with me over the past 3 summers and helping me get to the next level.