D6-A Boys - Team & Individuals Breakdown
- Preseason Rankings: Team | Individual
- State Qualifying Spots For Teams: 2
- State Qualifying Spots For Individuals: 10
- 2020 Individual Champion: Colton Sands (Penns Valley Area) - 15:55
- 2020 Team Champions: Penns Valley Area - 21 points
There will be a changing of the guard individually in D6-A, as Colton Sands and Brendan Colwell have graduated, leaving the door open for a new set of contenders to emerge and take the district title.
Looking to keep the title in-house is Penns Valley's Simon Smith. The lone underclassmen on Penns Valley's team last year was third in the district and 46th at the state meet. He'll be the new No. 1 this season for Penns Valley and he'll look chase a district title and a chance at a state medal at Hershey.
There are four other state qualifiers back this season in D6-A. Tim Barrett of Marion Center was sixth in the district and 50th at states. The junior will be one to watch, as he will be Smith's top competition for the top spot in the district. SJCA's Colin Simander was eighth in the district and 68th at states during a strong freshman campaign. Purchase Line's Aaron Wright (ninth in the district) and Portage's Josh Canavan (tenth) are also back this season.
There won't quite be the speed up front as there was the past few years in D6-A, but we should get a close race for the top spot as some newer faces look to make some noise.
Like the individual side, it will also be a changing of the guard on the team front. Penns Valley, which has been strong for the last few years, lost some key seniors from 2020 to graduation, and may not have the depth to chase a state spot this year. So which teams are the ones to watch?
Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy loses it top runner from last year, but has a solid group of returners; three of the boys in the top seven at districts last year were ninth graders. Look for SJCA to compete for the title. Marion Center was second to Penns Valley last year, but loses four of its top seven from last year. MCA will look to add some depth to have a shot to compete for another top two finish.
The key here will be which teams can solidify the backend of their varsity squad. The teams that can find strong 4-5-6 runners will likely be the teams getting those two state spots out of D6-A.