Race Recap: PIAA Boys A

Thomas Smigo took it out aggressively and never had to look back, running to his first state title in the first boys' race of the day. Hughesville did the same in the team race, running away with top team honors in convincing fashion.


Thomas Smigo didn't want to leave anything up to chance. So he took the race out on his terms. The Palisades junior, who was the top returner in the Class A field from last year, moved up to the top spot in the state this season, running to the state title in 16:31.

Smigo went right to the front early in the 1A race, putting a five second gap between him and a big chase pack. Smigo never surrendered the lead, bringing it home for the win and his first state title.

Riverside's Ty Fluharty made some big moves throughout the race, and it resulted in a runner-up finish. The senior was fifth at the mile and then methodically picked his way up through the field and placed second, even narrowing the gap to Smigo to just eight seconds by the end. He finished in 16:39.

Jenkintown's Oliver Michell raced well to take third in 16:43 -- his third consecutive state medal. Chestnut Ridge's Calan Bollman continued his strong season, and was fourth in 16:46 and Eden Christian's Sean Aiken took fifth in 16:54. Winchester Thurston's Lance Nicholls came across sixth in 17:00 and Hughesville's Morgan Gavitt was seventh in 17:05.

The Hughesville boys have been dreaming about a state championship for a while now. On Saturday, they made those dreams a reality. Last year, the District 4 champions took fourth at the state meet and returned its full top seven. Well, those boys made it a runaway in Class A boys, scoring 97 points for a 43-point win over second place and state title.

The "Magic Mullets" of Hughesville had a pair of individual medalists and some good depth to go around to power the team to the win. Morgan Gavitt led the way, taking seventh. Hunter Foust also got himself on the podium, taking 18th in 17:28. Fellow seniors Logan Long (32nd) and Kenneth Draper (64th) provided some good scores, and then freshman Shea McCusker was the fifth runner, taking 77th. Hughesville went out aggressively and maintained its lead throughout to capture the school's first state championship ever in any sport.

Winchester Thurston got itself back on the Class A podium, taking second in the team standing with 140 points. The Bears went from fifth to second in the last mile with a top five that included three freshman. This was Winchester Thurston's fourth straight top three state meet finish and the program's eighth straight year finishing fourth or better at the state meet.

Riverview was third with145 points, closely followed by Trinity, which took fourth with 148 points. Just eighth points separated second, third, and fourth. The 2020 champions Jenkintown placed fifth with 210 points, and Tulpehocken was sixth with 216.