Ones to Watch PIAA 2A: Rising Girls and Teams

Girls Top 250 Returners in PIAA 2A.

It might be too early to pick favorites at the state level, but we want to give you the rundown of individuals/teams to keep an eye on heading into the early season. There is no doubt that many individuals and teams are worthy of this list, but we have picked a few that we would like to highlight.

Earlier today, we released a list of our Girls Top 250 Returners from PIAA 2A. That list compared runners on the same course to give a more accurate objective ranking. Check it out HERE.

Ones to Watch:

Jolena Quarzo (Brownsville Area) has won three state championships on the track. She recently added titles in the 1600m and 3200m this spring (PIAA 2A), running 4:54 and 10:19, respectively. With another great season behind her, she will set her sights on her first state cross country title.

She has finished runner-up to Olivia Haas (Blue Mountain) twice at the state meet, but the race for states is wide open with Haas having graduated. Quarzo has run as fast as 17:17 over 5000m on the cross course and 16:57 on the track.

Delaney Dumm (Forest Hills) may be entering the season a little off the radar after finishing 23rd at last year's state meet. However, after an utterly dominant outdoor track season, she is at the top of our list of ones to watch.

Throughout the entire season, she never finished worse than second. She easily won the District 6 2A championships and logged her only second-place finishes at states. She finished runner-up in both the 1600m and 3200m to Quarzo in both races. She ran as fast as 10:46 over 3200m.

Harley Kletz (Montour) finished third behind Quarzo at the state meet in 2021. Kletz was within 19-seconds of Quarzo at that meet. This past spring, she focused on the 800m and finished 12th at the 3A state meet. She has a substantial range on paper, running as fast as 2:16 over 800m and 18:12 over 5k. With a solid start to the season, she can solidify her status as a favorite come states.

Maizy Aikey (Bloomsburg) is ranked top five in our returners rankings and is the defending District 4 Champion headed into the season. She broke the 11-minute barrier in the 3200m this spring before finishing sixth at the 2A state meet. She brings a wealth of experience that may help raise her to another strong year.

Junior Shaela Kruskie (Selinsgrove) is ranked sixth in our returner rankings and as the top returning junior. She finished runner-up to Aikey at the District 4 Championship last year, but she was within eyesight of Aikey heading down the home stretch. She, too, enjoyed a strong spring running the 3200m distance, running as fast at 11:06.

Teams to Watch:

After winning the 2021 2A State Championship, Montour graduated two of their top four. As mentioned earlier, they'll be led by the Kletz, but fortunately, they have Lakyn Schaltenbrand contending for a low stick as well. Schaltenbrand finished tenth at last year's championship and grabbed a fourth-place points finish. They graduated depth from the middle ranks and may rely on Mikhala Kletz to take a step heading into the 2022 season.

Central Cambria won the 2A state title in 2018. Since then, they've finished fourth (2019), second (2020), and second again (2021). The team may be ready to reclaim its crown in 2022.

Central Cambria HS returns five of their top seven. Most of their returners will be sophomores this year, suggesting longevity for the 2021 runner-ups. Annaliese Niebauer, Morgan Brandis, Alaina Sheehan, Keira Link, and Abigail Sheehan are all among our Top 100 PIAA 2A returners. They will rely on lowering their 1-5 split to spell victory during their championship campaign.

Chartiers Valley and Beaver Area will also be in the mix throughout the year.