Relive the 1A Boys Championship with our Highlight Video
The 1A Boys State Championship Race produced surprises and expected results alike.
For example, Thomas Smigo (Palisades) dictated the race from start to finish. That is one of the more expected finishes. After all, Smigo was the defending state champion and took his fourth straight District 11 Title last week. He earned his second straight state title from the front this year, running 16:33.
Smigo after Defending his title
Kevin Sherry (Coudersport) did his best to challenge Smigo early. He won the PIAA Foundation earlier this year and was considered one of the contenders coming into Saturday's race. He ran with Smigo early but faded by the second mile. He would end up in fourth after Smigo threw in a big mid-race surge.
Tyler Rader (Huntingdon) followed suit. He was 14-seconds behind Smigo at the 4K mark but began to walk down the leader in the closing mile. By the finish, he had made up 8 seconds. Ultimately he just ran out of time. He was partly fueled by Sean Aiken (Eden Christian), who ran most of the race with Rader.
Tyler Rader on his 1A Runner-Up
The two pushed each other forward. But Aiken couldn't hold off Rader's big final K move and finished in third behind him. Nevertheless, it was an excellent finish for Aiken, who suffered a summer training injury.
Landon Hostetter (Annville-Cleona) was never quite in the race with the four out front. Still, he was involved in a battle with Creed Dewing (Northeast Bradford), Calan Bollman (Chestnut Ridge), Maxwell Hamilton (OLSH), Aiden Lechleitner (Central Cambria), and others. Hostetter finished in fifth, but eight runners finished within 20-seconds behind him. He was ultimately the best of the rest.
The 2A Team Race came down to a battle between Central Cambria and Jenkintown. Isaac Mixon was a late addition to the Jenkintown lineup after missing the District 1 Championship last week. His racing surprised us, and likely the other teams in contention, but provided excitement for us looking on.
Early in the race, Oliver Michell, who was considered an individual contender for Jenkintown, was seen in the midpack. But he made up the ground throughout the race and rescued a 12-stick for his team. That kept Jenkintown in the mix. Despite the circumstances, the squad showed incredible heart and fight.
But Central Cambria refused to misstep. They were near perfect in their ventures and led from the first mile to the finish. They found their positions early and maintained their placing throughout, which isn't always the most straightforward task on the Hershey Parkview Course.
With Aiden Lechleitner, Cody Roberts, and Evan George out front, Central Cambria kept a stout three. Dom Kuntz and Jake Wilson rounded out Central Cambria's Top-5 and helped lead the team to the title with 95 points.
Four WPIAL teams finished in the Top-6, with Our Lady Sacred Heart in sixth.