On Tap: PIAA Foundation Girls Races

Above: Video Tour of the Hershey Parkview 5K Course

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Despite rainy and windy conditions - the PIAA Foundation Invitational is slated to proceed. Despite the weather, some of PA's top teams and athletes will duel it out on the Hershey Parkview Course.

Girls Gold - 10:30 AM

Editor's Predictions:

Team Win - North Allegheny | 38 Points

Individual Win - Wren Kucler | 18:49 (Muddy Conditions)

Seven State Ranked squads are slated to compete in the Gold Race at PIAA Foundation: #1 North Allegheny, #3 State College, #7 Saint Marys Area, #8 Manheim Township, #10 Mount Lebanon, #15 Pennridge, #17 Peters Township

Teams will need help handling what North Allegheny has to offer. They have been utterly dominant this year and have three invitational victories to show for it. The duo of Wren and Robin Kucler is crucial to the team's success. Still, they have a solid mix of girls behind them, including Eva Kynaston, Lily Ries, Erin McGoey, Camile Swirsding, Kendall Lucas, and Elizabeth Pizon.

The Kucler twins are also entering as individual favorites. Wren is undefeated on the year and has broken 18 minutes three times thus far. She is in incredibly potent form, and she knows how to navigate the Hershey Hills well. She finished third at last year's 3A State Championship.

We haven't seen Mount Lebanon's Logan St. John Kletter race yet this season. She could contend with Wren and Robin, but she'll also have some rust that she may need to shake off.

The Haverford Township duo of Olivia Cieslak and Camryn McGeehan are not slated to compete at Foundation. 

Other Individuals to Watch for Include: Caroline Adams (Mount Lebanon), Devon Jackson (State College), Eliza Miller (Kiski), Lillian DiCola (Hatboro Horsham), Anna Pucilowski (Abington Heights), Shana Kearney (Bensalem)

Girls Blue - 9:45 AM

Editor's Predictions:

Team Win - North Catholic | 112 Points

Individual Win - Baylee Espinosa | 19:37

There are four Ranked 2A teams scheduled to race in the Blue Race. #5 Cathedral Prep, #11 North Catholic, #12 Montour, and #13 Danville will compete.

In truth, the team race will look like a repeat of the 2022 PIAA State Championship. At last year's dance, Cathedral Prep won the state title with 111 points, Danville finished second with 115, and Montour finished third with 119. 

North Catholic didn't qualify for the State Final last year, but they look like a force to be reckoned with early this year.

How will they shake out this time around?

Cathedral Prep looks like the same team that won the State Championship a year ago. Montour scored early at the Red, White, and Blue Classic. Danville? This is the first time this year that we'll get a square look at the team. North Catholic has logged consistent finishes and could win the whole thing if their team is at 100%.

These four teams could finish in the same order they did last year... or we could see a dramatic shake-up in the team rankings. Which team can separate themselves from the crowd?

Individuals to Watch For: Baylee Espinosa (Lewisburg), Nadalie Latchaw (Franklin Area), Amelia Ogawa (Lower Moreland), Lakyn Schaltenbrand (Montour)

Girls White - 9:00 AM

Editor's Predictions:

Team Win - Elk County Catholic | 103 Points

Individual Win - Grace Neubert | 19:41

Grace Neubert (Elk County Catholic) was last year's Foundation Champion, and she'll return to the Hershey Hills again this year. The Elk County Catholic girls are coming off of a second-place finish at the Red, White, and Blue Classic. Neubert won that race with a 19:16.

Our Lady of Sacred Heart and Winchester Thurston were just a little behind them.

Also, keep an eye on Northeast Bradford and United. Northeast Bradford faired well at the Cliff Robbins Invitational recently, while United finished third at the Altoona Mt Lion XC Invitational last week.

Other Girls to Watch Out For: Gianna Mosca (OLSH), Gracelyn Laudermilch (Northeast Bradford), Elaina Rainwater (Phil-Mont Christian Academy).