4 Biggest Surprises from Districts Week

There were 60 races this past Districts Week. And in each of them, we had an individual battle and a team battle. So, in total, there were 120 winners. We made predictions ahead of each battle in our previews and we were correct 83 out of the 120 times. That's a .691 batting average, which the Phillies could have used to get past the Diamondbacks last week.

Of course, out of the bunch, there were a few surprises. Here are our Top 4 Surprises from last week.

Emma Horsley Shocks District 2 with Late Pass for Win

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If anyone saw this coming, good for them.

Emma Horsley (Abington Heights), a mid-distance runner, earned her first career win at the District 2 Championship. That's a heck of a way to get your first.

Horsley upset the field and ran a 13-second personal best to pass her teammate Anna Pucilowski following the last big uphill of the race. She soared to the finish line and ran 19:38.7 on arguably one of the most demanding courses of the campaign.

Wyoming Fairgrounds has routine ups and downs. There are few flat segments on the course, and you get little reprieve between the bottom of a hill and the start of an up.

Horsley helped lead Abington Heights to a dominant team victory, and they'll set their sights on the State meet this upcoming Saturday (11/4).

The Chambersburg Boys won the District 3 AAA Title

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We didn't have this one on the bingo card. PA #15 Chambersburg defeated PA #5 Manheim Township, PA #7 Hershey, and PA #18 Elizabethtown to win the District 3 Championship on Saturday (10/28).

It was a tight battle as Chambersburg outscored Manheim Township 114-117. Elizabethtown scored 134, and Hershey was right there with 138.

Ari Snyder was the low stick for Chambersburg again, finishing fourth. However, the team also benefited from a personal best effort by Liam Kirkpatrick in ninth and a 16th place finish by Owen Shrader

Ultimately, Chambersburg beat two Top 10 Ranked teams and pushed aside our questions about their strengths and weaknesses. If they can duplicate this performance at this week's State meet, they can make some noise.

PA #9 Conestoga Girls miss State Qualification

Sometimes, that's just how Cross Country goes. The Conestoga girls didn't have a bad day at the District 1 Championship, but other teams had better days.

The team averaged 19:37 and posted a 71-second spread (better than any team in the top six), but it came down to one point for the final transfer spot. Ultimately, Strath Haven secured the sixth and final spot, outscoring Conestoga 300-301.

Strath Haven relied heavily on their front-running duo of Hannah Prokup and Chloe Browne. They both finished in the Top-15, making all of the difference.

Then there was Pennridge, which also finished inside the Top 6. The team arguably had its best race of the year, finishing just six points back from PA #11 Mount Saint Joseph and besting PA #8 Phoenixville.

Pennridge received season-best efforts from its entire front five: Ashley Landis, Taylor Burkett, Veronica Gula, Kaegan Smith, and Maria Lera-Lozano. All, except Landis, actually ran personal bests. That put them in a position to post a 19:22 average.

Ultimately, it was the perfect storm for Conestoga to miss state qualification. Still, none of their starting seven are seniors, so they have an excellent opportunity to get redemption next year.

Riverview sneaks past Eden Christian for the District 7 1A Title

We can certainly call this one an upset. The Riverview boys utilized a phenomenal 35-second compression to sneak past the Eden Christian boys 64-80.

Final Team Scores (Full Results)

1Riverview647+10+12+15+20 (37+68)0:35 1-5 Split | 17:13 Avg
2Eden Christian802+6+9+14+49 (78+83)2:33 1-5 Split | 17:12 Avg
3Ellwood City13316+25+26+27+39 (48)0:48 1-5 Split | 17:46 Avg
4Winchester Thurston1464+28+35+38+41 (57+73)1:45 1-5 Split | 17:48 Avg

It was a total team effort for Riverview, and the team put together a stellar effort on the day they needed it most. Holden Deasy, Christopher Barnes, and Micah Ivy finished in the top 15. Ivy ran a personal best of 17:13 to do so. Through three runners, Eden Christian was beating Riverview 17-29.

But that's where Ashton Saunders and Cohen Hoolahan came in big for their team. Saunders, a freshman, and Hoolahan, a senior, both ran personal bests to anchor their teams home to the victory.