Above: Drew Griffith talks about his State Championship and his focus for Regionals
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In 2022, Pennsylvania had 6 athletes qualify and advance to the Foot Locker National Championship meet. Can we beat that number this year as Pennsylvania continues to make noise on the regional level?
Is a PA Sweep in the Cards on the Boys Side?
Drew Griffith - The 3A State Champ is also the defending Foot Locker Northeast Region Champion. He outkicked Massachusetts' Sam Burgess at the line in 2022 and went on to finish 8th at Nationals. He has an undefeated season, and he'll look to keep that going this week.
Ryan Pajak - The 2A State Champ also has an undefeated record in 2023. He also set the State Course Record this month, beating Griffith to the punch. The two haven't raced each other this season, but this long-anticipated battle is set to come to a head at Foot Locker Northeast. The two District 7 Giants will battle for the Northeast Title. Pajak finished seventh at last year's Regional Championship before finishing 12th at Nationals.
Colin Whitaker - The 2A Runner-Up, has been in the conversation with Griffith and Pajak throughout the season. His 14:42 earlier this year also boosted him up the All-Time list. He finished 8th at last year's Champs Northeast Regional. He hopes to help complete a Pennsylvania sweep of the top three spots at Foot Locker Northeast.
Jack Bertram - In his junior season, Bertram finished third at the PIAA 3A Championship. He has consistently been one of the best athletes in the state, and it wouldn't surprise anyone from PA to see him snag a top-seven spot.
Gio Mastromonaco - Mastromonaco finished in a sneaky fifth at the 3A State Championship. The District 11 standout has a sneaky ability to race with the state's best. He only has a 15:58 5K personal best (at Lehigh), but he also ran 16:05 on the state course.
Brian McCormack - The District 2 3A Champion was a surprise scratch from the PIAA Championship. Don't let that distract you from the fact that he is one of the best XC runners in the state. He finished third at Paul Short, behind Pajak and Whitaker.
Rowan Carr - The freshman phenom finished eighth at states (3A) and owns a 15:36 personal best. It'll be a learning opportunity for Carr, but he could sneak into the Top 10.
4 Girls Looking to break through the barrier at Regionals
Logan St. John Kletter - The 3A Champ cruised to her first XC State Title earlier this month. She has been electric since opening her season with a 17:19 effort in early October. She finished 12th at last year's Northeast Regional but looks like a more refined version of herself in 2023.
Virginia Kraus - Kraus will get her first opportunity to race Kletter this season. Kraus won the 1A State Title on the heels of an undefeated campaign. She beat Cieslak at Paul Short earlier this year and has arguably been the best girl in the state. She finished 30th at last year's regional but will be in the mix this year.
Olivia Cieslak - Cieslak was an unfortunate scratch from the PIAA Championship after she suffered an injury in the lead-up to the state meet, but she hasn't lost a beat. The District 1 Champ ran a personal best 10:35 (3200m) on the track last week, and she is ready to contend after placing 25th at last year's regional.
Lillian DiCola - DiCola finished sixth at this year's 3A State Championship. She has been slightly under the radar throughout the year but has strung together several solid finishes and consistently finds herself in contention late. She was 18th at the Regional Championship in 2022