State Vids by Paul Hayes

Our own Paul Hayes was on site for the PTFCA Indoor State Championships and did a little move making. He threw the videos up on youtube and I've linked them here. He's the same man that brought you some outdoor states videos and some Henderson distance festival action. Full recaps (somewhat building from the instant reactions below) are still in production ...

Boys Mile Heat 1
Boys Mile Heat 2
Boys 800m Heat 3
Boys 4x800m
Boys 3,000m

Your Non Race State Recap

By Jarrett Felix
            So a lot goes in to the state championships. I’ve shared some instant reactions to the meet from yesterday and I plan on doing some more in depth recapping, but I figured I’d share some more generic thoughts about things I’ve learned from the state meet. I want the focus long term to be on the athletes/competitors/awesome performances, so I’ve hid this post, but all the same I wanted to say a few things. So here comes a few patented etrain rants …

Two Relays: Are You Up or Down?
Gotta say, I didn’t like the new rules. It was kinda cool to see teams like GFS and State College go hard after a pair of relays, but I also really appreciated the bubble teams like Seneca Valley and CR North who both shined in their appearance. Those were the last two teams into the respective championships and they both earned medals. If each team was only limited to one relay performance, we could have perhaps had more stories like these in the state championship. Instead of those bubble teams we had a decent amount of “B” squads or teams that weren’t truly all in for their respective events. There were 7 teams that ran two distance relays at states (GFS, CB East, CB West, Pennridge, LaSalle, State College and O’Hara). Of those seven teams, two ran at least one relay without their best runner, three teams didn’t place in the top 5 for either relay and three teams came away with two state medals. Of course these produced the DMR and the 4x8 state title winners and five of the top six DMR squads (despite the doubling) so was it really that bad? Let me know your thoughts.

For the record, there were rumors about the PTFCA punishing teams who run “B” squads at states for next year. Can’t see a way that possibly happens and I’d be pretty upset to see anything like that leveled, even though I didn’t like seeing “B” squads take the place of teams who could have potentially run faster. If you are going to punish “B” teams in the distance relays, you should do it in the sprints too. And how the heck do you even judge what constitutes a “B” team?

Live Webcast
I’m way up on this. I’ve watched the webcast a couple years now. For me, it was a high quality video stream and I had no issues. You could see the whole race all the way around the track even when you weren’t in attendance which was sweet. Announcing I thought wasn’t too bad either (I liked it better than outdoors) and if you didn’t end up loving it, you could always mute it. The problem, of course, is that I am a distance runner looking to watch a select few athletes run the distance races. If I was a field athlete or parent of a field athlete, I’d probably be pretty pissed. I had no idea what was going on in that section besides a couple flashes to our state record holder. But unless they get a second or even third camera going, it’s going to be hard to get everything nailed down. It’s a hard job, I’m glad it’s not in my job description.

False False-Starts
So I gotta say this makes me upset. It would be one thing if we were under the old system where if you hit the time you were in, but now if you fake a false start to stay fresh for another event, you literally just wasted a spot that could have instead belonged to another runner who would go all out. This year Jeff Kirshenbaum was the most obvious case (we tweeted a GIF of his false start which is admittedly humorous), but there are guys doing this all the time in one way or another. Khai Samuels did it last year with the mile so he could be fresh for the 800 (I don’t remember if he false started or not but a jog around the track or a DNF is basically the same thing). Abington did it with a bunch of guys back in 2011 so they could be fresh for the relays. Heck, even last year at district ones in the 1600m, all the guys who ran the 16 at districts and then chose not to end up running it at states stole spots from other guys. Remember, PJ Murray ran 4:23 in the prelims but didn’t make finals (i.e. D1 had 13 guys who ran the SQS at districts), but because some guys didn’t do it in the finals and we had a ton of scratches, District One sent about half of that 13 number when we could have sent a full 8. I definitely don't blame these kids at all, it's not their choice to do this stuff and it's kinda hard to blame the coaches as well. It's just a broken system. As a kid who never made it to states individually (although I was never anywhere near this close), it sucks to watch other kids miss out.

But there is no good complaining about it if you don’t have a solution. You need to keep states a no scratch meet, otherwise there will be a ton of entries every year and a ton of guess work on how long the meet is actually going to take, how many heats of each event, etc. That matters a lot when you are dealing with timed finals. You also need to keep the false start rule in play because people will unintentionally false start at a variety of distances and you shouldn’t be punished for something like that. You could have a subjective rule, but subjective rules are tricky.

I think what this really comes down to is the short amount of time between finishing racing and inserting entries. Clearly some time between Sunday the 21st and Sunday the 28th (after they actually got a chance to think things over), Methacton and Kirshenbaum decided they didn’t want to run both events. If they made that decision on, say, Tuesday night, couldn’t we have given them the option to back out and then called up the next guy and offered him the spot? It’s not a perfect system for a variety of reasons (guys need to plan their trip, their training, the finances), but at least you give another kid the opportunity to compete. Maybe it’s somebody who was already entered in another event or somebody who already has teammates attending the meet. And to discourage all runners from entering all events and being able to scratch late, you have to pay the extra event’s entrance fee even if you end up scratching or something like that. You would be paying for it anyway when you false start right?

I don’t know, maybe I’m underthinking this one or maybe we should just trust our coaches to fully think their line ups through before entering, but there has to be a tweak made to the system. I hate seeing guys who have worked their butt off get left home for no reason. It’s completely unfair.

Make Sure There are No Hanging Chads
Coaches (and athletes, really) if you are out there reading this, I have a piece of advice: don’t take the PTFCA acceptance lists at face value. This year, the PTFCA qualifying sheets that were first released had a few tiny errors (which were correctly by the PTFCA with no issues I should add). I noticed a couple oddities on first scans and, clearly, so did a couple coaches so fixes were made. Those coaches were rewarded for their diligence by earning a spot in the state championships. I’m also glad that when the PTFCA added teams/individuals they didn’t kick out guys they already said were in (because technically when they added Hock, they ended up with 14 guys in the 3k and were only supposed to have 12, the last two guys, Sappey and Slavin who both medaled, were tied with the same seed and might have never made it in initially if Hock was entered on the first try). The PTFCA was very reasonable and flexible.

But my point is not necessarily to commend the PTFCA, but to remind coaches to be on top of things. There are teams/individuals that, based on my calculations, could have gotten in to states based on the cut off times and the conversion errors. I’m not sure if the coach’s didn’t know the situation or the PTFCA ended up denying some teams later on, but I hope coaches (and athletes) remember to stay vigilant because the PTFCA acceptance process is not perfect.

Now this going to sound like a brag or something like that, but I’m just saying it’s really worth either reading this blog or the updated standings or at least being in communication with other coaches checking in on things because it helps you to make sure you don’t miss something. I hopefully don’t sound preachy or judgy or anything like that, just trying to get the word out and help everybody involved.

All that being said, the coaches in PA do a fantastic job. We have a ton of really well run programs and each year I hear about guys lobbying to make sure their runners are in states or doing whatever they can for their athletes. I’ll always remember the Upper Darby coach (who I never have met or had any conversation with I should add) who entered his guy in the 800m last year and got him through to states when many other coaches didn’t bother.

The three major changes to the performance list on Sunday night came from three eventual state medalists: Sean Conway in the 800m (7th), Dom Hockenbury in the 3,000 (2nd) and Seneca Valley in the DMR (4th). 

The Weekend Review: Yorks & McGorty Throw Down 3:53's; Oregon & Villanova Make DMR Cutoff

By: Garrett Zatlin

I finally had a weekend to actually sit down and focus on all the action that happened. There was a lot of great action around the nation this weekend and it was much more exciting than conference weekend last year.

There are tons of PA alumni info at the bottom. There were some outstanding performances at every level so please be sure to flip through some of those links at the bottom. I couldn't write them all down for time management purposes.

Finally, NCAA's start March 11th which gives myself and the other writers plenty of time to get ready for the big showdown. Stay tuned throughout the next two weeks for plenty of posts!

P.S.- There's probably some errors and typos in this right now and I typically don't proofread until the next morning so just a heads up in advance.

Big East Championships
Georgetown sophomore Joseph White throws down a 1:47.59 to win the Big East title. He has been consistent all season and could be a sleeper pick come NCAA's.

With knowledge of Oregon's attempt to get into NCAA's, Villanova knew they needed to run something fast if they wanted to survive. Nova went all out and survived the cutoff mark by running 9:29.71. However, they were not the champions. Georgetown took home the title running 9:28 thanks to Bartelsmeyer brining it home on the anchor.

Villanova better be sending thank you cards to Georgetown for making a fast race. If Villanova was all alone, there's a good chance they wouldn't have made it. Maybe Villanova called up Georgetown beforehand and asked to hop in even though Gtown has nothing to gain from it. That's just speculation, but it's a possibility.

Big 10 Championships
As if the 800 field wasn't good enough, Isiah Harris of Penn State continues to make it better. The true freshman has absolutely dominated this season by continually dropping his PR throughout the season. Harris ran got a convincing win with a time of 1:46.24. We have let Brazier get all of the fame for his 1:45, but Harris deserves some props. He has been a monster this season. Right on Harris' tail was Goaner Deng of Minnesota who ran 1:47.13 and qualified for NCAA's. Deng wasn't really in the mix to make this field until the second half of the season where he continued to drop to his PR. Deng has some big momentum heading into nationals.

Big 12 Championships
Tre'Tez Kinnaird (OKST) gets the win running 1:48.51

The Oklahoma St. duo of Josh Thompson and Chad Noelle go 1-2 with a pair of 2:23's

ACC Championships
The freshmen have done quite well in the crowded 800 field this year. One of those freshmen was Robert Heppenstall of Wake Forest who got the ACC 800 title with a time of 1:47.35 to qualify him for NCAA's. Behind Heppenstall was Jake Burton (FSU) who ran 1:47.72 and also qualified for NCAA's. Neil Gourley (Virginia Tech) rounded out the top three with a 1:48.10.

If I'm just doing some quick thoughts, it's really impressive that Hepp and Burton got into NCAA's considering how fast this field has been. Gourley, on the other hand, got robbed. He runs 1:48.10 and doesn't make it to nationals. Any other year he does.

Virginia gets the win with a 9:36.27 while Syracuse falls just behind in 9:36.74 with Knight on the anchor. Virginia Tech rounded out the top three with a 9:38.

Unfortunately, with Nova and Oregon both running faster VT's top DMR time, Virginia Tech is the 13th team in the nation and is officially out of NCAA's. It's quite a shame especially for Neil Gourley who has run so well this season.

Justyn Knight pulled off an outstanding triple by running the DMR (mile leg), 3k, and 5k. Knight ended the day with double gold in the 3k and 5k.

SEC Championships
It was one of the fastest races of the weekend with the freshman phenom Donovan Brazier taking the SEC title with a 1:46.08. Brazier has been dominating the best names in the nation and he hasn't had a bad race yet. He may be young, but he is very much the favorite for the NCAA title.

The next two in were Arroyo and Hector Hernandez (Texas A&M). Arroyo was 1:46.20 while Hernandez was 1:46.32. A time like that isn't too surprising for Arroyo (although still very impressive), but that is a huge time for Hernandez who has been sitting around 1:48 the entire season. He's been consistent, and has had some really nice races, but this is his first true break-out race.

Ryan Walling (Ole Miss) gets double gold in the 3k (8:08) and 5k (13:56).

Mountain West Championships
Clay Lambourne (Utah State) runs 1:49.22 to get the win.

David Elliot (Boise State) wins the mile with a 4:09.

Abbey and Mock (both of Colorado State) take the top two spots in the 5k running 14:34 and 14:36 respectively.

Hep's (Ivy League Championships)
Awad runs 8:09 all alone to get the win in the first heat. However, it was Ben Rainero (Cornell), Joey Chapin (Dartmouth), and James Randon (Yale) that took the top three spots overall running 8:08.32, 8:08.47, and 8:09.63 respectively.

Joey Chapin (Dartmouth) runs 14:25.96 FTW.

MPSF Championships
It was a heartbreaking finish for two men that were so close to the NCAA cutoff time. Robert Ford (USC) was the top finisher running 1:47.88 while Collins Kibet (Arizona) ran 1:48.04. It's a tough way to end the season for two competitors that have made so many efforts and still couldn't get in to nationals.

Third and fourth place were taken by Nick Hartle (UCLA) and Eugene Hamilton III (California) who ran 1:48.41 and 1:48.55 respectively.

There were so many incredible races this week, but this was by far the best one. Sean McGorty and Izaic Yorks lined up to go after a fast mile time before NCAA's and it was one heck of a race. McGorty and Yorks pulled away from the field during the second half of the race. Yorks and McGorty constantly pushed each other to the very end and when the dust settled, two 3:53's were displayed on the clock.

Yorks was the man who got the win with a 3:53.89 while McGorty was less than a step behind running 3:53.95. These times are monumental for each runner and would typically change the landscape of what they are going to run. Unfortunately, we won't see McGorty run the mile as he has already said in a Flotrack interview that he will be running the DMR/3k double. Yorks, however, will most likely go DMR/Mile. Could he take down Cheserek? That will be discussed later on this week...

There were also other impressive performances. Anass Zouhry of Cal. State Northridge made a name for himself running 3:58.87 to establish himself among the best D1 runners in the nation. Unfortunately, Zouhry is 26th in the nation right now and it is extremely unlikely that he will get into NCAA's.

Zach Perrin (Colorado) and Garrett Corcoran (California) both went under four in this race running 3:59 flat and 3:59.79 respectively.

It was expected to be a fast race and that is exactly what we got. Pierce Murphy continues to put together solid race after solid race with a 7:51.51 and he could be a sleeper in whatever he chooses to run at nationals (3k, 5k, or both). Teammate Connor Winter was close behind running 7:51.85 while Reid Buchanan got himself requalified for NCAA's with a 7:52.66.

However, in my opinion, the most impressive runner in this race was the Oregon frosh Matthew Maton who ran 7:53.16. He didn't panic when the pace got quick and slowly worked his way up to the front to finish fourth. Right now he's the 18th fastest runner in the nation and I think that this race will barely get him into NCAA's after cuts.

Rounding out the top five was Morgan Pearson who ran 7:54.28.

Aaron Nelson (Washington) got the dub with 13:49.72. It won't get him into NCAA's, but it's a nice win for a guy that is typically overshadowed by his talented teammates.

Behind Nelson were two freshmen. Rorey Linkletter of BYU beat out Colorado's John Dressel 13:52 to 13:53. Jim Rosa was fourth in 13:57 while CJ Albertson (Arizona State) rounded out the top five with a 13:58.

It was an all-or-nothing race for Oregon who needed to get under the 9:30.65 mark set by Virginia Tech (Villanova originally had the last spot until they improved their time at Big East's). After a 2:55 leg from Blake Haney and some nice separation from Chambers and Grosvenor, Prakel went to work. After a slow first 800 and the fear of not making nationals beginning to grow, Prakel made up for it and crossed the line in 9:29.89.

This Oregon squad just qualified for nationals without Edward Cheserek. They have to be the favorites for nationals now if Ches is on that relay. Also, should they consider putting Prakel in the 12 and letting Haney go fresh in the mile? That could be the better option...


PSAC Results
Centennial Results
Middle Atlantic Results

Alek Sauer (Columbia): 2nd- 1:52.46 @ Hep's
Elias Graca (Penn): 3rd- 1:52.47 @ Hep's
John Lewis (Clemson): 8th- 1:49.83 @ ACC's
Nico Metzler (Georgia Tech): 15th- 1:53.13 @ ACC's
Billy Caldwell (Pittsburgh): 25th- 1:54.68 @ ACC'S
Andrew Koryak (Pittsburgh): 29th- 1:55.59 @ ACC's
Kyle Francis (Duke): 35th- 1:57.55 @ ACC's
Tom Fitzgerald (Elizabethtown): 2nd- 2:00.03 @ Landmark's
Sam Brooks (Elizabethtown): 5th- 2:02.80 @ Landmark's

Colin Abert (Penn State): 8th- 4:10.95 @ Big 10's
Alec Kunzweiler (Duke): 8th- 4:05.51 @ ACC's
James Hare (Pittsburgh): 28th- 4:25.55 @ ACC's
Curtis Watro (Carnegie Mellon): 4:18.47 @ UAA's
Zach Trama (Elizabethtown): 5th- 4:35.78 @ Landmark's
Andrew Lesko (Elizabethtown): 9th- 4:43.56 @ Landmark's
Caleb Gatchell (Hillsdale): 3rd- 4:20.62 @ GLIAC's
Vinny Todaro (High Point): 1st- 4:20.12 @ Big South's
Ryan Gil (Oregon): 6th- 4:01.12 @ MPSF's
Thomas Coyle (Stanford): 9th- 4:05.32 @ MPSF's

Ean DiSilvio (Penn State): 13th- 8:13.75 @ Big 10's
Daniel Jaskowak (Virginia Tech): 6th- 8:08.53 @ ACC's
Aaron Lauer (Pittsburgh): 30th- 8:22.08 @ ACC's
Kevin James (Syracuse): 35th- 8:35.02 @ ACC's
Matt McGoey (Pittsburgh): 38th- 8:39.81 @ ACC's
Ryan Archer (Carnegie Mellon): 11th- 8:48.95 @ UAA's
Sam Cooper (Elizabethtown): 1st- 8:55.77 @ Landmarks
Zach Trama (Elizabethtown): 5th- 9:11.21 @ Landmark's
Vinny Todaro (High Point): 2nd- 8:27.52 @ Big South's
Seamus Collins (Cincinnati): 13th- 8:39.43 @ American's

Brenden Shearn (Penn): 4th- 14:34.67 @ Hep's
Ross Wilson (Penn): 10th- 14:45.80 @ Hep's
Max Norris (Columbia): 13th- 14:49.51 @ Hep's
Dominic Deluca (Cornell): 14th- 14:51.70 @ Hep's
Glen Burkhardt (Penn State): 9th- 14:09.66 @ Big 10's
Ean DiSilvio (Penn State): 18th- 14:24.89 @ Big 10's
Brent Kennedy (Notre Dame): 22nd- 14:31.78 @ ACC's
Sebastian Curtin (Pittsburgh): 34th- 15:21.41 @ ACC's
Ryan Archer (Carnegie Mellon): 8th- 15:09.44 @ UAA's
Zach Trama (Elizabethtown): 1st- 15:41.29 @ Landmark's
Sam Cooper (Elizabethtown): 2nd- 15:41.44 @ Landmarks
Vinny Todaro (High Point): 5th- 15:08.61 @ Big South's

Some Instant Reactions

by Jarrett Felix

For those of you not watching the meet or watching the meet and looking to read some opinions of the action, I'll be writing down some post race instant reactions. Also, if you are looking for live results from the championships you can find them here. I'll update as consistently as possible throughout the meet.

DMR Instant Reactions
-          How about that finish to the distance events? I knew going in this thing would be wild with all the doubling and what not going on, but who would have thought Cardinal O’Hara would come through and steal this? Nobody predicted them higher than 3rd in what I saw. Really smart decision to lead off Morro, who was the lead off on their state title team last year. And then they just kinda ran away from everybody. Ryan James kept his head, probably soloed a PR and O’Hara is back to back champions! Congrats to these guys for pulling this one out.
-          As I said before the race (possibly on here, possibly just to other people) I felt like this race reminded me a lot of the Wissahickon title race a few years back, wide open where Wiss just hung on with a big anchor and then madness ensued behind them. Quite a lot of madness ensuing in this one as all the big name anchors were jostled together. Gotta say, DT West ran really well with the Hoeys or Sappey in this one. They ended up 9th, but really gave it a great effort. Meanwhile Mike Kolor comes back with a clutch run, Dahl almost catches up to the leaders, Milligan holds his own, Brophy pulls out a pretty solid double on very little rest and the fresh Henderson/CR South squads both get well-deserved medals.

-          I didn’t get to see a lot of the action behind, but I imagine it was pretty epic with all those guys clustered together. Would love to know splits for either relay if they are out there. Certainly was a fun way to cap off the meet. Very different from last year’s race I’d say, but definitely entertaining.

3k Instant Reactions
-          Well, I’ll tell you what it was a heck of a race. I know it was the same thing as what happened last year and some might say “didn’t Hock learn his lesson?” but I think making these gutsy charges might his best way to take the legs out of the kickers. He’s lost two extremely close titles in the final meters to guys who’s current PRs are 8:57 and 8:56 for 3200m (which would have been good enough for 9th in this 3k by the way). He almost had this one too. I really thought he had it, Brophy came from left for dead to win this one.
-          Which reminds me, what a way for Jake to pull this one out. He was pretty much finished a couple laps out and then Nate Henderson went by him and kind of woke him up. That allowed Brophy to turn on a kick and by some miracle come back to get gold. He didn’t look particularly smooth or anything, just found that last gear. Very interested to see what he has left in the tank for this DMR. That’s a big race.
-          Nate Henderson, man what a run out of him. He ran a sick 9:08 at states outdoors and now used a very similar strategy to move his way back through the pack in this one. I had just watched that race last nice and I couldn’t help but be reminded. I thought he had a chance to get this one with 400 to go, but ran out of gas and, just like last outdoors, Brophy just turned it on over the last 200 to get past him (and then Hock). But still a monster race from Henderson to mix it up with two of the best XC guys in state history.
-          Big props to Henry Sappey who ran a strong PR to get the 7th scoring spot for DT West (who is cleaning up right now). Although I didn’t pick Sappey to score, listening to the announcers make it sound like it would be impossible for this guy to score made me root hard core for him. And then, a guy who already has two top 10 finishes at states in his back pocket, added his first on the track (individually). Clutch run.
-          Seth Slavin also had a big day. I was worried about him early in that field as it looked like he was just going to get shot out the back. Of course he was just being a smart racer at the suicide pace that was being set. Slavin runs a big PR, cracking 8:50 for the first time, and nearly catches Wolk down the stretch. Pleasant Valley has really developed into a strong program and Slavin is picking up steam now, still just a junior.

-          Great learning experience for some of the young guys and rookies in this field. 9 through 13 was a pretty stacked group and I gotta imagine they will do big things outdoor using this meet as a little extra boost. Just qualifying for the meet this year was nearly impossible (sub 9 guys were left home) so nobody should be hanging their head after this one.

800m Instant Reactions
-          Overall, I had a decent feel on the contenders for this race (my top 8 was in the top 9, just very jumbled), but the guy I didn’t see coming was Quakertown’s Brett Wolfinger. He ran a sick race and hung tough throughout at a pretty fast pace. He continues to make big strides and now is down to 1:55.35, a PR indoors or out.
-          Peretta just looked so good in this field. Hoey held it together really well on the double, Kolor gave Dom all he could handle, and Wisner ate up ground late, but DP just seemed to be on another plane in this event. I was worried after he lost that SPIRE invite that maybe he wouldn’t be ready for this competitive of a field, but he crushed it on his future track. PSU lands the 800 and mile champs from states.
-          Kolor and Wisner both ran PRs for indoors or outdoors in this one and now both come back for the DMR. I could see Kolor going off in the DMR. He’s probably got a little chip on his shoulder after Wisner nipped him at the line. I think Kolor is really well built for the mile and I look forward to him hopefully giving that an honest go against the Hoeys
-          Wisner was never quite in it in the early going and then threw down a sick kick the final 100m or so to find a way to get back in it. It was a really gritty run for him against 3 4:10 milers. Crazy to think he had the strength at the end to go by two of them. Curious to see how he would hang in a mile if he trained for that. Could be a sick 1200 guy for Duke one day.
-          Fletcher and Conway (and Jack Armand) all really rocked that 2nd heat. Conway straight gunned it out and was rewarded with a medal. Fletcher never looked totally smooth or relaxed, but he put on a sick kick and reminded us he is a gamer. I really liked the way all three of these guys ran. They were gutsy racers and really unafraid out there. I think all three could do big things outdoors.
-          Speaking of gutsy runs, Peter Cooke made a big move at 400m of the first section and really broke the race open. He was able to hang on for the win in his heat and got a nice season best out of it. He even placed 10th overall from the first section which is pretty darn good. His time was 1:58.09.

-          Last thought: what would Tucker Desko have been able to do if he raced this event fresh rather than mile? Does he place better than 3rd? Could he have run low 1:53s? It’s hard to say, but from a maximizing team points perspective, I think the mile was the smarter choice, even with retrospective vision. But he would have added a fun dimension to this race for sure.

  Mile Instant Reactions
-          The Hoeys continue to impress. Jaxson looked like he was on cruise control out there, arguably a little bored at the early pace when he jumped into the lead. That makes for a very interesting 800m final later where it looks like I will be eating my words. Josh with a huge race, closing really well and showing some nice finishing wheels that I wasn’t sure he would have against Desko, etc.
-          Galligan looked finished in the middle of this race. He was well out the back. Then he closed like a champ the second half of the race and really ran a gutsy finish. He moved all the way up to 4th and was closing well at the end. Really impressed with his race.
-          I really liked the race I saw from Connor McMenamin as well. Seemed like a very poised race, didn’t get caught up in any early moves and had a nice close. Probably ran a pretty even race and really help his own in a stacked heat. Impressed by his run and a well-deserved first state medal.
-          Forsythe and Sullivan ran a really nice race in heat 2 (although they owe Donahue a sandwich or something for taking out the pace). Sullivan looked like he had it at 200m to go with a brilliant kick, but Forsythe threw down the last 100m or so and timed his kick just a bit better. Very smart race from the sophomore. Glad both guys got on the medal stand (and not just because I had Sullivan winning the heat and getting 7th).
-          Kirshenbaum with an on purpose false start in the Mile. Means we will have a fast performance out of him the 3k and also meant he was a non-factor in this race. I think we have to do something about this rule going forward. Especially since this meet has a limit on entries. Whoever was #21 in the mile (Eric Kennedy maybe?) would have likely loved to have been in this race and competed. Not sure I can really blame Jeff/Methacton on this one. They followed the rules. It’s just a broken system and we need a rule change. It goes against the spirit of the event and I hope it’s looked at.
-          I had a decent start to the date prediction wise besides a couple DQs, but I’m very nervous for my predictions looking ahead. Kirsh could do some work, Hoey looks good and CB East’s DMR suddenly is much more interesting (among other things). Very curious to see how these final couple distance events go …

4x800 Instant Reactions:
-          Penn Wood runs best two legs first and it pays off. They stay in it the whole way and there back two legs run with a lot of heart and guts and get the team across in 5th. Manyeah with his best race since December as well I’d argue.
-          Dahl with a big time lead off leg for GFS. Interested that he was on that spot. GFS ran about as well as you could ask, they had 4 really good races, were just up against some true 4x8 powers.
-          CB West and Abington really made SC work, but State College was just the better team out there when all was said and done. Degleris with a clutch 3rd leg for sure and Milligan proving he’s money on the anchor. Fortna ran second leg for West which I thought was a surprise, but hard to argue with the results of it. Mitchell from Abington also had a big time second leg and then Broadus and Claricurzio just battled like champs on the anchor leg. Gutsy runs. 7:50 is no joke.
-          Interested to see who will be coming back for the DMR and how fresh they will be. What does GFS have left? What are O’Hara or LaSalle’s prospects on the double? Who did Pennridge run on their relay and who does that leave for the DMR? Can SC go 2 for 2? Curious to see who has the strength to bounce back and who has a little extra motivation after event one.
-          Also worth noting, CB East did not run Jake Brophy on the 4x8 so he will have just 3k-DMR on his plate. Could really upgrade their chances. They ran very well in the relay without him. They were 9th I believe and right on the heels of North for the last medal spot. Before the DQ that is. No idea what the DQ was for either.

-          CR North with a nice surprise for the medals! Didn’t see that coming for sure. Big PRs on that team I have to imagine. Really proving they belonged in this field despite being the 13th and final team entered. This is why I enjoy having a variety of teams compete in just one of the two relays. We see some true “A” teams throwing down big season bests. That’s always fun.

Official State Championship Discussion Post

I'll link up all the various previews and predictions here so you have them at quick access. Otherwise, feel free to discuss all the action on this post up through the state championships on Sunday.

Performance List Initial Thoughts
etrain's State Predictions/Previews
Penntrack vs. Etrain vs. You Prediction Contest
Etrain Live Q&A
Dylan's State Predictions
The Running Diaries: Chapter Fourteen

PS I know there are very few of you who are keeping up and reading The Running Diaries, however if you are reading or want to read and would rather have everything in one word document than spread out in a variety of posts, feel free to shoot me an email and I will send you a word document with the first 14 chapters. We can even create a mailing list to send out each new chapter by email to all followers so that they can stay up to date. Like I said, not many people are reading but for those who are or want to, feel free to hit me at

The Running Diaries: Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fourteen
PTFCA Indoor State Championship Results, February 28th 2016

1.      North Penn 7:50.02
Justin Franks, Brian Davies, Ryan Trimble, Bernard Mirun
2.      Coatesville 7:52.35
Kyle King, Chris Wolff, Jason Dawson, Sean Dawson
3.      Abington 7:54.16
Charles Mitchell, Eleazar Cesar, Thomas Moran, Kyle Murphy
4.      State College 7:57.96
Jordan Douglas, Will Barton, Adam Cather, Peter Wellington
5.      West Chester North 7:59.85
Will Aldrich, Austin Lynch, Jack Lowry, Andrew Eggleston
6.      Cedar Crest 8:01.53
Alex Ditzler, Jon Steinbock, Aaron Ditzler, Adam Ditzler
7.      Cumberland Valley 8:01.60
Chris Fuller, Michael Marquez, Scott Schiller, Caleb Hartzel
8.      Baldwin 8:03.44
Angelo Jamison, Logan Dennis, James Christopher, JT Wolfe
1.      Drew Magness, Sr Upper Merion 4:12.99
2.      Tom Scarsdale, Sr Germantown Friends 4:13.11
3.      Greg McKenzie, Sr Quaker Valley 4:13.25
4.      Liam Conley, So Methacton 4:15.75
5.      Dathan Kaulbach, Jr Germantown Academy 4:17.18
6.      JT Wolfe, Jr Baldwin 4:19.62
7.      Teddy Crittenton, Sr Wissahickon 4:20.00
8.      Billy Wilson, So Garnet Valley 4:22.36
1.      Andrew Mallon, Jr CB East 1:51.67
2.      Joseph Rotz, Sr Lower Dauphin 1:51.95
3.      Anthony Moore, So Penncrest 1:53.14
4.      Peter Wellington, Sr State College 1:54.99
5.      Justin Franks, Jr North Penn 1:55.18
6.      Bernard Murin, Jr North Penn 1:55.92
7.      Alex Murphy, So Carlisle 1:56.35
8.      Brad Francis, Sr Bensalem 1:56.72
1.      Jayson Miller, Jr Manheim Township 8:35.16
2.      Andrew Rosato, Sr Coatesville 8:37.82
3.      Daniel McGee, Sr Bonner 8:38.90
4.      Tom Seeley, Sr Bonner 8:42.44
5.      Noah West, So Mount Lebanon 8:46.88
6.      Chase Morgan, Sr North Allegheny 8:49.93
7.      Henry Gonzalez, Jr JP McCaskey 8:54.66
8.      Terrence Griffin, Sr Wyomissing 8:56.79

Ben Havleck R2W Log, February 28th 2016
            Not a bad run. Weather was a bit cold and body was aching a bit from shoveling. Lucky enough to have Neal there to time and give splits. Ran pretty even, just trying to focus on holding form and running strong. Splits of about 3:00/2:58/2:56 for 8:54.8h. Two mile warm up, eight plus mile cool down. Plus two this morning for 14 on the day. Good start for 70 next week.  

            Ready for outdoors.

A New (York) Perspective on the PA State Meet

By Dylan Jaklitsch

Well, here goes nothing. We’ve got the senior editor of PennTrack, a self-made blogger on the way to a million total blog views, and 500,000 on this blog alone; not to mention mid-distance stud Caleb Gatchell whose roots are deep in the PAtrack game. As an outsider from New York with virtually no ties to the Pennsylvania running community, I step in to the ring as a complete underdog. Wish me luck everybody!


1. State College – gunning for the state record, with 4 legs under 2:00 PB and 2 under 1:55… I think sub 7:45 could be in the cards as they race against the clock
2. Central Bucks West – CBW seems to be going for it on the 4x8; Fortna is deadly
3. Abington – they ran 8:01 so early; Train suggests they peaked, I don’t agree
4. Central Bucks East – well-rounded team with Brophy fresh; I am expecting a sub-8 time
5. Penn Wood – this sprint oriented team will look to push the pace early with Manyeah & Seck
6. Germantown Friends – GFS goes all in on the relays, but they don’t quite have the speed for me to get them to the top five. Looking for more from Dahl here, as Hepp had a breakout indoor campaign
7. Cardinal O’Hara – COH seems to always be in the mix, and whether Jones and Morro run their best in this race, or opt for a fresh DMR, I think they’ll remain in the mix
8. Bishop Shanahan – Shanahan has four guys who are at or under the 2 minute mark; if they all have their best day this weekend, I suspect they’ll be even higher.


1. Jaxson Hoey – with a seed time so far ahead of the competition, I’m very confident in Jax here.
2. Tucker Desko – Desko will certainly push the pace in the late laps of the mile, but I don’t think he can quite close like Jaxson will. That being said, he will provide excitement and will likely leave Penn State with a silver and a nice PB.
3. Josh Hoey – the middle Hoey boy has not made headlines this season the way his brother has, but I absolutely expect him to show up in peak form and push his brother and Desko for 1609 meters of fun.
4. Liam Galligan – Galligan is faster than most of the competition, 
5. Colin Wills – Wills has wheels. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, I just like to think about it and say it. Sorry, inner Jon Gruden there. Anyway I expect Wills to be the 5th and final man under 4:20 in this race, just getting edged by Galligan in a 4:19.high effort.
6. Noah Falasco – Falasco has had a strong season, which I feel will culminate in a 6th place finish in the mile at states, a highly respectable finish. Look for big things from Falasco in the outdoor season. Perhaps a top 5 finish, even.
7. Connor McMenamin – While I thought McMenaminwas a 3k/XC guy, he busted out a 4:21 mile and proved me dead wrong. Connor, you’ve earned the right to be in the medal talks in my opinion.
8. Matt Scarpill – While his mile PR sits at 4:25, he has a 4:23 1600 to his credit and I think he is ready to dip down to 4:20-4:21 for this race. I initially had Kirshenbaum in this spot but I worry the 3k will be on his mind and his kick may not be as sharp as it could be; advantage, Scarpill.


1. Domenic Peretta – future workout facility; 1:50 capabilities; he’s bringin’ it back to D7 for the first time since… ever?
2. Mike Kolor – Kolor may have been labeled the bridesmaid in my eyes this season in both the 800 and the mile, but he will put up a heck of a fight against Peretta; I am predicting them both to be somewhere in the 1:52.low range
3. Matt Wisner – Wisner has shown his kick at 800m and 1600m (DMR) to be quite lethal this season, and as a result I think he might nip a Jaxson Hoey who has a mile win under his belt already by this time. Still under 1:53, by my prediction.
4. Jaxson Hoey – I suspect he will just miss top three, but still PR and go under 1:53. I am hoping for, and expecting a fast race from the gun; this does not bode well for the only guy in my top 6 to be on his second event of the day.
5. Nick Wagner – Mr. Wagner has quietly been having an extremely strong indoor season without crashing headlines at venues like Yale, the Armory, and Dartmouth. I feel this strong season will culminate in an indoor 800m faster than any 800m he has ever run indoors or out.
6. Isaiah Bailey – Bailey is expected to push the pace early, and I am predicting he will hold on with a late surge for sixth.
7. Jake Good – Abington’s fastest 800m runner this season will be looking to score points complementing their elite relay crew; I suspect he will nab a couple here with a strong 1:55 like 800m performance.
8. David Fletcher – I’ll be honest; I know very little about David Fletcher, but Jarrett has been warning, promising, threatening, etc. that Fletcher is going to be in the mix, and I believe this is his not-so-dark horse medal pick; totally co-signing on Train’s wisdom here, but Fletcher is my eighth medalist, edging out Conway.


1. Jake Brophy – this race belongs to Jake. Point blank. Hock and Henderson and Kujdych and Kirsh and whoever else wants to push the pace can do everything in their power, but Brophy is gonna match moves and then with 350m-550m to go, we’re going to see him move. His move will not be as pronounced as it could be, as he will likely have the 4x8 in his legs, and a DMR anchor leg soon to come, but he still takes home the gold in at least 8:32 (sub 9:10 3200m time)
2. Dominic Hockenbury – with all of that being said about Brophy, Hock will still give him a helluva run. If Brophy runs 8:32, expect Hock at 8:33. I might even go as far to say that if Brophy ran 8:22, I would see Hock at 8:23.
3. Rusty Kujdych – this may or may not be a surprise pick this high, but I really liked what I saw from Rusty this season. Each time the bar has been raised, he has stepped up to the challenge and steadily improved his fitness and his times. Sub-8:40 is surely in the cards at this position for him if he hangs in like I predict.
4. Jeff Kirshenbaum – for a short time this season, I thought Kirsh was gonna be the guy to give Brophy a run. 9:19 for full 2 miles fairly early in the season is good for about 8:40 effort, and shows what a danger this guy can be; however, I have not seen a ton since, and am skeptical of putting him in the top three. This could surely be a rookie mistake on my part; I am still expecting him to dip under 8:40, along with the rest of the top six.
5. Nathan Henderson – Henderson had an extremely strong XC season, and has brought his indoor season together at what I feel is the perfect time; I say he edges Wolk in the last 75 meters to nab a top five spot.
6. Nick Wolk,
7. Will Loevner,
8. Marc Migliozzi – While none of my next three guys are from the almighty District 1, but instead from the arcane western half of the state, each of them had extremely strong XC seasons, and quietly improved throughout the winter months. I predict Wolk will get edged by Kirsh and Henderson in the last lap, but he’ll still run his way to a strong 3k time. Loevner and Migliozzi got rave reviews from Train & Co. all XC season, but I had very little opportunity to learn about their abilities and tendencies on the track. Each runner peaked at the perfect time, but I had trouble ranking them above guys I felt I knew more about. Sorry Pittsburgh boys…


1. Germantown Friends – this is where putting your eggs in the relay basket pays off. I am hoping that Heppgoes bananas and hands off in an extremely fast 1200 time, perhaps 3:03 or 3:04. The DMR is my favorite race, and I think GFS has 4 pieces who fit well in each distance. Who is gonna catch Dahl anyway?!
2. Central Bucks West – CBW is a team I have really bought into this season, and Rock Fortna is a guy who I think could remain hot on Dahl’s heels. He is a gutsy runner, with a 1:54 4x800 split to his name. If Claricurzio can produce a 1200 leg that keeps them close to Hepp, and eventually Dahl, I think Fortna can hold off Tucker Desko, run a PR split, and finish just off Dahl in low 10:20’s.
3. Pennridge – Tucker Desko will, according to my predictions, be coming off a phenomenal mile race (around 4:15) where he earned a state silver. He will still run a strong race around 4:20, but the efforts for gold from Eissler, Howell, Espinal, and Desko will be all for not, as their 10:25 time will not quite be enough today.
4. Central Bucks East – Brophy enters this event on his third event of the day, a true distance triple at states. He will have logged over 5000m at state champion caliber speeds, and as deep as this D-Med team is, I feel that Dahl, Fortna, and Desko will be better for the race at this point in the day. Look for CBE to crush a relay at NBIN, though. (Sub 7:50 or sub 10:15)
5. Cardinal O’Hara –Rob Morro brings 4:23 speed with great guts, & sub-2 leg Justin Jones will try to close any gaps so that Morro gets the baton with the lead pack.
6. State College – coming off a state record performance, I feel they may falter in this race
7. Carlisle – Wisner will be chasing from the start; look for fast early fractions and a strong split from him as they snag a couple points here
8. Neshaminy – Sean Conway has got great mid-D wheels and hopefully Kujdych can hang 33’s across the board for a 4:25 like DMR split