PIAA's Greatest Hits: Side One

By Jarrett Felix

As we approach the start of my 10th outdoor season covering the PIAA Outdoor State Championships, it’s fun to look back at all the amazing state meet performances I’ve been fortunate enough to witness over the years. I know some of you (most of you?) probably won’t care too much about the history of the sport, but spare me this brief moment of retrospection. I present my top 12 state meet races from the last nine seasons. It was supposed to be 11, but then I changed my mind like 50 times as made it 12. Hopefully this gets you a little more excited for spring to begin. Hype train leaving the station. Also, I suggest you watch each of the videos before reading the recaps. Should be more fun that way.

Here are the videos (if somebody has better links feel free to share)
12. 2009 AAA 1600m
11. 2014 AAA 800m
10. 2010 AAA 1600m
9. 2009 AA 1600m & AA 800m
8. 2007 AAA 3200m
7. 2011 AAA 1600m
12. 2009 AAA 1600m
Spare me this moment of incredible bias. Upper Dublin hasn’t won a lot of state championships in track. We’ve had some strong teams (particularly on the girls side), but our distance squad had never seen outdoor gold. That’s a tough stat to throw down when you are in the same conference as an historically prolific team like Wissahickon. But 2009 proved to be a big year for the Cardinals. And particularly, senior Mike Palmisano.

After winning the indoor state championship and Penn Relays championship in the Distance Medley Relay, Upper Dublin’s anchor leg Mike Palmisano turned his attention to the outdoor state championships. He had been defeated by CB South’s Tom Mallon at two straight state championship meets and decided it was time to turn his focus to the 1600. However, this made for a tough double with the 4x8, a relay which Upper Dublin had high hopes for, even in CB South’s record setting shadow. But somehow, Mike was able to do it all. He was a terrific doubler and, in May of 2009, he began the arduous journey to show just how good his doubling skills were.

At their league championships, Upper Dublin tried to use their distance depth to steal the league title from Wissahickon and Cheltenham. It didn’t quite work, but Palmisano won the 1600, 800 and then placed 2nd in the 32 (finishing alongside teammate Sam Stortz) to help maximize team points. Then, at districts, Palmisano anchored the 4x8 to a second place finish, won the individual 1600 title and placed 3rd in the open 800, qualifying for states in all three events. That included prelims and finals in all three events, bringing his racing total to 9 distance races in 7 days. All that left was the state championship meet, where he would once again try the triple.

I roomed with Mike at states (I was an alternate and just lucky to be there at all) and basically served as his personal assistant for the weekend. He raced through three rounds of prelims and then headed into the finals for each one, starting his day with a 1:51 split on the team’s 2nd place 4x8. Then, about an hour later, he prepped to come back for the 1600.

Now there are plenty of guys who have pulled off insane doubles and triples over the years. What makes this race exciting (besides the fact that it prominently featured an Upper Dublin guy) was the way the 1600 played out. It’s one of the craziest races I can remember. And it’s not thanks to Mike, but instead thanks to a guy by the name of Matt Chylak.

The Holy Ghost Prep senior had finished mid pack at the district championships and managed to navigate his way into the finals as a relative afterthought. Although Chylak was a strong runner (sub 4:20, 1:56, 15:41) he was likely completely off most casual fans radar. So, when the runners toed the line for the start of the 1600, the crowd had to be amazed when the runner in white blasted out the start and straight to the front. The pack was noticeable quick and few dared to follow Chylak too close. Kevin Hull, one of the pre race favorites from District 3, sat in second as Chylak opened up his lead, coming through in 59 seconds. The rest of the pack came through over a minute with pre race favorites like Palmisano and Hobart, who had both run the 4x8, sitting in the back.

While many backed off the blazing pace, Chylak continued to chug along, opening up a huge advantage. He came through in 2:02-2:03 and held a mammoth lead on the pack. They had backed off substantially, backing off the pace, but Chylak was opening up a roughly 50m lead as they did so. Chylak showed signs of weakening at the bell, but still hit the line in about 3:08. The rest of the pack came through closer to 3:13-3:14.

It seemed like it might be an insurmountable lead and us Upper Dublin fans were getting nervous. Down the back stretch Palmisano made his move and charged hard for home. He sprinted away ahead of the field and, amazingly, made up the massive lead just in time to sprint home. Vince Perozze gave him a serious run for his money over the final 50 meters, but Mike had just enough to hang on for gold.

In case you were wondering, Mike’s final two weeks of his high school career:
5/9 4:19.16 (1st)
5/9 1:57.74 (1st)
5/9 9:58.68 (2nd)
5/15 7:52.89q
5/15 4:22.00q
5/15 1:59.02q
5/16 7:44.32 (2nd)
5/16 4:16.08 (1st)
5/16 1:56.21 (3rd)
5/22 7:54.24q
5/22 4:20.59q
5/22 1:55.62q
5/23 7:40.04 (2nd)
5/23 4:13.93 (1st)
5/23 1:54.85 (3rd)

  1 Palmisano, Michael        12 Upper Dublin 01        4:13.93   10  
  2 Perozze, Vince            11 Perkiomen Val 01       4:14.30    8  
  3 Hull, Kevin               12 Hempfield 03           4:15.13    6  
  4 Kehl, Tom                 11 Father Judge 12        4:15.19    5  
  5 Horning, Dustin           12 Elizabethtown 03       4:15.79    4  
  6 Hibbs, Seth               12 Hatboro-Hrshm 01       4:15.93    3  
  7 Chylak, Matthew           12 Holy Ghost 01          4:16.12    2  
  8 Hurston, Kyle             12 Carlisle 03            4:16.24    1  
  9 O'Sullivan, Chris         11 St Jos Prep 12         4:16.27 
 10 Miles, Brad               11 North Penn 01          4:24.11 
 11 Hobart, T.J.              12 Baldwin 07             4:26.29 
 -- Fischer, Matthew          11 Unionville 01              DNF 

11. 2014 AAA 800m
During the 2013 indoor season, Bensalem senior Brad Rivera stormed to the state title at 800m, using a front running style to earn gold. The Bensalem 4x8 also won the state championship a few hours later to cement their status as a mid distance power. But Rivera didn’t anchor that relay, and he may not have even been the best half miler on the team. Outdoors, in windy and cold conditions, Bensalem was ready to defend their indoor title against Cumberland Valley, the defending outdoor state champions. Taking the baton on the anchor leg with 1:51 runner Alec Kunzweiler chasing him, Kyle Francis, not Brad Rivera, was tasked with the challenge of bringing his team home in first place. Francis put his head down, charged through the wind and ended up running to gold with a reported split of 1:51.7. The time itself is no joke, but when you factor in the conditions and the fact that he raced completely alone it’s nothing short of astounding. No other runner in the entiremeet ran faster than 1:54 either on the relay or in the open.

But Francis wasn’t done making history. When he returned to PSU, he kept the 800m state title in house, sprinting from the gun to clock a 1:50.55 for 800m, a new state record that still stands today, even after the likes of Peretta and Lewis have taken their shots at it. Despite herculean efforts from Logue and Wiseman, Francis could not be touched. Expectations grew even higher for him heading into the outdoor season.

However, something about Francis seemed off outdoors. He wasn’t anywhere close to his form from indoors and was a surprising non-factor in the district championships. Meanwhile, Jeff Wiseman won a second straight district gold and Joey Logue of Pennridge anchored his relay to the district title. In the District finals, Francis finished 3 seconds back of Wiseman and 2 seconds back of Logue. Heading into the state championship meet, he had still yet to crack 1:54.7 in the open 8 and had suffered losses to Wiseman, Logue, Cooper and Sauer already, with names like Brehm, Smart and Cather waiting for him at Shippensburg.

In the state prelims, Francis snuck through to the finals, finishing in the 4th and final automatic qualifying spot from his heat. Meanwhile, Wiseman won his section in an impressive 1:54.21, making a statement heading into the finals. It was madness just to get into the finals as multiple guys cracked 1:55 in the prelims. That left Francis as little more than an afterthought in many people’s state title predictions. It seemed like the reigning indoor state record holder may have peaked too early.

In the long awaited state final, Wiseman entered with fresh legs while his main competitors, including Cather, Logue and Brehm, all had raced earlier in the day. As a result, Wiseman took it out hard and tried to break the field. It was a pace few could hope to match, especially after such a difficult prelim the day before. Wiseman had a little extra motivation. He had broken the state meet record indoors, but still finished second to Francis. And a year ago he had surprisingly missed the state final outdoors after winning the district championship.

The only runner to truly cover the pace was Kyle Francis of Bensalem, running as best he could to Wiseman’s shoulder. On the back stretch, Francis made a powerful surge, looking to take the lead, but Wiseman fought it off valiantly. He held the advantage into the turn and Francis gathered himself to rally again. Sprinting off the turn into the homestretch, Kyle found a final gear and sprinted away from Wiseman to take the stunning gold. The clock stopped at near state record time of 1:49.57 with Wiseman at 1:50.37 and Logue at 1:51.45. Then, we saw a mad dash to the finish for the final medal spots, with 4th through 11th being decided by essentially a second.

It was the best top three finish in the state championship’s history, with PRs for each of the top three. Francis’s mark was, at the time, #2 in meet history and Wiseman was #4. Even Logue’s time would have earned him state gold in 19 of the previous 20 championships. After such a fantastic indoor meet, it was hard to imagine that these trio would be able to repeat the feat, but they did that and more. In his post race interview, Francis explained his breakthrough as a combination of adrenaline and proving people wrong. He even called out the blogs who doubted what he could do. It was one of the most impressive displays of heart we have seen in the last decade.

  1    29 Francis, Kyle       12 Bensalem 01          1:55.01    1:49.57#  10  
  2   181 Wiseman, Jeffrey    12 CR South 01          1:54.21    1:50.37#   8  
  3   458 Logue, Joseph       12 Pennridge 01         1:54.76    1:51.45#   6  
  4    75 Brehm, Zach         11 Carlisle 03          1:54.54    1:54.24    5  
  5   472 Sauer, Alek         11 Pennsbury 01         1:54.69    1:54.38    4  
  6   597 Cather, William     12 State College 06     1:54.53    1:54.56    3  
  7   260 Smail, Marcus       12 Gr Latrobe 07        1:55.89    1:54.64    2  
  8   477 Garton, Dave        12 Perk Valley 01       1:56.06    1:54.71    1  
  9   438 Wilhoite, Dylin     12 Penn Hills 07        1:54.93    1:54.78 
 10   562 Foster, Brett       12 Seneca Valley 07     1:54.69    1:54.95 
 11    46 Mercado, Eli        12 Boyertown 01         1:55.40    1:55.33 
 12    72 Smart, Nick         12 Crdnl O'Hara 12      1:54.58    2:00.87 

10. 2010 AAA 1600m
Although upsets happen, I think it’s rare to see a truly surprising state champion in the distance events. I’m talking a guy nobody was picking. In the 2010 AAA state final, Will Kellar was that guy. The West Chester Henderson 4x8 was one of the favorites for the state title with stand outs Kellar, Lefebure, Khattabi and Zengel who had all run at least 1:56 at some point in their careers. However, at districts, the team had an unfortunate DQ in the final 100 meters of the day’s first prelim. That meant the Henderson boys had to scramble to find a way to get to the state championships as individuals. Kellar hopped in the 1600 prelims and snuck through to the final on tired legs. The next day, he managed to finish in the top five and punch his ticket for the state championships. However, he was a clear step behind standouts like Drew Magaha, the surprise district champion from Upper Moreland, and Vince Perozze of Perk Valley, the 2009 silver medalist. That wasn’t even including indoor all-state runner Wade Endress of Altoona, multi time state medalist Chris O’Sullivan or, most notable of all, indoor state runner up Tom Kehl of Father Judge.

Kehl, who had clocked the equivalent of a 4:09 for 1600m at the Penn Relays, was hungry for his first ever state title. He had been beaten to the line indoors by the kick of CB South’s 800 legend Tom Mallon, but now Mallon was focusing his complete attention on the state record at 800 meters which left Kehl as a clear favorite. Kehl smoked his prelim in a blistering 4:14.48, the fastest of the day by nearly a second. Magaha also won his prelim in another new PR of 4:16.12. He was rapidly ascending as a star in this field. It took 4:18.88 just to make the finals and every single runner ran faster in prelims than at their district final the previous week.

In typical championship fashion, things started on the slow side for the opening lap. The leaders were at about 64 seconds, but much of that came from the open 100 meter fight for position. At 800m, the group came through in 2:11 or so, still all tightly bunched. At this point, Kehl decided to take control. He had the fastest time, but also boasted a 1:50 4x8 split so he was confident he could win in a variety of ways. As the group approached the bell lap, Kellar moved to Kehl’s shoulder. The pace still wasn’t anything crazy, but the group had begun to wind it up. Just before 400 to go, Nate McClafferty surged into the lead and the pack followed. Kehl and Kellar hit the line side by side around 3:14.

Down the back stretch, Kehl surged back into the lead and Kellar followed him as best he could. Perozze was also fighting to stay close, but he couldn’t quite match the raw speed of the two athletes in front of him. Turning into the final straightaway, Kehl had a decisive edge over Kellar. Both runners were sprinting, but neither seemed to be closing on the other. If anything, Kehl seemed to have the advantage. Then, with about 50 meters to go, Kellar found an extra gear. He swung wide to try and chase down Kehl in the race’s closing seconds. It wasn’t until the races final tenths of seconds that it seemed Kellar was close enough, but he gave a dramatic dive at the finish line as both he and Kehl leaned for gold. There was a solid pause while the officials tried to determine who the victor was. And then, in stunning fashion, it was revealed that Kellar had edged out the favorite from Father Judge by just two hundredths of a second. It was over a three second life time best for Will and it came with a blazing 58 second last lap.

Upsets like this don’t tend to happen in the 1600. Kellar’s win was the only time in the past 10 seasons that the 1600 state champ did not win their district championship meet.

  1 Kellar, Will              12 WC Henderson 01      4:17.10    4:12.00#
  2 Kehl, Tom                 12 Father Judge 12      4:14.48    4:12.02 
  3 Perozze, Vince            12 Perkiomen Val 01     4:16.78    4:13.70 
  4 Donnelly, Ed              12 Haverford Twp 01     4:17.18    4:14.44 
  5 Mcclafferty, Nate         11 Conrad Weiser 03     4:18.88    4:14.79 
  6 Campbell, Chris           11 CouncilRock N 01     4:15.35    4:14.93  
  7 Endress, Wade             11 Altoona Area 06      4:16.86    4:15.00 
  8 O'Sullivan, Chris         12 Saint Joseph 12      4:18.51    4:15.41 
  9 Day, Kevin                12 Lansdale Cath 12     4:17.48    4:16.22 
 10 Gibson, Nick              12 CanonMcMillan 07     4:17.48    4:16.70 
 11 Bishop, Bobby             10 Baldwin 07           4:17.98    4:33.42 
 12 Magaha, Drew              10 Uppr Moreland 01     4:16.12    5:02.00 

9. 2009 AA 1600m & 800m
Winning the 1600 and the 800 at the state championships is extremely difficult. It’s not unheard of, but it’s far from easy. In fact, in AA it’s almost common. We’ve seen double gold winners in 2015, 2014, 2009, 2004, and 2003. But out of all those runners (and they were some fantastic runners), nobody this century produced a 1600-800 double like Sam Havko. Not even all-time greats like Peretta (yet) or Chris Spooner. Havko entered Paul Vandegrift territory at that state meet in 2009 and, ironically, I was sitting next to Paul Vandegrift as it unfolded.

 Unlike many other all-time great performances, I’m not sure many saw this kid coming. As a Junior, Havko produced PRs of 1:57 and 4:17. He had a solid, but not jaw dropping cross country season (9th in AA) and then he skipped competitive racing indoors. But then, the Baldwin Invitational happened.

Back in the days before the Henderson Invitational, Baldwin used to be the biggest invite of the spring. Under the bright lights, Havko competed in both the invitational mile and the 800, winning both and clocking times of 4:13.82 and 1:54.88, winning the shorter distance by nearly two seconds and the longer by nearly ten. Those were massive PRs and set him up as the favorite in both events at the state championship. But running well in two events at states is very tricky. You have to run a couple extra prelim races, the weather is usually hot and not conducive to doubling and the events are surprisingly close together. Even if he was able to win both, who knows what kind of times he would produce.

In the first race of the day, the 1600m, Havko was up against a fresh Jim Spisak of Bishop McCourt. Spisak had scratched the 3200 to focus purely on this event, hoping he may have a better shot against Havko then he would against eventual four time state champ Joe Beveridge. Spisak himself was a multi time state medalist with a sub 9:20 PR at 3200. And of course Beveridge himself was also toeing the line, doubling back from the 32. Both guys had a reputation for getting out hard.

Havko put himself in 3rd for most of the first lap, tucking in behind Spisak and Beveridge. The group came through in about a 64 second first lap, with Sam looking very comfortable with Jim began to try and push things on a bit quicker. The top three started to breakaway down the backstretch with Havko now in second and Spisak pounding the pace. They hit 800 in around 2:08-2:09. Down the back stretch Havko moved into first place, preparing to drop the hammer with 600 to go. When he hit the bell at 3:09-3:10, things were turned up yet another notch. He absolutely torched the final 400 leaving the rest of the field as an afterthought.

  1 Havko, Sam                12 Fairview 10            4:10.17#  10  
  2 Spisak, Jim               12 Bshp Mccort 06         4:16.86    8  
  3 Beveridge, Joe            12 Bshp McDevitt 03       4:21.13    6  
  4 Ingle, Ben                12 Tyrone 06              4:22.25    5  
  5 Snook, Walter             12 Devon Prep 01          4:24.20    4  
  6 Hyjek, Omar               11 Quaker Valley 07       4:27.68    3  
  7 Kubiak, Brett             11 Mltn Hershey 03        4:28.34    2  
  8 Hunyara, John             12 Minersville 11         4:28.52    1  
  9 Hirst, Ryan               11 Fairview 10            4:28.60 
 10 Miller, Evan              11 Laurel 07              4:31.92 
 11 McCormick, Michael        12 Washington 07          4:32.82 
 12 Brooker, Matthew          12 Penns Valley 06        4:33.77
Havko came back less than an hour later after running one of the fastest 1600m in meet history to go after the 800 title. Many runners have not had the fire or the strength to pull off the double, but Havko filed into the pack through the opening 300 and saw what he could do. But things started to slow and, ultimately, he found himself at the front again, coming through in about 57-58 seconds. Once again, Havko cranked it up to another level on the second lap. The meet record (1:51.9) seemed way out of reach just a few seconds before, but suddenly he was crushing the pace. Again he sprinted away from the field and the crowd rose to its feet as Havko nearly eclipsed the long standing meet record. He just missed it, but still ended with a dominant, impressive double.

For the record, I was sitting next to the meet record holder at the time with our team. We all looked at him to see if he showed any signs of concern for his record. He said simply, “I’ve had this record long enough, I’m fine with somebody taking it.” So Peretta, feel free to take it this year if you'd like.

  1 Havko, Sam                12 Fairview 10            1:52.78#  10  
  2 Shrawder, Adam            12 W Middlesex 10         1:55.04    8  
  3 Gentile, Nick             11 Freeport 07            1:55.76    6  
  4 Jewell, Kevin             12 E Allegheny 07         1:55.79    5  
  5 Pegg, Ian                 12 Quaker Valley 07       1:57.50    4  
  6 Piazza, Nicholas          12 Notre Dame GP 11       1:57.68    3  
  7 Finn, Matt                12 Sprngfld Twp 01        1:57.74    2  
  8 Erhard, Tyler             11 East Juniata 04        1:57.78    1  
  9 Kosanovich, Chad          12 Quaker Valley 07       1:58.06 
 10 Grasso, Mike              12 Milton Area 04         1:59.24 
 11 Pawlush, Derek            10 Trinity 03             2:01.68 
 12 Ingle, Ben                12 Tyrone 06              2:03.03  

8. 2007 AAA 3200m
Heading into the 2007 state championship, Paul Springer looked invincible. He had run 8:52 for a full two miles and clocked down around 4:10 for the mile. He had defeated Weller indoors in the mile and the previous outdoors at 3200. At the previous week’s district championship, Springer had dominated the field with a sub 4:20 final mile, gliding effortlessly away from the competition. As the fastest two miler in PA history, Springer had his sights set on the 8:58 long standing 3200m meet record when he took the trip out to Shippensburg and few saw his race as much more than a battle against the clock.

It was a brutally hot day at states and Springer wanted no part of the early pace. Lucas Zarzeczny from the WPIAL, the AA XC State Champ, took things out to an early lead. He opened up a strong lead through the opening laps as Springer and Dawson led the chase group. But it was short lived as no one was motivated to break away under the conditions. Kyle Dawson, the man who had led the blazing fast pace at states in XC, went to the lead to take things through the mile, just under 4:40, before Springer finally felt compelled to make his first appearance at the front. If he wanted the long standing meet record of 8:58, he would need to drop the hammer over the second mile. However, anything about 4:30 should be no problem for an 8:52 full two miler.

With 1200m to go, Weller moved into second place, flanked by Strath Haven’s Rob Speare. Weller, who had tripled at indoor states, had seemed to lack that extra spunk outdoors. He had struggled at Penn Relays and finished well behind Springer at Henderson’s Invitational. But the XC state champ hung tough to Springer’s pace, looking tired. These two, along with Speare had clearly broken free from the rest of the group and the pace drop in these conditions was noticeable.

With a lap to go, no one looked comfortable and all three runners went through in about 8:03-8:04. Springer was still leading, but Weller and Speare did not budge. Down the back stretch, Springer put down a surge hoping to break away, just as he did at districts, but Weller was ready for the challenge. Springer looked back over his shoulder to check, with noticeable fear.

Weller rallied off the final turn, but Springer rallied as well, fighting valiantly to hold off the final charge. Springer and Weller both launched into an all-out sprint for the line. The duo went stride for stride, neither backing down before, finally, in a heroic final sprint, Weller found the extra gear needed to pull away for victory.

It was a huge win for Weller who had beat Springer at both XC states and outdoor states just weeks after Springer had run record setting runs. First it was his 14:47 at Lehigh and then his 8:52 state record. In that moment on the track, beating the defending champion and state record holder, Weller cemented himself as one of the clutchest runners in PA history.
  1 Weller, Jason             12 Boyertown 01           9:02.75    10 
  2 Springer, Paul            12 Unionville 01          9:04.30     8 
  3 Speare, Rob               12 Strath Haven 01        9:10.09     6 
  4 Kareis, Greg              11 Red Lion 03            9:15.74     5 
  5 Dawson, Kyle              12 Coatesville 01         9:16.05     4 
  6 Ward, Sean                12 Coatesville 01         9:18.79     3 
  7 Ross, Zachary             12 Meadville 10           9:18.89     2 
  8 Dennin, Mark              11 Boyertown 01           9:19.16     1 
  9 Mcclimon, Danny           12 Owen J Robrts 01       9:22.33 
 10 VanKooten, Scott          12 Pittsburgh CC 07       9:23.65 
 11 Cristopher, Josh          12 Penn Trafford 07       9:28.97 
 12 Beegle, Bryan             12 Gettysburg 03          9:32.34 
7. 2011 AAA 1600m
I can still remember the first time I raced Drew Magaha. I was a junior and he was an upstart freshman. We were at home, for a dual meet between our team and his. Our top guys were resting which had opened the door for myself and a couple teammates to get our first chance to win an individual race on our home track. Naturally, I really wanted to win and impress my peers and teammates in my big moment in the spotlight. But when the race finally began, I chased Drew for two laps and never caught him. I remember I would get close and then he would seemingly randomly throw down big surges and pull away again. That was the thing I always noticed about him early in his career, he didn’t seem to be comfortable racing or have a clear strategy. But he did have one of the sickest kicks around.

So in 2010, when Drew finally developed his tactical approach to match his immense talent, he sprinted away from a loaded field at the District One Championships to claim his first district title as just a sophomore. Then, a year later, he took up another notch. He rolled through the district meet, setting the meet record with a 4:10.99. A full 2.1 seconds faster than Dan McKay’s record from 15 years earlier. So, as a huge favorite, Drew entered his second outdoor state championship, looking for his first gold. And perhaps something more.

Vengeance was on Magaha's mind as a year earlier he had fallen ill and struggled even to finish the race. Now he had to prove he could rise to the occasion on the big stage. As the race began, the field set out at a fairly strong pace. Drew positioned himself at the front in a pack including double indoor gold medalist Wade Endress, District One stand out Ned Willig, District 3's Ed Schrom and the WPIAL's Alex Moran. The first lap was covered in about 63 seconds.

Endress took over for lap two, pushing the pace at some key moments, but keeping the tempo relatively consistent. The same pack of five jockeyed for position out front. Controlling their effort, the boys went through in a pretty strong 2:05-2:06 type split, setting things up very well for a record attempt. And there were still plenty of guys there, ready to strike. Noticeably absent from the front pack was indoor state runner up Nate McClafferty of Conrad Weiser. He had suffered a minor slip up at districts (I believe he lost a shoe after running the 4x8?) and seemed noticeably off his game. He had made a huge surge on the third lap of his indoor state race that helped make things so fast overall. If Nate wasn't the man to do it outdoors, who would step up?

The answer came on the backstretch of the third lap. As Endress continued to hammer the pace, Great Valley's Ned Willig came to his shoulder at the 1,000 meter mark to make a bid for the lead. It was now a pack of three who were starting to establish themselves at the front. Drew made a smart move to cover Ned's surge and the two battled around the turn into the straightaway. Here, getting a view of the clock, Drew knew it was time to go. He took off at 400 to go, hitting the line around 3:09, knowing he needed a sub 60 second final lap to eclipse Craig Miller's record. What he got was a 58. Drew hit the line in 4:07.32, blowing the race open on the final lap. After watching Drew eclipse the record, fans were treated to an exciting race behind him. Nate McClafferty came out of nowhere to surge on the final 400, possibly clocking the fastest final lap of the field and running down Willig on the last straightaway.

Amazingly, this race was Drew's only state championship of his four year career. Although he was one of PA's all time greats at both the 800 and the 1600, he had two bouts of sickness that left him out the back of the championship fields. However, it was a moment like this, where he smashed a meet record held by the legendary Craig Miller, that reminded us just how much potential this kid really had.

Keep in mind, the last three guys to own this meet record (Bair, Miller and now Magaha) were all underclassmen and none of them earned a state medal their senior year outdoors. I hope it's not jinxed ...

Also, remember the excitement for Drew vs. Ned we had after this? Things only got better during indoor. But it wasn't meant to be. Injuries for Ned and mono for Drew wrecked a good portion of their senior seasons. And then, just a year later, the state title became a battle of two new up and comers: Tom Coyle and Jack Huemmler. Funny how these things end up sometimes.

  1 Magaha, Drew              11 Upper Morelnd 01     4:16.62    4:07.32R  10  
  2 Mcclafferty, Nate         12 Conrad Weiser 03     4:19.30    4:11.37#   8  
  3 Willig, Ned               11 Great Valley 01      4:14.41    4:11.99#   6  
  4 Endress, Wade             12 Altoona Area 06      4:17.81    4:13.77    5  
  5 Moran, Alex               11 Mt Lebanon 07        4:14.62    4:15.46    4  
  6 Schrom, Ed                12 Cntrl Dauphin 03     4:14.66    4:16.63    3  
  7 Groff, Matthew            12 Hempfield 03         4:17.80    4:17.35    2  
  8 Campbell, Chris           12 CR North 01          4:15.65    4:18.08    1  
  9 Koliso, Mahdi             12 Glen Mills 01        4:23.77    4:19.48 
 10 Dallago, Matt             12 Perkiomen Vly 01     4:20.38    4:24.02 
 11 Gregor, Austin            12 CB South 01          4:18.02    4:26.06 
  12 Norris, Max               10 Harriton 01          4:22.59    4:33.94 
 Part Two is coming soon! Feel free to try and guess what is still left to come!


Track Attack is Back

By Jarrett Felix
It’s still relatively early in the season, early enough that the weather is a little chilly (or windy as heck as it was for me today) and the fast times are few and far between as teams get back into shape after a long winter. I was barely able to pull myself away from Facebook Basketball (shout out to Evan Hatton who is having quite the basketball related week) to sit at this computer and type up some talk while cooking some salmon burgers. Yes, that’s a real thing. Now on to business.

PTFCA Track Carnival
Just a few days after racing at Rustin, Peter Cooke of Radnor came back with vengeance in his rematch with Neshaminy’s Sean Conway.  Cooke blasted a 1:57.63 for gold, marking a 5 second drop from Thursday night. Conway clocked yet another sub 2 minute mark and then Mike Sheptuk of Notre Dame ES rounded out the sub 2 marks. Sheptuk is at a AA school and hitting an early season 1:59 low sets him up quite well for a run at the medal stand down the road. But I think Cooke is the story here. After winning his heat at indoor states, Cooke is picking up where he left off and dropping a big PR. Radnor has turned Connor Holm and Andre Kelly into stars while also boasting a state medal winning DMR and a 7:51 4x8 in recent years. This is a program on the rise and Cooke may finish as their most successful guy yet when all is said and done.

At 1600m, Patrick Donahue won by nearly 7 seconds over Hershey sophomore Andrew Sullivan, clocking an impressive 4:24.47. Donahue has never been afraid to go out hard and run from the front and that style likely paid huge dividends on race day. The 4:31 out of Sullivan, just a sophomore, is also an excellent mark for a District 3 guy with a limited indoor campaign. Charlie Scales of the Haverford School took the W in the 3200 after running mainly the 16 and 8 indoors, showcasing some nice range. His winning mark was 9:58.

Loved what I saw from Penn Wood today. Not the big name guys, but some strong performances. Kenneth Johnson, just a sophomore, won the 400 in a quick 50.34. Meanwhile Todd Jackson, the team’s 4th member of their indoor 4x8, continues to show improvement at 800, running 2:06 for 6th in the 8. They also took gold in the 300m Hurdles thanks to Sekou Kanneh.

If you like relays, CR South and Abington may have had the best performances of the day. Abington ran 8:04 and 3:21 to put a stranglehold on both events, while CR South continues to show promise in the DMR (could they make a late run at a Penn Relays time?). The real story, however, may be Penncrest. The 4x8 powerhouse is taking strides toward another postseason run (and possible Penn Relays appearance) after running an 8:17.39 this weekend. In a deeper race with more competition, this team could cut some time and make a low 8 minute mark feasible.

Brother Jerome
It wasn’t a particularly crowded meet on the guys side, but we did see some nice marks. Noah Chandler of Springside ran 4:38 in the full mile and then came back to run 2:02 at 800m, taking gold and silver in his two efforts. Joe Previdi of Masterman took the 800, running a 2:01.55. It’s a nice display of range for Previdi, whose last indoor race was a sub 9 3,000m.

Pirate Invitational
Pennridge comes out the gates absolutely firing this spring. Oh my. Austin Howell won both the 400 and the 200 clocking 49.78 and 22.88 in the two gold medal runs. He had teammates all around him as well as Pennridge took 4 of the top 5 spots in the 400 and 3 of the top 4 in the 2. Josh Pinkney clocked a 22.98 for 2nd in the 2 and John Nash ran 51.22 for silver in the quarter. Pennridge also took 2-4 in the open 800 (without Tucker Desko). Jeff Espinal led the way at 2 flat followed by Luke Eissler (2:03.57) and Soloman Araneta (very strong 2:04.82). Eissler is just a frosh. James Masgai added to the Pennridge point total in the event with a 7th place finish. That performance came after Masgai had already helped contribute to a 2-3-5-6 effort for Pennridge in the mile. The team was led by Matt Eissler (another frosh) in this one. He clocked a 4:36.70. Eissler also won the 3200, getting revenge on Dylan Bucior who had defeated him in the 16. For added fun, the Rams won both the 4x8 and the 4x4. All of this appears to be done without 1:53/4:18 man Tucker Desko so stay tuned.

But there was more than just Pennridge to note in this one. Brett Wolfinger of Quakertown got the victory in the 800, cracking 2 minutes yet again (1:58.16). He is carrying his momentum nicely from a fantastic state meet. Another Quakertown teammate, Nicholas Yeatman, ran 2:08 for 5th place. I’m curious to see what they can throw together in a relay when you add in Delisle looking ahead. I also really liked the run from Dylan Bucior in the 1600. He’s a state medal winner from XC, but I believe Jim Thorpe jumps up to AAA during the spring so his road back to the podium gets a bit trickier come May. Still an excellent start for him at 4:34.79.

Raleigh Relays

Chasing some early season fast times, the Hoey boys went down to North Carolina to compete against a strong field in the Mile. The loaded field was won 4:13.20 by Frank Pittman from Marist who apparently closed in a last lap well under 60 seconds. Josh Hoey finished 7th at 4:19.94 (about where he started off last year at William and Mary, but also about where he finished the regular season as he didn’t drop his PR until June) and Jaxson finished 11th in 4:25.

The Weekend Review: Kuhn and Murphy Grab Victories; Raleigh 10k Results Are Deep

By: Garrett Zatlin

See the PA Alumni section for tons of times and even some analysis on how our alumni are doing!

PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
The event of the day (and maybe the weekend) took place here where Daniel Kuhn (Indiana), Collins Kibet (Arizona), and Eugene Hamilton III (California) all went at it in a very fast half mile battle. At the end, it was Kuhn taking the victory with a time of 1:46.69 while Kibet was close behind in 1:46.90. Hamilton III rounded out the top three running 1:47.24.

Kuhn continues to impress me with every race he runs. He has become better and better with each race he has run and takes down big names in the process. It's also nice to see Kibet and Hamilton III run some quick times after a rough indoor season.

These are outstanding early season times, but these are all talented individuals that were still using some indoor season fitness to get a fast time under their belts. I imagine they will lay low for a while.

Fun fact, none of those three guys made indoor nationals this past winter.

Jonathan Stevens of Washington has begun to make a name for himself. The Husky sophomore took the win in a time of 3:43.70 to beat out Indiana's Rory Hunter who was second with a time of 3:44.20.

That's a nice time for Stevens this early on in the season. Washington continues to produce impressive distance runners.

Behind the Stevens and Hunter was Mason Ferlic (Michigan) who ran 3:44.67. He's more of a steeplechase guy, but it's good to see him coming down in distance and still going under 3:45.

3000 Steeplechase
CJ Albertson (Arizona State) runs a very nice early season 8:48.50 to get the win. The steeplechase field is somewhat unpredictable this year, so new comers like Albertson could have a chance to mix it up and contend.

Trent Brendel and Chris Walden (both of California) go 1-2 running 14:29 and 14:30 respectively.

Raleigh Relays
Six men went under 1:51 with Justine Kiprotich (Michigan State) leading the way (ran 1:50.29). The Spartan freshman is showing plenty of promise already when you consider that he was second in the 1500 the day before (see 1500 meter section).

Clayton Murphy continues to show his dominance in more than just the 800. The Akron half-mile star handled the field pretty easily by only responding when he had to. He got the win with a time of 3:44.

Behind Murphy was Justine Kiprotich (Michigan State) and Graham Crawford (NC State) who were both 3:45. Freshman Ryan Adams (Furman), ran a smart race and got himself fourth with a time of 3:46.

The top collegiate in the field was Mark Derrick of UNC who ran a very solid 13:54 to finish 5th overall. The next collegiate was little known name, Steve Flynn of George Mason who ran a solid 13:55 to put his name in the mix of potential national contenders.

Amon Terer (Campbell), Joey Chapin (Dartmouth), and Troy Reeder (Furman) were the rest of the registered collegians who went under 14 minutes on the day.

Jacob Thomson (Kentucky) is the winner in this one with a solid time of 29:01. He out ran Shaun Thompson of Duke who was 29:02. Willy Fink (Eastern Mich.) was third running 29:04.

Finishing in fourth and fifth were Lawrence Kipkoech (Campbell) and Sam Parsons (NC State). Both of them ran 29:11.

25 men broke 30 minutes in this race.

If anything, this 10k should be getting us excited about what the next few months hold. Thompson, Kipkoech, and Parsons were essentially MIA during the winter or rarely competed at all. There are plenty of new names that we forgot from cross country that will pop up and surprise us throughout this season.

PLNU Invite
James Randon (Yale) continues his momentum from the winter season and throws down a very nice 1:50.99. He was able to dip under four minutes late in the winter season, so be sure to watch how he progresses throughout the spring.

Miami Hurricane Twilight Invite
Cryil Grayson (LSU) is one of the first men under 1:50 this year clocking 1:49.35. Teammate Jack Wilkes was second running 1:51.18

Blair Henderson (LSU) goes up in distance to get a very nice win with a time of 3:46.48.

Vanderbilt Black and Gold Invite
Peter Archibad (Loyola Ill.) gets the win by over two seconds with a time of 1:49.75.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invite
The man typically known for his 800 prowess, Eliud Rutto (Mid. Tenn. State) wins the 5000 in a 14:47.45. That's some pretty solid range...

Jim Bush Collegiate Invite
3000 Steeple
Bailey Roth (Arizona) holds off Forrest Shaffer (Washington State) 8:59.38 to 9:00.90


Jim Taylor Invite

Alek Sauer (Columbia): 2nd- 1:19.84 @ Stoney Brook University Quad Meet

Nico Metzler (Georgia Tech): 6th- 1:53.86 @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invite
Julian Degroot-Lutzner (Pomona-Pitzer): 37th- 2:04.60 @ PLNC Invite
Ethan Gatchell (Cedarville): 9th- 2:00.82 @ Cedarville Yellow Jacket Open
Billy McDevitt (Penn State): 8th- 1:52.51 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Alex Moran (Michigan): 11th- 1:53.11 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Joey Logue (Penn State):18th- 1:55.78 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Drew Magaha (Penn): 1st- 1:51.36 @ Penn Challenge
Jack Hummler (Penn): 9th- 1:55.92 @ Penn Challenge
Zach Brehm (Army West Point): 15th- 2:03.53 @ Penn Challenge
Ned Willig (Brown): 8th- 1:51.30 @ Raleigh Relays
Andrew Stone (Notre Dame): 16th- 1:53.18 @ Raleigh Relays

James Belfatto (American): 7th- 3:56.21 @ Maryland Invite
Austin Cooper (IUP): 1st- 4:03.50 @ Cal U. Early Bird
Josh Oakley (West Chester): 1st- 4:07.79 @ Golden Ram Invite
Chris Cummings (Clemson): 32nd- 4:11.79 @ Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Invite
Curtis Watro (Carnegie Mellon): 1st- 3:59.82 @ 5 Team Invite
Ryan Archer (Carnegie Mellon): 6th- 4:09.55 @ 5 Team Invite
Jonathan Perlman (Middlebury): 2nd-3:58.64 @ PLNC Invite
Ethan Gatchell (Cedarville): 2nd- 4:03.65 @ Cedarville Yellow Jacket Open
Wade Endress (Penn State): 9th- 3:48.97 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Ean DiSilvio (Penn State): 10th- 3:49.72 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Glen Burkhardt (Penn State): 23rd- 3:55.76 @ PAC 12 vs BIG 10 Invite
Zach Brehm (Army West Point): 10th- 3:57.94 @ Penn Challenge
Ryan Smathers (Army West Point): 11th- 3:58.13 @ Penn Challenge
Alec Kunzeweiler (Duke): 7th- 3:48.20 @ Raleigh Relays
Seamus Collins (Cincinnati): 38th- 3:56.06 @ Raleigh Relays

3000 Steeplechase 
Julian Degroot-Lutzner (Pomona-Pitzer): 3rd- 9:47.73 @ PLNC Invite
Ross Wilson (Penn): 2nd- 9:06.02 @ Penn Challenge

Lyle Wistar (Penn): 3rd- 14:37.67 @ Penn Challenge
Sam Webb (Penn): 5th- 14:44.51 @ Penn Challenge
Aaron Gebhart (Charlotte): 71st- 15:00.66 @ Raleigh Relays
Jeremy Parsons (Slippery Rock): 73rd- 15:03.47 @ Raleigh Relays

Patrick Reilly (Lehigh): 31st- 30:06.39 @ Raleigh Relays
Sean Burke (Lehigh): 53rd- 31:00.15 @ Raleigh Relays

The faces that we were used to seeing a couple years ago reemerged this past weekend. Willig and Magaha were both at 1:51. Willig is rebounding from an injury during the winter season while Magaha is trying to find his rhythm once again. Older guys like Metzler, Moran, and Stone are doing well by keeping their times in the low 1:50's while the younger alumni like McDevitt and Logue seem to be finding their roles on a loaded Penn State team.

Nothing too flashy, but there were a lot of nice wins by our alumni at our smaller schools. Endress and DiSilvio both made their spring debut by going under 3:50 while Alec Kunzweiler mixed it up with some of the top guys at Raleigh Relays and ran 3:48.

3000 Steeplechase
Nothing too exciting here. Ross Wilson had a nice rust-buster, but his real challenge will be at the Stanford Invite this upcoming weekend. JDL runs the 800 and steeplechase all in the same meet. That's some pretty nice range for a guy still as young as him.

The Penn guys (Webb and Wistar) quietly ran some very nice races. Look for those two to improve on their times later this season. Gebhart and Parsons are both doing well in their own regards as they were just around the 15 minute mark.

Patrick Reilly is only a sophomore and he is already impressing me. He was racing against a very talented field and came out with a 31st place finish. I'm sure we'll be seeing him under 30 minutes very soon.

Spring Has Sprung!

by Jarrett Felix

Well folks, we didn’t have to wait all that long for the first races of spring to commence. Over at the Rustin Invitational, we saw some of the first signs of spring flowers blooming as a few PA stand outs returned to the track. A little too heavy on the metaphor? Perhaps, but I can’t help it. I’m excited to be back talking about the races!

In the 800m, we saw one of the best fields of the day. Out front, state medalist Sean Conway of Neshaminy battled against the 9th place finisher from the indoor state meet Jack Armand of Garnet Valley. This time, Armand got the better of Conway, clocking a 1:57.81 for the victory. This is an excellent start to the season for Armand and adds yet another 1:57-1:58 type mark to his resume. He’s very consistent so far the past few weeks and he’s a tough racer. Meanwhile, Brett Zatlin of Great Valley took 3rd at 2:03.03 ahead of the Heat 1 winner from the indoor state meet in Peter Cooke of Radnor (2:03.41). Cooke was also in the 1600m (4:45) so not sure which race he was doubling in (I’m guessing the 8 based on a typical order of events but who knows). Three other runners cracked 2:07 in the opener, including Conway’s teammate Liam Krimmel. Rustin’s own Billy Covert ran a very impressive half, crushing a 2:06.18. According to milesplit, his previous best was only a 2:14.47 (from this meet last year), although milesplit doesn’t have much in the way of dual meet results. But still, it was an impressive run.

At 1600m, there was a different Conway who took center stage. In fact, if you combine Sean Conway and Liam Krimmel you kind of get his name. Liam Conway, the sophomore from Owen J Roberts, grabbed gold in 4:30.98, defeated the Spring Ford duo of John Conner and Zachary Smith by 7 and 9 seconds respectively. Conway continues to roll after an impressive indoor season that featured three separate state qualifying type performances in each of the distance events. Kids got range. But outdoors, I think we should be on the lookout for what his team can do. The surprise squad from this fall’s Foundation Invitational had a strong showing in this meet behind Conway’s victory. Ethan Conway finished in the top 10 at 800m while Abe Van Helmond took 3rd in the 16, running 4:40.10. Owen J also got a 12th place finish from Quinten Sherwood who ran 4:51.

Of course, Owen J’s Pac-10 rivals, Spring Ford, also threw down their own platter of top marks. Besides Smith and Conner, who each broke 4:40 in the 16 for silver and bronze, they also got a top 10 finish from Patrick Power (4:48).  Spring Ford also capitalized on the relays, taking 3rd in the 4x8 (8:32) and 2nd in the 4x4 (3:34). Then, in the 3200m, teammates Jacob McKenna and Shane Ainscoe finished 2nd and 4th in the 3200 with McKenna cracking 10 minutes.

That 3200 was won by West Chester East’s Rob Moser who ran a 9:41.06 for a 16 second victory. Moser continues to roll after an impressive indoor track season that featured an 8:56 3k at the Carnival. You have to be impressed by the ascension Moser has been on this year, dating all the way back to his strong XC season. This field was no joke either as beyond the Spring Ford duo it featured big names like Jake Ilgenfritz, Josh Faber, Dylan Smiley and Jack Carmody. Two of those guys are past top 50 finishers at XC states. East also got a strong run from Sebastian Hoyos(5th) ahead of West Chester rival Brandon Hontz (7th).

Downingtown East won the 4x800 narrowly over West Chester Rustin with a time of 8:23.45 to Rustin’s 8:24.68. We saw flashes of this kind of potential from East during the winter, but this was a little bit out of left field from Rustin (in my opinion). They had a strong relay last year, but also graduated some key pieces. I’m interested to see how they round out the squad in 2016.

PTFCA Track Classic at Plymouth Whitemarsh (mistakenly said GV before) is coming up this weekend and should have some strong fields (usually we see flashes of some future Penn Relays qualifiers). You can check out the fields on milesplit and I’ll recap the action here on the site as well.

Shout Out to Isaac Messner

I highly suggest you read this linked article about a special person in the running community. Really cool story to start my day with:

Yes, I Did Forget the 4x8

by Jarrett Felix

I tried for a solid AA post, but it was tricky. Quite frankly don't have enough data to make an informed post on a top 8 for AA. The usual players will likely be involved (Wyomissing, Trinity, Lakeland, Mercyhurst) but I'm not sure yet. As for AAA, yes I can give you a little AAA.

AAA 4x800m
1.      State College – State College ran an impressive 7:45 at Indoor Nats to back up their state championship at PSU. Counting their Millrose victory, their last three races have been nothing short of spectacular. Last year, this squad ran 7:41 with three of the same pieces: two of those pieces have already bested their marks from last outdoors. But I’m interested to see how this team will approach the outdoor season. SC was a solid team title contender last year, but ultimately DT West was a monster that could not be contained. I’m interested to see if outdoors, SC attacks the individual events a bit more, trying to get Feffer and Degleris in the 800 finals and Milligan in the 1600 finals. They would also push hard in the 4x4 and 4x8. That makes for a much busier weekend in Shippensburg and potentially an upset in the state 4x8.
2.      CB West – CB West returns three from their 7:45 squad last outdoor season and backed up that time with a 2nd place finish at indoor states. Remember, CB West ran within two seconds of Pennsbury at districts last year, but took a small step back at Shipp while Pennsbury and Pennridge took big time steps forward. If things broke differently, who is to say CBW couldn’t have been right there at 7:40-7:41 last year? Would we then think different of them heading into this outdoor season?
3.      Abington – Abington was barely edged out by CB West at states this indoors, taking 3rd overall. I really like this squad, which boasts two 1:56 guys and a 1:57 guy from the indoor season. I also feel like we could see Isiah Smith at some point this season at 800. I say this literally every post and maybe I’m just wrong, but I’d be surprised if they don’t experiment with him in the outdoor two lapper. And I’d also be surprised if he doesn’t become a stud in the event by season’s end.
4.      Pennridge – They still have three guys on their roster from their 7:40 last year. That team was supposed to fall off after Joey Logue graduated and yet they ran better than any relay he had ever anchored (which is saying something considering the teams he has anchored). This indoor season wasn’t amazing for them, but they did run a blazing fast DMR and develop two freshmen at 2 flat and 2:03. They didn’t have the greatest state championship, but they also didn’t use Desko or Howell on their 4x8 squad (arguably their two best legs). Howell will be the key as he stuck mostly to the quarter during the winter.
5.      CB East – I think everyone is curious what this team will do. They made the Championship of America for 4x8 last outdoors at Penn Relays with three guys who they still have on the roster. They ran right with teams like Pennridge and CB West during the regular season before faltering at Districts. They had three legs under 2 flat on their indoor 4x8 and none of them were Jake Brophy. But if Brophy sticks to the 3200, he has the 32-4x8 double on his plate, a desperately tricky affair. Does that type of double really make sense for the reigning XC and 3k state champ? Trying the 3k-DMR double indoors almost cost him a state title. But maybe Jake isn’t worried about becoming the first man to win XC-indoor 3k-outdoor 32 since Jason Weller in 2007. He’s probably never heard of Jason Weller. Don’t be surprised if we see an event change (like Sam Webb last year) or even perhaps a completely fresh run out of Jake. I think anything is on the table.
6.      Penn Wood – Penn Wood is coming on quickly in this event. Their well-timed outdoor peak of 7:49 earned a top 5 finish at states and this indoors we saw many of those same pieces continue to improve. Seck seems like someone on the verge of becoming a star to me and Manyeah is arguably already there. They have so much speed and these guys will only get stronger as they have more time to train for and learn the 800. If they find a way to get a 4th guy at or under 2 flat, they will be a team to watch.
7.      Bishop Shanahan – Shanahan isn’t sneaking up on anyone anymore after their 3rd place finish at XC states and their indoor state medal. They head to outdoors with the same crew that ran 7:53 last year in the district finals and a rapidly developing sophomore in Logan Yoquinto. Each runner is very comfortable in their role on the relay and knows how to run their race. Then perhaps the best way to move forward is to mix things up? I’m looking forward to some top notch individual runs from these guys this spring in addition to this relay.

8.      Carlisle – Real toss up between Carlisle and Cedar Crest for this last spot, but I went with the team with the best anchor. I think this spot is fairly up for grabs (will O’Hara chase it? How about LaSalle? A sleeper pick in District 7?), but there’s big potential here with the Wisner bros and Kole already sitting around 1:53-2:02-2:03. Now I’m not sure what other pieces are waiting in the wings, but they have delivered impressively in this relay in the past (back in the Zach Brehm days) and the D3 teams always find a way to mix it up by outdoor states.