Here’s a District One cheat sheet for you based on the D1 results from a year ago and some milesplit snooping. The teams are listed in the order they finished at last year’s championships. Runners in italics are those who do not run varsity at districts last year but did show promise to become stars in the future.
CR North (2016: 1st, 2015: 4th)
Ryan Campbell, Sr 15:33 (3) + 15:10/9:14/4:25
Sam Early, Sr 15:47 (13) + 1:58/3:20/9:01
Ethan Koza, Sr 16:00 (21) + 15:57/4:24/9:42
Kevin Ehrgott, Sr 16:19 (41) + 10:07/4:35
Matt Mullen, Jr 17:38 (236) +17:19/4:47
The defending state champions from CR North return five varsity runners from their state championship squad a year ago. Ryan Campbell had a strong showing on the track as a long distance guy while Sam Early and Ethan Koza showed some nice range. There’s a tiny question mark at the 4-5 and it’s also unclear how their depth will come together, but the historical strength of this program puts most doubts to rest. However, as things currently stand, they will be searching for 5th guy to deliver a sub 17 performance to get them a second straight district and state title.
DT West (2016: 2nd, 2015: 1st)
Tyler Rollins, Sr 16:18 (40) + 4:29/9:25
Evan Kaiser, Jr 16:51 (117) + 4:28/9:56
Isaac Valderrabano, Jr 16:43/4:36
Payton Sewall, Jr 16:59/4:38/9:51
Kevin Long, Sr 17:05/4:43/10:30
Joseph Chamoun, Jr 16:55/10:09/4:31
DT West loses five of seven from last year’s district runner-up squad including arguably their 4 best guys. They’ve officially lost all the members of their 2015 state championship squad. This will be a big “show me” year for DT West as a program. They had a ton of JV depth last season and the assumption is that dudes will step up this next year. Most notably, Tyler Rollins looked like a potential star on the track after a nice close to his XC season. I think West will be a bubble team at districts this year, especially considering they have historically had some struggles at Lehigh and tend to run better on the Hershey hills.
CB West (2016: 3rd, 2015: 2nd)
Ben Bunch, Sr 16:19 (42) + 16:18/9:38/8:58/4:33
Michael Samson, Sr 16:27 (57) + 16:14
Carter Laatsch, So 16:33 (67) + 2:01/4:25 (15)
Brian Baker, Sr 17:10 + 1:56
CB West has gone from track power to XC power in the blink of an eye. The past three seasons they’ve been a top three team in the district. Last year, after losing their top 3 runners from an excellent squad, they continued to improve and used a lethal spread to get to states. They continue to lose key pieces as we look ahead to 2017, but they do have depth. I like Ben Bunch as a potential top 50 finisher at states and sub 16 guy at Lehigh. Michael Samson had arguably his worst race of the year at districts so don’t let that 57th place fool you. But can they develop any of their 800 guys and make them cross guys? Or will they find some more talented out of nowhere guys? I didn’t think they would make states last year, but they did (and almost beat DT West). Let’s see if they can surprise again.
Henderson (2016: 5th, 2015: 3rd)
Spencer Smucker, Sr 15:37 (4) + 4:18y/2:01
Stephen Heck, Sr 16:29 (61) + 10:15
Calvin Pash, Jr 16:34 (72) + 10:22/4:47
Luke Geier, So 17:14 (173) + 10:32
It’s Henderson. They are probably making it through. They return four of seven from their district championship performance, including some young guns in Calvin Pash and Luke Geier. Smucker is a stud and coming off his best and heathiest track season. Heck had a heck of a year last year in XC, especially down the stretch. But they did lose another chunk of depth and they still need to find one or two other stars to make a jump back to where they were in prior years. Interested to see who steps up.
Spring Ford (2016: 6th, 2015: 6th)
Shane Ainscoe, Sr 16:17 (37) + Sub 16
Milan Sharma, Sr 16:25 (54) + 1:59
Jacob McKenna, Sr 16:27 (58) + 9:36/4:30
Zach Smith, Sr 16:49 (108) + 9:45/4:32/16:20
Joseph Power, Jr 16:53 (126) + 10:19/4:43
Spring Ford has had the heartbreak of finishing 6th two straight years at districts, missing out on states by one spot. The biggest obstacle has been front running and youth as they’ve had mainly returning guys and just one state qualifier individually during that stretch. Now everything could come together as those young guys are finally seniors. They should be hungry and ready to roll this fall, but anything can happen. I like this team as a motivated squad, but guys will need to join Ainscoe as state qualifiers. Milan Sharma is an intriguing name as he made big strides down the stretch of 2016 as a breakout star. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this top four stays healthy and is able to finally get the monkey off their back.
Pennsbury (2016: 7th, 2015: 8th)
Jed Scratchard, Sr 16:32 (65) + 16:25/4:22y/1:57
Aidan Sauer, Sr 16:34 (70) + 16:31/1:55
Thomas Mink, Jr 17:04 (157)
Calvin Hodges, Sr 17:33 (219)
Pennsbury has been a consistent top ten program since the Webb-Harriman combo hit its peak back in 2012. Even with a ton of graduations, they still have found a way to keep near the front of the loaded district field. They lose some key pieces, including state medalist Eric Kersten, but they have two guys coming back who were monsters on the track this past fall in Jed Scratchard and Aidan Sauer. They need to build up the depth behind these two to make a real run at states. Also, they need to show that their track improvements can translate to the trails. That’s never a guarantee.
Conestoga (2016: 8th, 2015: 19th)
Carlos Shultz, So 16:00 (22) + sub 9 3k, sub 16
Henry Borska, Jr 16:23 (48)
Jake Robinson, Sr 16:23 (50) + 9:48
Michael Gossow, Jr 18:19 (315)
Conestoga has a monster top 3 in Shultz, Borska and Robinson. But last year they had a loaded top 4 and could only manage 8th. This program has proven they can be a title contender. As recently as 2014 they were district champs. That hopefully means they can reload and continue to build in 2017. They jumped from 19th to 8th this past year and might have a similar jump in store. However, they really need to improve the depth and find some more guys who can give them a sub 17 run.
North Penn (2016: 11th, 2015: 9th)
Colin Grace, Sr 16:16 (35) + 4:32/10:37
Brendan O’Toole, Sr 16:17 (39) + 16:15/4:25/8:58/9:44
Nick Cataldi, Jr 16:20 (44)
Brian Johnson, Jr 16:35 (74) + 16:34/9:57/4:40
Dylan Reid, So 17:18 (184)
Lucas Apple, Sr 17:31 (214)
Noah Demis, So 10:22
Dan Santiago, Sr 16:41/4:25/1:56
The 4x8 powerhouse has won three state titles in the past 11 years in XC. People forget that. However, this team was a surprising 11th place at districts last fall and came very close to leaving the meet with no state qualifiers. The good news is, that was a young squad with a lot of returning firepower. An x-factor could be Dan Santiago, their 1:56 open 800 guy who has run 16:41 for 5k before. There’s also big potential from rising juniors Nick Cataldi and Brian Johnson who ran high quality times as sophomores last year. When you add in state qualifiers Grace and O’Toole, this team looks really deep. But they will need to put it together under the bright lights and back up the numbers. North Penn was one of my sleeper picks last year as well.
Bishop Shanahan (2016: 12th, 2015: 1st (AA))
Josh Hoey, Sr 15:53 (17) + 1:49/4:08y
Logan Yoquinto, Sr 16:32 (66) + 1:55s
Jonah Hoey, So 16:42 (90) + 1:57
Jack Ettien, Jr 16:50 (116) + 4:40/10:07/16:42
Jonathan McGrory, Sr 16:55 (131) + 4:32/10:18
Joseph Schubert, Jr 17:52 (275)
Cameron Cunningham 2:02/4:41/19:07
Shanahan has already gotten their fair share of buzz this summer. The 2015 AA District Champs return five guys who broke 17 minutes last year. Pretty amazing considering this team looked pretty average for a good portion of the year. We saw on the track their potential, but a lot of that came in the more speed oriented events. It will be interesting to see if these track guys can buy into XC. Remember, this team was 3rd in AA at states just two years ago and that was before adding the Hoeys. The big x-factor to watch is Jack Ettien as he continues to get healthy and looks to return to the form that saw him lead the Shanahan boys to that 3rd place finish when he posted a top 50 performance as just a freshman.
Boyertown (2016: 14th, 2015: 25th)
Dominic Derafelo, Sr 16:09 (30) + 4:29/9:40
Kollin Miller, Sr 16:34 (71) + 9:53/4:38
Josh Endy, Sr 16:46 (99) + 16:37/2:02
Justin Smith, Sr 16:49 (109) + 10:08/4:43
Todd Barton, Sr 16:55 (132) + 4:41/10:11
Christian McComb, So 17:02 (152) + 4:35/9:51
Payton Stanziani, Jr 17:13 (172)
This is my sleeper team for this upcoming season. They don’t have any mind-blowing PRs, but they return all seven from last year’s 14th place team including state qualifier Dominic Derafelo. I think rising sophomore Christian McComb has a chance to be really good as his track times were very impressive for a 9th grader. Josh Endy showed me some flashes on the track as well. They return 5 sub 17 guys plus McComb. If I have to pick a team outside the top 10 from a year ago to make states, I honestly might put my money on Boyertown.
CB East (2016: 15th, 2015, 5th)
Declan Earles, Sr 16:33 (68)
Owen Zila, Sr 16:38 (81) + 10:04
Cole Sands, Jr 16:46 (102) + 10:08
David Endres, Jr 17:00 (142) + 15:49/10:05/4:31/1:57
Cade Sands, Jr 17:12 (170) + 16:40
Sean Lahetta, Jr 17:29 (207) + 16:39/10:10/4:39
Andrew Conte, So 17:19
Jack McManus, So 17:22 + 10:22/4:42
Marc Motter, Sr 17:23/1:57/4:36y
Here’s the other team with a tremendous amount of upside. CB East was just 15th last season after losing star Jake Brophy, but they were hoping for more. East looked excellent in the early season and posted some huge times on fast courses in September. This year, they will have to carry that momentum all the way to championship season. East is still super young as they have four rising juniors returning from last year’s varsity squad and two really talented rising sophomores in Conte and McManus. The seniors, Earles and Zila, had arguably their best races of the year at districts last fall so they know how to be clutch. Now they just have to impart it on the others. Remember, this squad still has guys on it who were a part of a top 10 team in the state two years ago and they will be hungry to get back to that level.
Penncrest (2016: 16th, 2015: 31st)
Avery Lederer, Sr 15:47 (11) + 8:47/9:27/4:28
Justin Senackerib, Sr 16:08 (29) + 10:17/4:41
Connor Bonebrake, Jr 16:54 (128)
Adam Gramo-Pensto, Jr 17:04 (155)
Luke Narbus, So 17:04 (158)
Patrick Theveny, So 17:15 (177) +10:14/4:42
Andrew Woolrey, So 17:30 (212)
John McGlinn – 4:42
Penncrest has two state qualifiers back in Lederer and Senackerib. Lederer is a monster who could really help lead this team to big things as a low sick. They don’t have a ton of fast times returning, but they do have a pocket of intriguing underclassmen. They had freshman at the 5 to 7 spots last year and some of them (like Patrick Theveny) look like potential stars in the making. With all seven guys back from last year’s varsity, they should come motivated and ready to go. Only Lederer and Senackerib will be seniors so the other guys all have a shot to make a jump. They will need it as only one of those guys returns with a sub 17 mark.
Owen J. Roberts (2016: 17th, 2015: 10th)
Liam Conway, Sr 15:40 (6) + 1:53/4:13/9:24
Andrew Malmstrom, Sr 16:37 (77) + 9:44/4:39
Linus Blatz, Jr 16:57 (135) + 4:44/10:10
Quinten Sherwood, So 17:08 (163) + 10:17/4:42
Kyle Malmstrom, Sr 17:46 (256) +10:05/4:42
Matt Muthler, So 4:44
OJR quietly put together an impressive track campaign. We know about Liam Conway, the 6th place finisher from districts last year, but how about Andrew Malmstrom? He dropped a 9:44 for 3200 and ran 16:37 last year as well. Owen J Roberts stunned me a few years back with their run at Foundation. Since then, they’ve been building up a nice culture there. I think, with Conway at the helm, this team is starting to believe they can do big things. And the times are dropping to back that up. They have to time their peak well, but I could see things coming together and people being surprised by Roberts at one point or another.
Great Valley (2016: 20th, 2015: 29th)
Hayden Coates, Jr 16:24 (51) + 4:39/10:17
Brett Zatlin, Sr 16:31 (64) + 1:57/4:29
Seth Hoffritz, Jr 16:54 (129)
Roman Silen, Sr 17:29 (205) + 10:26
Ryan Small, Jr 17:38 (234)
We are in the real deep sleepers now as we go outside the top 20. Great Valley is a real long shot to jump into the top 5 and maybe even top 10, but they return a solid core from last year. They have a big three on the rise that includes Brett Zatlin, who ran 1:57 and missed out on states by one spot this spring. But the Patriots get a mention here because of their history. They were 29th in 2015, but before that were a perennial top 10 team. This year’s team looks like it is building back up the talent to get back to that tier of District One.
West Chester East (2016: 21st, 2015: 12th)
Josh Lewin, So 16:31 (63) + 9:31/16:26/4:38
Harrison Mazurek, Sr 16:40 (86) + 10:06/4:44y
Matthew Clarke, Sr 16:51 (119) + 10:02/4:39
Joseph Mazza, Jr 16:54 (127) + 4:47/10:33
Andrew Criscuolo, Sr 17:10 (165)
Sean Brennan, Jr 17:45 (252) + 4:43
Domenic Moser, So 4:42/10:05/18:28
It’s hard being in the Ches-mont as you are going to get overlooked at times, even if you have a great squad. But WC East has been suffering as the third best team in West Chester at times. This year could bring about a big change. East returns four sub 17 runners from last year’s district meet, including rising sophomore Josh Lewin. Lewin could be a state medalist before all is said and done this fall. They had three other guys besides Lewin under 10:10 in Clarke, Mazurek and Domenic Moser and this team will see great competition every week from their Ches-mont rivals. I think East is a top 10 team this upcoming year. But they’ve got a lot of teams to pass to get there.
CR South (2016: 24th, 2015: 22nd)
Ian Welborn, Sr 16:48 (105) + 10:17
Collin Ochs, Jr 16:48 (106) + 16:33/1:59
Kyle Kutney, Jr 16:53 (124) + 16:22/9:59
Andrew Zawodniak, Sr 16:59 (137) + 16:48/4:28
Adam Devlin, Sr 17:45 (254) +17:21/10:37/4:49
CR South hasn’t been mentioned among XC powerhouses very often, but this team deserves some love. They had a really nice track season, particularly in the 4x8, and impressed me a bunch. Some of those 4x8 guys return for XC including Collin Ochs and Andrew Zawodniak. I think both of them could run under 16:20 if all breaks right. Kyle Kutney ran 16:22 last year so right away they’ve got a nice pack going. Ian Welborn was actually the top guy for them at districts last fall, so if he can duplicate that you are looking at a dynamite top 4. CR South is definitely a long shot and needs a lot to go their way, but I could see them putting together a slightly less impressive version of CB West’s pack running display last year and sneaking into the top 10 in District One.