On Saturday, the PIAA Cross Country Championships will be held at the Hershey Parkview Course. It will be the 81st annual race for the boys and the 50th annual race for the girls.
It also will be totally different than any previous state meet.
Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s format is different. Only district team champions — 11 in Classes 1A and 2A, eight in Class 3A — and 60 individual qualifiers in each class are competing. Instead of running one race per class per gender, there will be four races per class per gender going off at 15-minute intervals. District 1-6 teams will go first, then District 7-12 teams, followed by District 1-6 individuals and finally District 7-12 individuals. The results from the four races will then be merged to determine team champions and individual medalists. Awards ceremonies will be held 90 minutes after the start of each class.
Some spectators are allowed. Each runner received four wristbands, which are color-coded to their corresponding race, to give to family members. Spectators must leave after their runner’s race. Masks are required and social distancing is encouraged.
It all begins at 9 a.m. with the Class 1A girls.
Here are preview capsules for each class:
CLASS 1A GIRLS
START: District 1-6 teams, 9 a.m.; District 7-12 teams, 9:15 a.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 9:30 a.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 9:45 a.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 6 St. Joseph’s Catholic (team); Haley Hamilton, District 7 OLSH (individual)
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Grace Mason, District 10 Wilmington (2nd)
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Montrose (Paige Brewer, Daegan Giannone, Elizabeth Chidester, Stephanie Summerville, Annika Bixby, Mary Pichette, Kelley Warner, Maggie Nebzydoski); Lacey Danilovitz, Riverside; Carissa Flynn, Kathryn Long, Mountain View; Krista Jones, Elk Lake; Rachel Korty, Forest City
AROUND THE STATE: Jones (4th), Long (13th) and Brewer (21st) all earned state medals last year. … Mason, a senior, placed third at the District 10 championships in 19:22 to help Wilmington win the team title with 33 points. … Senior Hannah Wagner of Reynolds won the District 10 title in 18:44. She placed 11th at states last year. … Greensburg Central Catholic junior Corinn Brewer placed second at the District 7 Championships in 19:54. She finished third at states last year. … Annville-Cleona junior Braetan Peters won the District 3 title in 20:08.40. She was 12th last year at states. … Portage junior Lauren Shaffer won her second straight District 6 title in 18:56.60. As a freshman, Shaffer finished second at states.
CLASS 1A BOYS
START: District 1-6 teams, 10 a.m.; District 7-12 teams, 10:15 a.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 10:30 a.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 10:45 a.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 7 Winchester Thurston (team); Colton Sands, District 6 Penns Valley (individual)
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Sands
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Holy Cross (Kevin Jumper, Thomas Lee, Jack Allardyce, Teddy Novak, Doug Walsh, Corey Scochin, Spencer Decker, Luke Healey); Daniel Danilovitz, Riverside; Nate Sinkovich, Montrose; Austin Gow, Susquehanna; Brayden Clarke, Lackawanna Trail; Justice Johnson, Elk Lake
AROUND THE STATE: Jumper finished seventh last year to earn a state medal. … Sands won the District 6 title in 15:55.5. He is committed to the University of North Carolina. … Northern Bedford senior Ian Zimmerman won the District 5 title in 16:10. He placed fifth last year at states. … Winchester Thurston senior Patrick Malone won the District 7 championship in 16:26. He was 23rd at states last year. … Riverview senior Mason Ochs, runnerup to Malone at the District 7 meet, was eighth at states last year. … Kutztown senior Mitchell Brett won the District 3 title in 17:02.40. He was 13th at states last year. … Hughesville junior Hunter Foust won the District 4 championship in 16:48. He was 24th at states last year. … Sophomore Thomas Smigo (18:12.50) and junior Mitchell Campbell (18:54.10) of Palisades finished 1-2 at the District 11 Championships. Smigo placed seventh last year at states in the Class 2A race.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
START: District 1-6 teams, 11 a.m.; District 7-12 teams, 11:15 a.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 11:30 a.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 11:45 a.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 7 South Fayette (team); Marlee Starliper, District 3 Northern (individual)
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Olivia Haas, District 11 Blue Mountain (4th)
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Holy Redeemer (Frankie Basalyga, Anna Capaci, Madison Dewees, Chelsea Flaherty, Grace Holmes, Emily Lehman, Lexie Marcinkowski, Diane Tran-Tang); Madelyn Keating, Aubriana Marranca, Wyoming Area; Brenna Dahlgren, Honesdale; Emily Franklin, North Pocono; Gabrielle Snee, Mid Valley
AROUND THE STATE: Haas, a junior, placed second at the District 4 Championships in 19:51.67 behind North Schuylkill senior Cori McCormick (19:41.60), who was fifth at states last year. … Boiling Springs sophomore Peyton Ellis won the District 3 title in 19:17. She was 14th last year at states. … Warrior Run senior Lauren Trapani won the District 4 title in 18:38. She was ninth last year at states. … Junior Stella Kuntz, who placed 22nd last year at states, helped Central Cambria win the District 6 team title. Kuntz finished third at districts in 19:52.8. … Brownsville sophomore Jolena Quarzo won the District 7 title in 18:40. She was eighth last year at states. … Conneaut Area senior Meaera Shannon won the District 10 title in 18:34. She was 11th last year at states. Sharon senior Gianna Labbiento was second in District 10 in 18:54. She was seventh last year at states.
CLASS 2A BOYS
START: District 1-6 teams, noon; District 7-12 teams, 12:15 p.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 12:30 p.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 12:45 p.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 4 Lewisburg (team); Dylan Throop, District 10 General McLane
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Throop
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Mid Valley (Bradley Desmarais, Nicholas Freeswick, Vincenzo Iacavazzi, Michael Novak, Collin Pacyna, Gabe Pacyna, Justin Padilla, Christian Snee); Chris Hine, Holy Redeemer; Michael Branley, Wyoming Area; Aidan LaTourette, Honesdale; Nick Hockenbury, Lake-Lehman; Kyle Kellstrom, Wallenpaupack
AROUND THE STATE: Hine earned a state medal last year by placing 23rd. … Throop won the District 10 championship in 15:22. … Greencastle-Antrim junior Weber Long won the District 3 title in 15:47.70. He was third at states last year. … Lewisburg junior Jacob Hess won the District 4 title in 16:17. He placed fifth last year at states. … Central Cambria won the District 6 team title, led by senior Toby Cree, who won in 16:18.1. Cree was 12th last year at states. … Saucon Valley senior Matthew Chaikowsky won the District 11 title in 17:48.38. He was 19th last year at states.
CLASS 3A GIRLS
START: District 1-6 teams, 1 p.m.; District 7-12 teams, 1:15 p.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 1:30 p.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 1:45 p.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 7 North Allegheny (team); Mia Cochran, District 7 Moon (individual)
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Cochran
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Abington Heights (Abby Adamsky, Maia Arcangelo, Grace Bath, Allison Dammer, Emma Horsley, Abby Marion, Gigi Sabatini, Caly Yankow); Bella Noreika, Scranton; Molly DeMarzo, Crestwood; Margaret Holderith, Delaware Valley; Jillian Wolk, Hazleton Area; Maggie Kozich, Crestwood
AROUND THE STATE: DeMarzo was a state medalist in Class 2A last year, finishing 10th. … Cochran won the District 7 title in 17:46. … West Chester Henderson junior Jenna Mulhern won the District 1 title in 18:18.20. She finished third at states last year after winning the state title as a freshman. … Northeastern senior Margaret Carroll won the District 3 title in 17:58.20. She was fifth last year at states. … State College senior Jordan Reed won the District 6 title in 18:34.7 and sophomore teammate Marlee Kwasnica was second in 18:50.10. Kwasnica placed 17th last year at states. … Liberty senior Emily Jobes won the District 11 title in 20:46.90. She was 13th last year at states.
CLASS 3A BOYS
START: District 1-6 teams, 2 p.m.; District 7-12 teams, 2:15 p.m.; District 1-6 individuals, 2:30 p.m.; District 7-12 individuals, 2:45 p.m.
LAST YEAR’S CHAMPIONS: District 1 Downingtown West (team); Patrick Anderson, District 7 Mount Lebanon (individual)
TOP RETURNING FINISHER: Ethan McIntyre, District 1 Unionville (3rd)
DISTRICT 2 RUNNERS: Abington Heights (Gavin Ross, Tommy Walsh, Alex Duffy, Sean Rooney, Tyler Petty, Ben Schneider, Jack Sorensen, Mike Pirner); Tavian McKenna, Wyoming Valley West; Caleb Kenyon, North Pocono; Nicholas Hebel, Hazleton Area; Adam Kanterman, Delaware Valley; Brian McCormack, Scranton
AROUND THE STATE: McIntyre, a senior, placed third at the District 1 Championships in 16:35.50. … Downingtown West senior Aiden Barnhill won the District 1 title in 16:21.40. He was sixth last year at states. … Penn Manor senior Graham Thomas won the District 3 title in 15:41.50. He was 16th at states last year. … Williamsport senior J. Henry Lyon finished third at the District 4-6 Subregional in 15:58.10. Lyon was seventh last year at states. … State College senior Brady Bigger won the District 4-6 Subregional title in 15:37.0. He was 20th last year at states. … Butler juniors C.J. Singleton (15:50) and Sage Vavro (16:03) went 1-2 at the District 7 Championships. Vavro was ninth last year at states and Singleton was 13th. … Liberty senior Frank Cole won the District 11 title in 17:31.90. Cole placed 18th last year at states.
— SCOTT WALSH
During more than 30 years at The Times-Tribune, Scott has covered everything from high schools to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. His current beats include motor sports, local colleges, high school cross country and high school baseball. He also is a copy editor and page designer. His articles have won awards from the Associated Press Sports Editors, American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association, Eastern Motorsports Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists Keystone Pro Chapter and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association Keystone Press. He also has been honored by the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League and the Minor League Football Alliance. In 2016, he was presented the Media Service Award by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. A Long Island, New York, native, Scott graduated from the University of Scranton in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He lives in Peckville with his wife, Andrea, and daughters, Bridget and Emily. Contact him at email@example.com; 570-348-9100, x5109; or @swalshTT on Twitter