October 20th, 2020
The 2020 LL League XC Championships went mostly as expected. The Hempfield and Cedar Crest boys squads finished 1-2 with strong performances up front. Hempfield placed 4 runners inside the top 10, led by all-league performer Aidan Hodge (so), who placed 2nd overall. Graham Thomas (sr, Penn Manor), the race favorite heading in, proved he is ready to take on the state’s best in a few weeks. He put the foot on the gas at the 1.25 mile mark and never looked back. Lampeter-Strasburg (LS) and Donegal claimed the 2 team qualifying berths in class AA, as expected. If there was one surprise, it may have been how close Donegal was to LS in the overall race, only 14 points back.
The McCaskey boys were the most likely challenger to Hempfield and Cedar Crest, and while they didn’t qualify as a team, they will advance 4 individuals to districts. Stephen Schousen (sr) led the way for the Red Tornado finishing 3rd overall. Coming in 4th was Manheim Township junior Tyler Stevens and in 5th was Cedar Crest junior Ryan Wolfe. Colin Whitaker (fr, Lampeter-Strasburg) was the top Section 2 finisher placing 13th. He was also the league’s highest placing freshman, followed closely by Cedar Crest freshman Jake Perhonitch who finished 14th.
Interview with Graham Thomas: