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2017 Mercury-Area Boys Cross Country Preview

Boyertown

Head coach: Ryan Knox, third season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Liberty Division.

Runners to watch: Todd Barton, Sr.; Dominic DeRafelo, Sr.; Josh Endy, Sr.; Kollin Miller, Sr.; Justin Smyth, Sr.; Payton Stanziani, Jr.; Christian McComb, Soph.

Outlook: DeRafelo placed 10th in last year’s PAC meet, followed by Endy (12th), Smyth (13th) and Miller (18th). DeRafelo also had a 30th-place finish in the District 1 Class AAA race. … “We have a senior-heavy varsity team that has been working very hard to realize their potential,” Knox said. “The varsity will be strong with state runner Dominic DeRafelo, with back-up from Josh Endy, Justin Smyth, Kollin Miller, Todd Barton, junior Payton Stanziani and sophomore Christian McComb, as well as some younger runners who will strengthen the senior leadership. We have some younger runners who have joined our program. Our team will be very competitive throughout the varsity and junior varsity ranks this season.”

Daniel Boone

Head coach: Russ Keith, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 5-2 Berks Division 1, 13-2 overall.

Runners to watch: Adam Davis, Sr.; Josh Heffner, Sr.; Zach Murray, Sr.; Jan Vasquez, Sr.; Luke Cable, Jr.; Matt Kresge, Jr.; Anthony Defusco, Soph.; Riley Houck, Soph.; Alex Pingitore, Soph.

Outlook: Ethan Harper, a freshman, is also in the mix for the Blazers. … Murray placed 48th in the District 3-AAA meet, heading Boone’s 14th-place team finish. … “We lost six of top 10 runners from last season,” Keith said. “We return a strong 1-2 in Murray and Pingitore. Success will be dependent on the Boone pack and closeness to the top two. We’re hopeful for a Top 5 finish in the Berks League.”

Hill School

Head coach: Chris DeLucia, 10th season.

Last year’s record: 1-2 Mid-Atlantic Prep League, 2-4 overall.

Runners to watch: Kyle Gorant, Sr.; Austin Vincent, Sr.; Reed Bauer, Jr.; Tucker Dunn, Jr.; Trent Lopata, Jr.; Shahzaib Umer, Soph.

Outlook: The Blues’ roster includes a freshman, Jamie Olson. … “While graduating three of our top seven from last year,” DeLucia said, “we still have a solid core group, and some new runners with excellent potential. Co-captains Kyle Gorant and Reed Bauer, along with All-MAPL Tucker Dunn, will lead the way, with Trent Lopata and new addition Austin Vincent battling that group. We have a solid group in the next five spots, and it will be interesting to watch their development – some will move up and challenge the scoring group.”

Methacton

Head coach: Steve Savitz, 13th season.

Last year’s record: 2-3 PAC Liberty Division.

Runners to watch: Myles Hovan, Sr.; Garrett Campbell, Jr.; Tommy Chimes, Jr.; Garrett McPhillips, Jr.; Will Rebert, Jr.; Sean Ritchie, Sr.; Jack Kapralick, Soph.;  Matt Varghese, Soph.

Outlook: Varghese made a solid showing as a freshman, placing 14th in the PAC meet and 76th in the District 1-AAA race. … “After coming off a fifth-place finish in the PAC-12,” Savitz said, “the boys team looks to improve. The team is young and fast, led by sophomore Matt Varghese. Matt finished the season running a 16:36 as a freshman at districts and has been working hard ever since. He is followed by a strong varsity team. The team is practicing hard and will make an impression this year.”

Norristown

Head coach: Bill Schearer, second season.

Last year’s record: 0-5 PAC Liberty Division.

Runners to watch: Ricardo Moreno, So.; Axell Bailon, Jr.; Sergio Perez, So.; Juan Calleja, Jr.; Miguel Camacho; Anthony Lopez.

Outlook: The Eagles program includes a corps of new runners. Ruben Morales, Marco Olmedo and Tommy Agnew bring experience from the middle-school ranks while Giovanni Santiago, Rahman Adeshokon, Scott Wilson and Gilberto Reyes showing great promise as newcomers to the sport. … “Last year, we began the season with three runners,” Schearer said, “and are constructing a base for long-term success. The expectations are for growth and a final record of 3-3 or better. Work ethic, commitment and teamwork will be the focus as we grow fine young athletes into successful people in life.”

Owen J. Roberts

Head coach: Dave Michael, 42nd season.

Last year’s record: 3-2 PAC Liberty Division, 6-2 overall.

Runners to watch: Lucas Gray, Sr.; Liam Conway,Sr.; Zach Kardos, Sr.; Andrew Malmstrom, Sr.; Kyle Malmstrom, Sr.; Larkin Recke, Sr.; Linus Blatz, Jr.; David Brunton, Jr.; Dan Duffy, Jr.; Quinten Sherwood, Jr.; Vincent Fennell, So.; Matthew Muthler, So.; Eric Shanahan, So.; Cole Smith, So.

Outlook: A pair of freshmen, Brendon Arcara and Josh DiMarino, are in the Wildcats’ mix. … Conway is the PAC’s defending meet champion and a sixth-place finisher in the District 1-AAA race. … “Our boys have been working hard this summer,” Michael said, “and are looking forward to being a strong competitive team in the PAC, District 1 and state-level competitions. Our core group of runners have experience and desire to achieve high goals and are working to reach these goals. We are looking forward to an exciting year.”

Perkiomen Valley

Head coach: Ryan Sullivan, 16th season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Liberty Division, 4-5 overall.

Runners to watch: Matteo Goettler, Sr.; Michael Kelly, Sr.; Eric Dolen, Jr.; Jordan Thomas, Jr.; Tyler Clifford, Soph.; Dylan Danowski, Soph.; Ethan Ribelin, Soph.; Tyler Woolsey, Soph.

Outlook: A trio of freshmen – Kiburu Brown, Riley Milligan, Gavin Stevens – are also working with the team. … “We return five out of seven varsity runners,” Sullivan said. “The team is large and young but has made great strides over the summer, already matching times from previous season. We look to improve throughout the year and qualify for the final four.”

Phoenixville

Head coach: Justin Winters, eighth season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Jack Armstrong, Sr.; Eric Beery, Sr.; Jared Desjardine, Sr.; Kerry Halloran, Sr.; Aaron Hin, Sr.; Zack Kleppe, Sr.; Anthony Mazur, Sr.; Jake New, Sr.; Miles Noecker, Sr.; Dan Proctor, Sr.; Christian Schaaf, Sr.; Graham Shannon, Sr.; Dylan Tezak, Sr.; Scott Armstrong, Jr.; Jake Butterfield, Jr.; Pat Darcy, Jr.; Evan Dietrich, Jr.; Cole Eggleston, Jr.; Alex Fey, Jr.;  Isaac Gale, Jr.; Ethan Herring, Jr.; Dan Hickey, Jr.; Cameron Kerstetter, Jr.; Riley Kleppe, Jr.; Kyler Lewis, Jr.; Evan Mia, Jr.; Conor McShane, Jr.; Daniel So, Jr.; Siddarth Srinvasan, Jr.; Jeff Stevens, Jr.; Conor Wilchusky, Jr.; Nick Gatcha, So.; Sean Lukowski, So.; Henry McManus, So.; Tyler Pefolsky, So.; Gabe Puleo, So.; Brendan Vitz, So.

Outlook: The Phantoms’ hefty roster is further bolstered by freshmen Robert Edney, Luke Hihi, Carkon Kleppe, Hayden Mayhall and Benjamin Pratte. … Schaaf placed 15th in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s 2016 meet and 87th in the District 1-AAA meet. … “We anticipate being extremely competitive this year, with a very nice blend of experience and young talent leading the way,” Winters said. “Our goal is October, so we’ll be building and investing over the next couple months.”

Pope John Paul II

Head coach: Matt Kavanagh, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Michael Florig, Sr.; Shane Mckeon, Sr.; Jack Phillips, Jr.; J.P. Schiele, Jr.

Outlook: A freshman, Jack Brosius, is running with the Golden Panther varsity. … Schiele placed 27th in the PAC meet and ninth in District 1-AA. … “Our outlook for this season is strong and confident,” Kavanagh said. “J.P. Schiele is hoping to lead the boys team to a first-place finish in District 1 this season after a state-qualifying ninth-place finish at districts last season. Shane Mckeon looks at redemption after missing states by one place, a mere two seconds off, last season. Jack Brosius is looking to have quite a career as he is already keeping up with the varsity runners.”

Pottsgrove

Head coach: Larry Rechtin, 28th season.

Last year’s record: 4-1 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Cole Goldcamp, Sr.; Gabe Craig, Jr.; Bryce Hampton, Jr.; Brandon Henriksen, Soph.; Patrick Rieker, Soph.

Outlook: “Very small in numbers this season,” Rechtin said, “but this group has put in their summer mileage and are ready to race. Each of our top runners was varsity level at some point last year, so they understand what it takes to race and be competitive. With the small team, it will be imperative for us to remain healthy; and if we do, we will be able to run with anyone in the Frontier Division.”

Pottstown

Head coach: Mary Ann Hill, 15th season.

Last year’s record: 0-5 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Michael Baker, Sr.; Jacob Bosko, Sr.; Khalif Burgess, Sr.; Gionkirk Kimmell, Sr.; Martin Metzgar, Sr.; Nicholas Wilson, Sr.; Shane Langevin, Jr.; Jaimie Sharp, Jr.; Noah Patton, So.; Collin Stone, So.

Outlook: Burgess placed 50th in last year’s PAC championship race, and he was 24th in District 1 Class AA competition. … Pottstown has good numbers this year,” Hill said, “and are hoping for some wins on the boys’ side.”

Spring-Ford

Head coach: Brian Sullivan, sixth season.

Last year’s record: 5-0 PAC Liberty Division, 7-0 overall.

Runners to watch: Shane Ainscoe, Sr.; Ryan Breish, Sr.; J.T. Clark, Sr.; Jake Green, Sr.; Jake McKenna, Sr.; Ben Pierce, Sr.; Milan Sharma, Sr.; Zach Smith, Sr.; Joey Power, Jr.; Anthony Bamford, Soph; Andrew Carlin, Soph.; Jonny Muench, Soph; Riley Wright, Soph.; John Zawislak, Soph.

Outlook: Ainscoe was the Rams’ leading runner last fall, placing second in the PAC meet and 37th in District 1-AAA competition. Sharma was third at PACs and 54th in districts, with McKenna sixth in the PAC and 58th in the district. … “The Spring-Ford boys return five of their varsity runners from last year’s PAC champion team,” Sullivan said. “We look real strong and deep through six runners, with a strong senior class led by returning state qualifier and PAC runner-up Shane Ainscoe. J.T. Clark, Jake McKenna, Milan Sharma and Zach Smith will be with Shane to round out the top five.”

Upper Merion

Head coach: Lynda Newhart, 13th season.

Last year’s record: 1-4 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Andrew Leonard, Sr.; Jake Vogel, Sr.; Chime Amaefuna, Jr.; Owen Ebersole, Jr.; Abhi Vagvala, Jr.

Outlook: “We’re hoping to improve our record in the PAC from last year,” Newhart said. “Our top five are returning, and we have a larger freshman class than in past years.”

Upper Perkiomen

Head coach: Todd Niemann, 15th season.

Last year’s record: 2-3 PAC Frontier Division.

Runners to watch: Anthony Capreri, Sr.; Hunter Douglass, Sr.; Gage Gardner, Sr.; Evan Hanney, Sr.; Cameron Junk, Sr.; Chris Rynn, Sr.; Ryan Stackhouse, Sr.; Drake Conklin, Jr.; Luke Homan, Jr.; Dylan Simms, Jr.; Lance Templeton, Jr.; Blankin Conklin, So.; Jonathan Daub, So.; Gavin Fuhs, So.; Jacob Heffner, So.; Lane Homan, So.; Ryan Landis, So.; Ethan Markwalter, So.; Mike Milkowich, So.; James Patterson, So.; Cody Schwenk, So.; Graham Thomas, So.; Ethan Trzaska, So.; Jonathan Trzaska, So.; Chase Ziegler, So.

Outlook: A crew of freshmen — Joey Carpenter, Logan Harris,  Zane Miller, Connor Post, Austin Shanely, Ben Shermer — are also in the mix for the Indians. … “The boys team is large again this year,” Niemann said. “We graduated two key seniors from last year, so this year’s current seniors and juniors have some big shoes to fill. The boys did a great job of putting in the summer miles and are ready to go. This sophomore group looks really poised to make some noise this year. This should be a fun year. We cannot wait for the meets to begin.”

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