Mercury-area Boys Cross Country team-by-team preview

Head coach: Ryan Knox, first year.
Last year’s record: 4-5 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Kenny Branford, Sr.; Tom Hemingway, Sr.; Bryton Henry, Sr.; Owen Moore, Sr.; Alex Longacre, Jr.; Dominic DeRafelo, Soph.; Josh Endy, Soph.; David Helmer, Soph.; Kollin Miller, Soph.; Justin Smyth, Soph.
Outlook: Knox takes over the Boyertown program from Steve Fegely, who headed it the past seven seasons. … A freshman, Trevor Bellino, is also in the mix. … “The boys team has some strong leadership on the course by upperclassmen, supported by some fast underclassmen,” Knox said.

Head coach: Russell Keith, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 2-5 Berks Conference, 7-8 overall
Runners to watch: Clay Brenner, Sr.; Nathan Weaver, Sr.; Sean Hannon, Jr.; Diego Santos, Jr.; Ethan Shane, Jr.; Jack Zummo, Jr.; Adam Davis, Soph.; Josh Heffner, Soph.; Zach Murray, Soph.; Liam Summers, Soph.; Jan Vasquez, Soph.
Outlook: A freshman, Jordan Gest, is also in the mix for the Boone boys. … “Even after losing four of the top seven runners from last season,” Keith said, “ the team looks to improve on last season’s subpar season. This season, the team will have a more experienced group, a stronger pack and some emerging front-runners.”

Head coach: Chris DeLucia, eighth year.
Last year’s record: 1-2 Mid-Atlantic Prep League (fourth place)
Runners to watch: Khayre Ali, Sr.; Max Shomber, Sr.; Max Crispin, Jr.; Xavier Friel, Jr.; Nathan Taubkin, Jr.; Reed Bauer, Soph.; Eli Perry, Soph.
Outlook: “Co-captains Friel and Ali return from our Top Three last year,” DeLucia said, “but it will be the progress of other varsity returnees — Max Crispin, Eli Perry, Nathan Taubkin, Reed Bauer, Max Shomber — that will determine our success as a team. We have a lot of serious younger runners, so our depth should be fine … but will need at least three or four to step up to be competitive in our league and with our peer schools.”

Head coach: Steve Savitz, 11th year.
Last year’s record: 5-4 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Jeff Kirshenbaum, Sr.
Outlook: “This is a young and hard-working team that will be led by captain Jeff Kirshenbaum,” Savitz said. “This team has the ability to offer a few surprises during the season.”

Head coach: Dave Michael, 40th year.
Last year’s record: 7-2 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Ethan Conway, Sr.; Andrew Griffin, Sr.; Will Hillegas, Sr.; Connor Ott, Sr.; Abe Vanhelmond, Sr.; Sean Barone, Jr.; Mike Deviney, Jr.; Conor Murray, Jr.; Liam Conway, Soph.; Andrew Malmstrom, Soph.; Owen Vanhelmond, Soph.
Outlook: A trio of freshmen — David Brunton, Dan Duffy, Quinten Sherwood — is also in the mix. … “The boys have been training well this summer and are looking to make the (PAC-10) final 4,” Michael said. “Last year’s experience should help them reach their goals. We should have more balance and depth to complement our front runners. We are looking forward to the start of the season.”

Head coach: Paige Longstreth, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 6-0 overall
Runners to watch: Ethan Feldman, Sr.; Henry Yan, Sr.
Outlook: Feldman and Yan will lead the Panthers as the team’s captains. … “Perk cross country has a strong group of runners coming back, as well as some new, younger talent,” Longstreth said.

Head coach: Ryan Sullivan, 14th year.
Last year’s record: 6-3 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Jonathon Adams, Sr.; Tommy Armstrong, Sr.; Frankie MacGregor, Sr.; Jeff Montgomery, Sr.; Matt Town, Sr.; Jake Duffill, Jr.
Outlook: “Led by Jeff Montgomery,” Sullivan said, “we return five out of our top six runners. We’re senior heavy and look to qualify for the (PAC-10) Final Four and contend for the PAC-10 title.”

Head coach: Justin Winters, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 1-8 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Brandon Chang, Sr.; Liam Darcy, Sr.; Sean McGinnis, Sr.; Mike Shaw, Sr.; Dylan Smiley, Sr.; Andy Tran, Sr.; Christian Schaaf, Jr.; Jack Armstrong, Aaron Hin.
Outlook: Matt Copeland, Pat Darcy and Conor Wilchusky rank as top newcomers for the Phantoms. … “The Phantom boys are incredibly optimistic about this upcoming cross-country season,” Winters said. “With four seniors projected to take the lead on the top four spots, the only question now is if a very talented but young group of second-year runners can step up and make the team complete from top to bottom. What is most exciting is the large group of guys right on the bubble of being in the top seven at any moment. With over 30 boys on the team, it will be exciting to see how the team pushes each other for peak performances.”

Head coach: Matt Kavanagh, second year.
Last year’s record: 2-7 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Jed Cainglet, Sr.; Mike D’Amico, Sr.; Antonio Decena, Sr.; Beck Fuga, Sr.; Nick Kropp, Sr.; Ryan Nicholas, Sr.; Nick Wusinich, Sr.
Outlook: “As coach, I am excited for this season,” Kavanaugh said. “I feel that we did good last year after my first season of coaching. With a new year and new runners, even a bigger team, I am excited to see how we do. Hoping our seniors head out with a bang and our freshman class are good to keep an eye on, I’m hoping they can surprise. As long as the team all works together and gives it their best, surprises can come from every runner.”

Head coach: Larry Rechtin, 25th year.
Last year’s record: 8-1 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Joey Drager, Sr.; Matt Harp, Sr.; Kylif Underwood, Sr.; Brendan Wurtz, Sr.; Garion Coddington, Jr.; Michael Neeson, Jr.; Mikey Prior, Jr.; Cole Goldcamp, Soph..
Outlook: Three freshman – Michael Antenucci, Gabe Craig, Bryce Hampton – are also figuring in the mix. … “The boys graduated two from the Top Five from last year’s very successful team,” Rechtin said, “but we return a strong and experienced group of seniors. Wurtz, Neeson, and Underwood were district medalists last season, while Drager was one place out of the medals. Harp is returning strong from an injury-plagued 2014. Our top five or six look really solid, and any of them could be our No. 1 runner on any given day. The PAC-10 teams seem to get better and deeper every year. We hope to just get through the dual meets, make the Final Four and give it another strong post-season run.”

Head coaches: Mary Ann Hill/Mark Agnew, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 0-9 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Justin Beasley-Turner, Sr.; Nick Parson, Sr.; Paul Sabold, Sr.; Donta Smith, Sr.; Matt Wood, Sr.
Outlook: “We have big numbers this year, and a large group of seniors,” Hill said. “We’re looking forward to a great season.”

Head coach: Brian Sullivan, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 9-0 PAC-10
Runners to watch: John Conner, Sr.; Eric Leidelmeyer, Jr.; Tino Magazollo, Jr.; Pat Power, Jr.; Kyle Reed, Jr.; Shane Ainscoe, Soph.; J.T. Clark, Soph.; Jake McKenna, Soph.; Milan Sharma, Soph.; Zach Smith, Soph.
Outlook: “Should be an interesting season,” Sullivan said, “as the bulk of our pack will be made up from the sophomore class and we won’t have that big gun (PAC-10 champion Paul Power) running in the front any more. We’ve been working on grouping up together, and it’s all going to come down to how close to the front does our group get.”

Head coach: Todd Niemann, 13th year.
Last year’s record: 3-6 PAC-10
Runners to watch: Joe Shermer, Sr.; Sam Daub, Jr.; Jacob Dockery, Jr.; Landon Detweiler, Jr.; Nick Tedesco, Jr.; Anthony Capreri, Soph.; Hunter Douglass, Soph.; Evan Hanney, Soph.; Cameron Junk, Soph.; Chris Rynn, Soph.; Ryan Stackhouse, Soph.
Outlook: Five freshmen — Luke Homan, Noah Keim, Job Kinsler, Dylan Simms, Lance Templeton — are also in the mix. … “This is the largest team I’ve had since I’ve been here,” Niemann said. “We will miss the leadership from last year’s seniors, especially Jake Keiper. We are a young team and we will need that youth to step up. The boys did a great job of putting in the summer miles. We hope to improve on last year by winning a few more meets and being more competitive at the championship meet. I look forward to watching this team progress this year.”

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