Teams at the Top: La Salle Academy, RI (175.8), Bishop Hendricken, RI (175.8), West Windsor-Plainsboro North (175.2), Fayetteville-Manlius (174.8), LaSalle College HS, PA (174.2), Downingtown West, PA (173.8), CBA Lincroft (173.2+), Ridge, NJ (169.4), Shenendehowa (167.4), North Hunterdon, NJ (166.4), Warwick Valley (163.8), Corning (162.0), Londonderry (161.2), more....
Runners with Hops: Liam Murphy (Allentown) - 192, Luke Johnson (WW-PN) - 192, Sam Lawler (Pittsford-Mendon) - 187, Matt Farrell (Loomis Chaffee, CT) - 187, Aiden Barnhill (Downingtown West) - 185, Luke Henseler (Bishop Hendricken) - 185, Shaw Powell (CBA Lincroft) - 185, Peyton Geehrer (FM) - 185, Sam Otis (FM) - 184, Austin Gabay (Cinniminson) - 184, Ethan Maher (LaSalle College) - 182, Troy Hill (CBA Lincroft) - 182, David Delbonis (Bishop Hendricken, RI) - 181, Geoff Howles (FM) - 181, Behailu Bekele-Arcuri (Warwick) - 181, Evan Reynolds (Bishop Hendricken, RI) - 180, Max DiMuccio (La Salle, RI) - 179, Jackson Barna (Ridge, NJ) - 179, Jack Mcloughlin (La Salle, RI) - 178, Declan Rymer (Downingtown West) - 177, Tyler Chambers (La Salle, RI) - 176, Vince Twomey (La Salle College) - 176, Edwin Klanke (St. Peter's Prep, NJ) - 175, Jeff Chen (WW-PN) - 174, Jake McGowan (Liverpool) - 174, Ben Datte (Downingtown West) -174, Ashrrith Rachakunta (WW-PN) - 174, Torrey Jacobson-Evans (Corning) - 174, (La Salle College) - 173, Bradden Koors (LaSalle College) - 173, Alex Maxwell (La Salle, RI) - 173, Holden Betz (Downingtown West) - 173, John Ignacz (North Hunterdon, NJ) - 173, Chase Leach (La Salle, RI) - 173, Bryan Spence (Shenendehowa) - 173, Allen Currie (La Salle, RI) - 172, Adam Stanton (Warwick) - 172, Dan Gervino (LaSalle College) - 171, Ryan Shanahan (Shenendehowa) - 171, Matt Hong (Corning) - 171, Chris Strain (Ridge, NJ) - 171, Will Pinto (Ridge, NJ) - 171, Carter Rodriguez (Liverpool) - 170, Tony Bentivegna (Mon. Farrell) - 170
Overview: Run this race ten times, on ten different days, and you will get ten wildly different results. No question, this is the deepest field the meet has ever seen on the team standpoint, including four of the six teams to ever win Easterns. Individually, in terms of depth, it's no less top-heavy. Liam Murphy and Luke Johnson ran near identical times at the Shore Coaches Invite last weekend, albeit in separate races. They have the fastest Speed Ratings of the year. Liam Murphy is most well known for his indoor 8:54 in the 3200m at the Bubble last Winter, where he edged out Devin Hart, the 2018 Manhattan Easterns Runner Up. Meanwhile, Luke Johnson will be looking for the ever important team points, and is much newer to XC running, with great upside. Sam Lawler was a 191 at Foot Locker Northeast last year, and is currently undefeated. He finished in tandem with Matt Farrell, who has yet to open his season in a major Invite. The individual race looks to come down to that quartet, but with a race this close, anything can happen.
On the teams side, it's a who's-who of the NXN-NE Region, with Manlius and Shen sprinkled inside. This is probably the deepest year in that Region's history, making a hard case for two At-Large bids if improvements keep coming. But Manhattan is here and now, and the big showing from La Salle and Hendricken at Great American can't be ignored. On paper, they're the team to beat. Hendricken lost to La Salle at Great American, but are the reigning champs here, so they could in even up. West Windsor-Plainsboro North had a great showing at Shore Coaches, winning the merge, and have the low-stick needed in a field that usually scores into the 200's. LaSalle College HS rebounded from an early loss with a very strong showing at Paul Short, to counter the dominant win by Downingtown West at Carlisle.
The two big questions come from Manlius and Christian Brothers Academy. Coincidentally, both teams haven't raced in over a month. CBA won the Bowdoin Classic over La Salle College, but had over a thirty second gap between 2 & 3. Likewise, FM is undefeated so far, but has a similar gap, maybe even bigger, between their 4 & 5. The fate of these two teams lies in how well they've progressed in those gaps between racing. The race density here reflects more like NXN than ever before, and the amount of athletes at or above 165 can balloon a team score.