Following the knockout performance at the Friends Schools League Cross Country Championship, where the Varsity and JV Boys and Girls' teams swept the competition, the Tigers were outstanding at the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association (PAISAA) State Championship on Saturday, held at Belmont Plateau, Philadelphia. Just as in 2021, the Varsity Boys team finished second overall and the Varsity Girls took third place overall. What's more, the squads placed first among all Friends Schools League teams.
"What a super season for our cross country squad! I appreciate that the summer and early season workouts have paid off for our athletes, especially at the state race. The performances were really gutsy! I love to see our athletes make improvements and take ownership of their experience. Katya finished 20th last year in this race and on Saturday she earned 3rd, besting the FSL champion on the difficult Belmont course. I am so thrilled to see the depth of our program showcased from Jasper winning the JV race to personal bests for so many of the JV athletes! This senior group is really special and they will leave a lasting legacy on their younger teammates!" Director of Athletics Katie Bergstrom Mark said.
Leading the Boys Varsity team was Simon Donovan '23 (pictured above) who finished second (16:14.50) in a field of 110 runners from 16 schools. Next in for the Tigers was PJ Kresloff '24 (6th, 16:45.30); both Donovan and Kresloff earned All-State First Team honors. Mason Kresloff '25 (14th, 17:36.60) earned All-State Second Team honors, having finished in the top 14. Shuford Kirk '23 (23rd, 18:33.60), Angus McIlvain '24 (27th, 18:46.10), Jiasheng Shi '23 (28th, 18:47.70), and Leo Gade '25 (29th, 18:54.70) all finished in the top third and were critical in the team's silver finish.
In the Girls Varsity division, Katya Henisz '22 (pictured below) finished third (19:54.60), a notable improvement over last year's race and testament to her unwavering dedication. Henisz's finish, among 83 runners from 12 schools, earned her All-State First Team honors. Emma Nam '23 finished 13th (21:32.50), strong enough for All-State Second Team honors. Other members of the team -- essential in the team's bronze finish -- include Cora Rosen '23 (25th, 23:08.30), Zoe Lallas '26 (35th, 23:54.60), Audrey Ling '24 (38th, 23:59.00), Naomi Shaffer '26 (46th, 24:30.60), and Jane Keenan '25, (29:13.70).
Jasper Mosley '24 captured first among 94 runners from 7 schools in the Boys JV division. Mosely se the tempo for the team's 2nd place overall finish. Also finishing in the top third were Finn Busser '26 (11th, 19:42.05), Milo Scanlon '25 (16th, 20:25.08), Liam Morris-Thompson '26 (19th, 20:33.08), Dean DeSeve '24 (27th, 1:10.88), Finn Jamieson '24 (28th, 21:11.52), and Liam Riley '26 (29th, 21:16.71). Elijah James '24 (31st, 21:29.38), Puran Singh '25 (22:34.39), Sam Spear '24 (23:02.99), Dylan Rix '25 (23:40.12), Caleb Shelley '25 (25:17.12), Linus Chen-Plotkin '26 (25:48.67), Tobias Detweiler '26 (25:59.10), and Leo Cook '26 (26:39.00) also performed well for the Tigers.
In the Girls JV Division, ten athletes ran for the Tigers, all finishing in the top half. The team placed 4th overall. The athletes included Lily Jensen '24 (10th, 26:43.00), Mackenzie Baisch '24 (16th, 27:19.90), Julia Schure '26 (17th, 27:31.60), Imayah Hawkes '23 (18th, 27:33.00), and Jordan Abney '26 (20th, 28:05.40).
Competing in Freshmen 3000 event were Ellis Fast, Amelia Swedloff, and Tessa Brockman.
"I was really impressed with how the team performed this weekend as they were able to successfully navigate an extremely difficult situation and throw down one of their best collective efforts of the season. With several of the top athletes battling severe illnesses, in addition to an athlete that was in the hospital leading up to the competition, the team entered the PAISAA Championships under duress. However, the team once again showcased its resiliency, as several athletes rose to the challenge and found ways to elevate themselves when it was needed most to ensure the team could achieve their goals for the season," said Varsity Head Cross Country Coach Conrad Haber.
Next up: Top Varsity runners will race at the Nike Cross Country Regional Meet on November 26, in Wappinger Falls, New York.