NEWVILLE — Heading into Saturday’s District 3 Class 3A Boys Cross Country Championship, Carlisle was a heavy favorite.
And it lived up to expectations.
The Thundering Herd dominated the competition at Big Spring High School, cruising to a first place finish with a 46-point margin. They placed three in the top six and four in the top 25 and finished with 106 points.
Noah Affolder unsurprisingly took the top prize, finishing with a time of 15:17, which was good for a meet record.
“My goal coming into today was to just feel healthy at the end of the race,” Affolder said. “My arms got a little heavy during the race, but overall I felt good. I wanted to get one point for the team, and I did that.”
Affolder ran neck and neck with JP McCaskey’s Nathan Henderson, but the senior was able to pull away in the last 1,000 meters to outpace Henderson by 16 seconds.
“Nathan is a great runner,” Affolder said. “Like I said, my arms were getting heavy, but I knew that if I was feeling heavy that he probably was too, so I just wanted to keep pushing it.”
Little brother Sam Affolder didn’t feel his best physically, but he was still able to pull out a strong performance to take fourth overall in a time of 15:47.
“My legs felt a little heavy from earlier in the week, but my goal was really to stick with Henderson for as long as possible and just go from there,” Sam Affolder said. “The hills were definitely a challenge for me. They pulled away from me at the top of a hill, and I just wasn’t able to make it back up.”
Isaac Kole finished sixth with a time of 15:51, Jack Wisner took 24th in 16:24 and Bryce Dunkelberger placed 71st in a time of 17:17 to round out the top five for Carlisle.
“I was really impressed with Isaac’s finish today,” Sam Affolder said. “He was right behind me the whole time, and when I heard people cheering him on it actually gave me motivation. So, I’m really happy for him and the team.”
Mechanicsburg also punched a ticket to the state meet, taking third overall with 176 points. Morgan Cupp led the way with a time of 15:50, good for fifth. Alex Tomasko (seventh) clocked in at 16:02, Andrew Sulon (23) finished in 16:22, Brandan Knepper (32) crossed at 16:36 and Michael Vigliano (109) finished with a time of 17:33.
Cumberland Valley’s Yahya Soliman finished 12th with a time of 16:13, good enough for a trip to the state meet.