CHAMBERSBURG — Carlisle cross country coach Ed Boardman likes his teams to play the role of the underdog to start the season.
It’s safe to say that won’t be the case for the boys team this year.
The Thundering Herd boys trampled the competition on Friday at the Enos Yeager Invitational, taking the top four spots and six of the top seven, including a record-breaking performance by Noah Affolder. The Carlisle girls also had a strong day, placing four in the top 10.
Affolder shot out of the gate for Carlisle and beat the course record by 23 seconds with a time of 11:49. Former Herd runner Zach Brehm previously held the record at 12:12.
“We expected to come in here and have a good day. I’m very happy with our performance,” Boardman said. “I expected Noah to come in and break the record.”
Sam Affolder followed behind Noah Affolder with a time of 12:20, Isaac Kole finished in 12:32 and Jack Wisner clocked in at 12:46 to round out the top four finishers. Max Fiorentino placed sixth with a time of 13:12 for Carlisle, and Tyler Hallman followed close behind at 13:14, good for seventh.
“Our goal was to pack it up for the first mile and then just roll after that,” Winsel said. “Everything felt good today and the course was good, too. We knew that our team would be very good with Noah and Sam coming in, and our goal is to just keep getting better and hopefully get to states.”
Northern York’s Paul Feite finished in 13:07, good for 11th, and Ishmael Kirkwood was Big Spring’s best runner at 13:56. He finished 22nd. For Shippensburg, Sam Nonemaker clocked in at 14:28 for its best finish.
On the girls side, Greencastle-Antrim’s Taryn Parks led the field with a time of 14:24, but Carlisle was able to take places 6-9 to put four in the top 10. Addy Jastron finished sixth with a time of 15:33, and Savannah Hossfield (15.41), Julia Ledgett (15:47) and Gracen Cabral (15:47) followed right behind her. Haily Miagley finished 11th with a time of 16:15 to round out the Herd’s top five.
“We have a really young team this year,” Ledgett said, “Addy and I are the only two returning varsity seniors, but we still have a solid seven, and we’re really excited about that.”
The smaller course played into the strength of Ledgett and Jastron, who both run track and field.
“We both like the 800 the best, so while some people don’t like this course because it’s smaller, it definitely works for us,” Jastron said. “It definitely has its challenges with the hills, but it’s a fun course to run.”
Even with a younger group of girls this year, Carlisle expects to be competitive and hopes it can make the state meet for the third year in a row.
“Our big thing this year is to just keep a positive mindset going into every race, and we want to embrace that underdog role and beat the odds,” Jastron said.
For Northern, Marlee Starliper got off to a good start, finishing fourth with a time of 15:11, and Big Spring’s Sam Crouse took 10th with a time of 15:59.
“I felt a little heavy today, but overall it was good,” Starliper said. “I’m definitely happy with my finish and just hope I can keep getting faster as the year goes on.”
Ava Franklin was the top finisher for Shippensburg, taking 20th with a time of 16:58.