NEWVILLE - Saturday’s District Three cross country championship races at Big Spring High School was a chilly but golden day full of plenty of hardware for Lancaster-Lebanon League runners. The day began with Annville-Cleona teammates Braetan Peters and Cassi Clemson taking the top-two spots in the District 3-1A girls race. And it ended with Penn Manor senior Graham Thomas and McCaskey senior Stephen Schousen taking the top-two spots in the District 3-3A boys race. The Hempfield boys also won the District 3-3A team title.

Twenty-nine L-L runners went home with a district medal, and 19 qualified for next week’s PIAA championship races.

Class 3A boys: Thomas, this year’s L-L champ and last year’s district runner-up, crossed the finish line in 15 minutes, 41 seconds, his new personal record. He stayed with the lead pack in the first mile-and-a-half.

“After that, I rode a downhill and just went out hard from there,” Thomas said.

Schousen was following close behind.

“He (Thomas made his move at a mile-and-a-half),” Thomas said. “I was a little worried if I went with him, I’d burn out.”

Schousen crossed the finish line in 15:47.

Seven other L-L boys runners claimed medals: Hempfield’s Aidan Hodge (fourth, 15:58), Evan Eshleman (ninth, 16:10), Joseph Fahrney (11th, 16:12) and Dale Winand (18th, 16:21), Cedar Crest’s Ryan Wolfe (13th, 16:12) and Manheim Township’s Tyler Stevens (15th).

Thomas, Schousen, Wolfe and Stevens qualified for states. As did all runners for the Hempfield boys by winning the team trophy.

“They work as a unit every single time they race,” Hempfield third-year coach Curt Rogers said. “They like to start fast. There was a big try to get to states with only one team (from districts) qualifying.”

District 3-3A boys full results

Class 3A girls: McCaskey senior Arielle Breuninger (fourth, 18:33) and Ephrata senior Alyssa Fedorshak (fifth, 18:38) were the top-two L-L finishers in the District 3-3A girls race.

“This meant so much to me to be able to finish as high as I did,” Breuninger said. “It took me by surprise a little bit. The last two years I finished 14th or 16th. So it was a big jump for me to finish fourth today.”

A year ago, Fedorshak was in a wheelchair at Big Spring, days removed from foot surgery after stepping on a sewing needle. On Saturday, she set a new Ephrata girls’ program-best time, more than a week after winning the L-L title.

Also earning medals were Warwick’s Anna Martin (seventh, 18:51), Elizabethtown’s Maddie Quinn (ninth, 18:51), Warwick’s Ella Hartel (13th, 18:59), Manheim Township’s Ava Shirk (19:01) and McCaskey’s Gabrielle Thiry (16th, 19:07).

Breuninger, Fedorshak, Martin, Quinn and Hartel qualified for states. Warwick was the District 3-3A team runner-up.

District 3-3A girls full results

Class 2A boys: Competing at districts for the first time, Lampeter-Strasburg freshman Colin Whitaker was the top L-L finisher in the boys 2A race, placing third in a time of 16:17. His performance also qualified him for the state meet. The L-S boys were the District 3-2A team runner-up.

“There wasn’t much of a gameplan,” Whitaker said. “I just wanted to stick until I fell. means the world. It really does.”

Also in the top-20 and receiving a medal was Annville-Cleona senior Jack Tshudy (ninth, 16:40), Donegal senior Brock Overlander (15th, 16:53), L-S sophomore Parker Stoner (16th, 16:55) and Elco senior Trenton Brubaker (20th, 17:11).

District 3-2A boys full results

Class 1A girls: A year ago, A-C’s Peters and Clemson were Nos. 2 and 5 in the District 3-1A girls race. On Saturday, they took gold and silver, respectively. Peters crossed first in 20:08, followed by Clemson in 20:43. Both qualified for states.

“Having both of us up there was amazing.” Clemson said.

“I’m just so grateful,” Peters said. “I was looking at these other people, figuring out a plan and glad I was able to separate myself at the end.”

District 3-1A girls full results

Others: L-S runners Aubrey Magagna (11th, 20:50) and Jaclyn Martin (18th, 21:28), Elco’s Isabel Zwally (15th, 21:16) and Octorara’s Jessica Ferrara (16th, 21:22) earned medals in the District 3-2A girls race. Columbia sophomores James Brady (35th, 19:45.4) and Aiden Miller (36th, 19:45.6) finished side-by-side in the District 3-1A boys race.

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