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Watkins Paces Boys’ XC at State Meet

Winston Watkins ’25 was the top finisher for Mercersburg’s boys’ cross country team at the season-ending Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association State Championships October 30 at Belmont Plateau in Philadelphia.

The Blue Storm finished in 10th place in the team standings, which included 14 teams. Athletes representing 17 schools from across the state competed at the meet.

Watkins crossed the line in 19:18.6 (good for 35th place). Co-captain Evan Howley ’22 (19:25.0) was 40th and Cole Smith ’23 (20:00.9) was 53rd; other scorers included Jake Cruikshank ’24 (20:38.20, 57th), and Oscar Su ’25 (20:39.10, 58th).

"Evan got out early and engaged with the other competitors, setting the tone for his teammates to follow," Mercersburg head coach David Grady said. "He ran a strong race from start to finish, though Winston passed him on the third mile, in what could be seen as a symbolic passing of the baton to the future runners of the team. Winston, Cole, Jake, and Oscar will form our core group of returners who hope to improve upon today’s 10th-place finish.

"We ran today without two seniors, top performer Mick Lorenger ’22 and co-captain Josh Terris ’22. This was another factor today that further promoted the passing of the mantle to the core group of underclassmen."