Chayce Macknair (Lewistown, Pa./Mifflin County) won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) men’s individual cross country championship Friday morning. The Shippensburg University junior became just the second Raider in SU history to win the title.
The Raiders placed second in the team standings at the 2021 PSAC Championships amidst pleasant fall conditions at Kutztown University.
Macknair completed his 8K in 25:47, posting a three-second victory over Edinboro’s Ward Ries. It is the third consecutive All-PSAC First Team classification for Macknair; who finished fifth in March and 11th as a freshman in 2019.
Only one other time in history did a Shippensburg runner claim a PSAC men’s individual title. Forty-one years ago, Raider runners Gregg Sanders and Gary Bicking each crossed the finish line side by side. The finish technically gave the pair first place at the 1980 PSAC Championships. A finish line official at the meet declared that there couldn’t be a tie, so he awarded Sanders first place.
In Friday’s race, Shippensburg scored 71 points, second only to race champion Edinboro (32 points). It is the 19th time in school history that the Raiders have posted a second-place finish at the conference meet; and the third time in the last four years.
Six Raiders achieved All-PSAC finishes – the most for the Raiders in four years. Sophomore Hayden Hunt (Shippensburg, Pa./Shippensburg Area) continued his excellent season with a fifth-place finish in 26:03. The finish gave him back-to-back All-PSAC First Team classifications (Hunt was 12th in March).
The Fighting Scot challenge
The difference in Friday’s race was the Fighting Scot lead pack placing 2-3-4-8-15; as the four Edinboro runners in the Top 8 proved insurmountable.
Sophomore Aiden Gonder (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Red Land) recorded his first All-PSAC First Team finish with a strong 13th-place run of 26:47. Gonder is now a two-time All-PSAC performer, having earned Second Team honors (26th place) in March.
Three Raiders earned All-PSAC Second Team classifications, led by junior Kevin Wagner (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West). His 25th-place finish in 27:02 resulted in his first all-conference classification.
Freshman Jacob Mavretic (Millersburg, Pa./Millersburg) also achieved his first All-PSAC finish, crossing the finish line 27th in 27:09 to round out the Raider scorers. Sophomore Ian Sherlock (Hopewell, Pa./Northern Bedford County) nabbed his second All-PSAC finish with a 29th-place time of 27:12; Sherlock finished 13th in March.
Freshman Mitchell Brett (Lenhartsville, Pa./Kutztown) was just one spot shy of an All-PSAC finish, delivering a solid time of 27:17 as SU’s No. 7 runner in 31st place overall.
Shippensburg returns to action in two weeks at the 2021 NCAA Atlantic Region Championships. Lock Haven University hosts that event Nov. 6.
Shippensburg (2nd, 71 points)
1. Chayce Macknair 25:47.7
5. Hayden Hunt 26:03.4
13. Aiden Gonder 26:47.7
25. Kevin Wagner 27:02.6
27. Jacob Mavretic 27:09.6
29. Ian Sherlock 27:12.6
31. Mitchell Brett 27:17.7
52. Drew Dailey 27:45.8
68. Nathan Harding 28:22.3
88. Nate Kaplon 28:53.4
111. Jake Lawson 29:52.9
150. Alexander Ermold 34:59.4