Holy Ghost Prep 2023 cross-country season preview
Head coach: Mike Meistering, 16th season
Key runners lost to graduation: Ciaran Chambers and Jack Evans
Top returnees: Seniors Papakojo Danquah and Brendan DiEnna; junior Daniel Perez; sophomores Patrick McGowan and Nicholas Giordano
Varsity newcomers to know: Senior track standout Maurece Jean-Brian is no longer playing soccer and joins with freshmen John Loveman and Owen Bittman as the new cross-country runners to watch. All three have performed well in the first few cross-country races of the 2023 season and should be consistent point scorers for the Firebirds.
HGP runner to watch: Senior Papakojo Danquah finished third at the 2022 PIAA District 1 Class 2A cross-country championships and is one of the area’s top distance runners.
2023 season outlook: The Holy Ghost Prep cross-country team has captured three straight PIAA District 1 Class 2A cross-country team titles and shows no signs of slowing down this fall. Seniors Papakojo Danquah and Brendan DiEnna will step into leadership roles for the Firebirds. Danquah, the third-place finisher at the 2022 district championship meet at Lehigh University, has the tools to run collegiately and will lead another deep and gifted group of runners for highly successful Firebirds coach Mike Meistering. Danquah is one of three top-11 district finishers who are back in the fold for the Firebirds—the others being junior Daniel Perez (fourth place in the 2022 PIAA District One Class AA meet) and DiEnna (11th place). Maurece Jean-Brian excelled as part of a strong 4x800 relay team last winter, along with Jack Evans (now a freshman at the University of Cincinnati) and the aforementioned Danquah and DiEnna, and gives Meistering’s squad another battle-tested runner. Also back in the fold for the Firebirds are sophomores Patrick McGowan and Nicholas Giordano, who finished 75th and 129th at the 2022 District One championships, respectively. If that weren’t enough depth, HGP freshmen John Loveman and Owen Bittman have started their Ghost running careers in impressive fashion too. When all is said and done, the Firebirds—led by the proven trio of Danquah, Perez, and DiEnna—are expected to be one of the top Class 2A cross-country teams in District One yet again this fall.