HERSHEY -- The race ended a half-hour earlier, but Patrick Reilly was still trying to process what just happened.
"It's crazy, I'm still in shock," the Dallastown senior said. "It hasn't hit me yet, but it's awesome."
Reilly made those comments after receiving a medal, a gold one, at the District 3-AAA boys' cross country championships.
He covered the Parkview course in 16 minutes flat to win by nine seconds over Zach Brehm of Carlisle. Aaron Gebhart of New Oxford placed third in 16:23.
"I wouldn't say it was gold medal or bust today," Reilly said. "But I definitely wanted to win. I think my main goal, though, was to improve my time a lot from last year."
Reilly, the runner-up last year, knocked 43 seconds off his 2012 performance.
The Wildcats' standout said his familiarity with the course helped him in his bid for a title.
"You know where to make your moves so you can prepare for them," he said. "Also, I did a lot of hill workouts over the course of the season."
Reilly made his move to the front on Wednesday around the two-mile mark.
"The first mile I went out with a lead group of guys," he said. "After the first mile, it started to string out a little bit and Aaron Gebhart took the lead, and opened up a big gap. At the two-mile mark, I thought I would try to catch him, and then I opened up a lead. I was trying to pick up the pace toward the end so I wouldn't get outkicked."
Reilly won the title four years after another Wildcats runner, Chuck Lockwood, captured the district gold medal.
"He (Lockwood) is definitely an inspiration for me," Reilly said. "He set the bar really high at Dallastown. It's awesome just to be mentioned up there with him. He's definitely a role model for me."
Reilly will aim to run close to his district time when he returns to Parkview for the state cross country meet on Saturday, Nov. 2. The course for the state meet is not the exact course that's used for the district meet.
"I know the states' course is a little more hilly," Reilly said. "I would love to go for top 10 at states."
Reilly wasn't the only York-Adams runner to leave Hershey with a gold medal.
Biglerville junior Brady Wilt repeated as the Boys' Class A champion with a time of 16:54. Wilt won comfortably over the runner-up, Blake Behney of Camp Hill, who finished in 17:19.
Reilly, Gebhart, J.D. Groff of Central York (16:30), Wilt and Jacob Thomas of Susquehannock (16:55) posted the five top times by York-Adams male runners.
Susquehannock's Rachel Banchiere (19:55), York Suburban's Olivia Gettle (20:17), York Suburban's Emma Leik (20:22), Kennard-Dale's Kayla White (20:24) and Susquehannock's Emily Fourhman (20:30) recorded the five fastest times by York-Adams female runners.
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org.