MANCHESTER — Coaching high school cross country is probably both the hardest and easiest profession.
It's pretty easy when everyone on the team buys into the philosophy and works as hard as possible to be a success.
Getting everyone to that point, however, is often no easy chore, especially with so many distractions in the typical teenage life these days.
So, when a team truly comes together to work toward achieving something of high value, it is notable.
Enter the Northeastern girls’ cross country squad.
A program with not even one state medalist in history, the Bobcat girls are re-writing the school’s record books on a seemingly daily basis.
The Northeastern girls did it again Tuesday in their final York-Adams League meet of the season. The Bobcats claimed the top seven spots in the quad meet against Littlestown, Eastern York and New Oxford to cruise to a trio of 15-50 triumphs.
Those victories improved the team’s overall record to 20-0. The squad’s 6-0 mark in Division I is notable because it is the first-ever division title in program history.
“They’ve just been working super hard,” Northeastern coach Pete LoBianco said. “They’ve shown up all summer, put the time in the weight room, put time on their legs running. This is just the result of all of the effort that they put in.”
Senior is rewarded: Senior Dylan Olmo (23 minutes, 11 seconds) was rewarded on Senior Night with a first-place finish. The Bobcats' top seven runners all finished within two seconds of one another.
The collective decision to allow Olmo to cross the finish line first was a very sportsmanlike one for the team. Junior Margaret Carroll has typically been winning most meets this season, but on Tuesday she finished seventh, behind her teammates.
“We decided to let Dylan finish first because it was Senior Night,” Carroll said. “And she’s our top senior so we wanted her to finish first.”
It’s not often that an opportunity like that arises, but the Bobcats' top runners were 40 seconds ahead of the top non-Northeastern finisher (Littlestown’s Abi Ridel in 23:54).
“If the opportunity presented itself (to let Dylan finish first), we were all on the same page,” LoBianco said.
Some may look at the Northeastern coaches, LoBianco and Greg Cauller, and figure that their job is pretty simple. The truth is, however, that coaching is more than just telling your runners to "run fast."
“They have to make the choice to run in the summer and get up early on Saturday mornings and do all the things to get here,” LoBianco said. “And they’ve all come a long way. This is our first girls' division title in school history, so we’re happy to get to this point.”
Looking ahead to league meet: Now that the regular season is over, the focus turns toward next week’s Y-A League meet at Gettysburg. Carroll, who bested defending Y-A champ Emily Schuler of Dallastown twice already this season, is hoping to best the Dallastown standout for a third straight time.
“I guess I do,” Carroll said when asked if she believes she can capture her first Y-A crown next week. “But there are lot of tough girls (in the league).”
Bobcat boys also shine: The Northeastern girls weren’t the only ones celebrating a successful Senior Night. The Bobcat boys made it a sweep with a dominating showing.
Led by James Herman and Cole Perry finishing one-two, the Bobcats claimed six of the top 10 places to defeat New Oxford (21-37), Littlestown (16-43) and Eastern (15-48).
New Oxford finished second in the boys' team competition at 2-1, followed by Eastern York at 1-2 and Littlestown at 0-3.
In the girls' team action, Eastern York was second at 2-1, followed by Littlestown at 1-2 and New Oxford at 0-3.
Suburban clinches title: At Suburban, the home team finished a perfect York-Adams Division II season at 6-0. The Trojans went 4-0 on the day, followed by Kennard-Dale (3-1), West York (2-2), York Catholic (1-3) and York Tech (0-4). Suburban's Cole Adams won the race in 16:34, followed by K-D's Collin Wolf and three more Suburban runners (Jordan Ohl, Grant Kern and Shea Walsh). The Suburban boys have won eight straight D-II crowns.
O’Brien leads Susquehannock: At Hanover, Matt O’Brien led the Susquehannock Warriors to victories over Red Lion (20-38), Spring Grove (18-42) and South Western (27-32) by taking first individually in 17:10. Teammate Jacob Derkosh took fifth. The Mustangs came in second by defeating Red Lion (23-34) and Spring Grove (21-38). Shernan Singh led the Mustangs by taking second individually, while teammates Evan Freil and Shernel Singh took third and fourth, respectively. South Western won the York-Adams Division I crown at 6-0. The Lions came in third as a team by defeating Spring Grove (24-35).
Hirneisen powers Gettysburg: At Codorus State Park, Andrew Hirneisen led the Gettysburg Warriors to victories over Fairfield (19-42), Dover (17-46) and Delone Catholic (15-50) by taking first in 17:22. Also for Gettysburg, Drew Cole took second, while Jacob Bordatto took third. The Green Knights came in second by defeating Dover (23-36) and Delone (15-41). John Whitcomb led the Knights with a fifth-place finish. The Eagles came in third by defeating Delone (27-30). Tyler Rackley led the Eagles with a fourth-place finish.
Wildcats shine: At Dallastown, the home team took first by defeating Central York (27-28), Bermudian Springs (15-50) and Biglerville (15-50). Individually for the Wildcats, Rory McCleary took second, Brennan Donnelly took fourth and Jakob Rager took fifth. The Panthers came in second by defeating Bermudian (15-50) and Biglerville (15-50). Brandon Baxter led the Panthers individually by taking first in 17:22. Teammate Logan Dillon took third. The Eagles took third by defeating Biglerville (21-40).
Suburban goes 4-0: At Suburban, the home team went 4-0 on the day to finish 5-1 in York-Adams Division II action. York Catholic was second at 3-1 on the day, followed by West York (2-2). Kennard-Dale and York Tech each went 0-3. K-D's Delaney Barts won the race in 21:36. York Catholic's Gabbie Tully was second, followed by three Suburban runners (Ella Smith, Sarah Gleba and Courtney Ohl).
Lloyd paces Lions: At Hanover, Gwen Lloyd led the Red Lion Lions to victories over South Western (18-40), Susquehannock (16-43) and Spring Grove (15-50). Also for the Lions, Kiersten Lloyd took second individually, while Lily Hare came in third and Victoria Mattioli took fifth. The Mustangs came in second as a team by defeating Susquehannock (24-33) and Spring Grove (15-50). Paige Watson led the Mustangs individually with a fourth-place finish. The Warriors came in third as a team by defeating Spring Grove (15-50).
Gettysburg triumphs, takes division: At Codorus State Park, the Gettysburg Warriors took first by defeating Dover (27-28), Fairfield (15-50) and Delone Catholic (17-38). Gettysburg clinched the York-Adams Division II crown. Individually for the Warriors, Anne Bair took fourth and Kelty Oaster took fifth. The Eagles came in second by defeating Delone (21-34) and Fairfield (15-50). Individually for the Eagles, Summer Hogan took first in 19:46. Dover's Emily Hogan took second. The Squirettes came in third by defeating Fairfield (15-50).
Schuler first for Dallastown: At Dallastown, Emily Schuler led the home team to victories over Central York (15-48), Bermudian Springs (15-50) and Biglerville (15-50) by taking first in 21:05. Also for Dallastown, Allison Myers took second, Lydia Tolerico took third, Helen Zardus took fourth and Kennedy Boyer took fifth. The Panthers came in second by defeating Bermudian (17-45) and Biglerville (15-50). The Eagles came in third by defeating Biglerville (15-50).
York Catholic 3, Fairfield 0: At Fairfield, the Irish won the York-Adams Division III match, 25-11, 25-8, 25-2. Lindsey Beck led the Irish with four aces, four digs and eight assists. Also for the Irish, Hope Leavy-Gaskins had six kills, Madeline Walker had 12 assists and three aces and Gabby Malone had five kills. York Catholic improved to 9-1 in the division and 13-1 overall.
South Western 3, Dover 0: At Dover, the Mustangs won the York-Adams Division I match, 25-16, 25-12, 25-17. Emma Filipovitz led the Mustangs individually with 10 kills and 11 digs. Also for the Mustangs, Ali St. Rose had 10 kills and five digs, while Kya Rebert had nine kills and four digs. South Western improved to 9-1 in the division, 12-1 overall.
York Suburban 3, New Oxford 0: At New Oxford, the Trojans won the York-Adams Division II match, 25-16, 25-14, 25-15. Eliana Rodgers led the Trojans individually with 10 kills and three digs. Also for Suburban, Caitlin Springer had 27 assists and five digs, Mackenzie Corsa had three aces and 16 digs and Maddison Perring had seven kills. For the Colonials, Morgan Adams had nine kills, while Mallory Topper had 11 digs. Suburban improved to 10-1 in the division and 12-2 overall.
Eastern York 3, York High 0: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights rolled, 25-17, 25-5, 25-16. Eastern's leaders were Sarah Moore (11 kills, three digs, five assists, four aces), Alyssa Noll (13 digs) and Madison Shimmel (four digs, 11 assists). Eastern improved to 9-6 overall and 6-5 in York-Adams Division II.
Central York 3, Spring Grove 1: At Central, the Panthers triumphed, 25-13, 14-25, 25-15, 25-21. Central improved to 9-1 overall and 8-1 in York-Adams Division I. Spring Grove fell to 10-4 and 5-4. Central was led by Sydnie Johnson (12 kills), Alexa Shorts (nine kills, 13 digs) and Abbey Stiffler (24 assists). Spring Grove's leaders were Maddie Ruhland (32 assists, six digs), Kaylyn Zeigler (15 kills, 13 digs) and Nevaeh Wolfe (21 digs).
West York 3, Kennard-Dale 0: At Fawn Grove, the Bulldogs rolled to improve to 14-1 overall and 11-0 in York-Adams Division II. The defending PIAA Class 3-A state champions are No. 2 in the District 3 3-A power ratings and ranked No. 5 in the state in 3-A by the Pennsylvania Volleyball Coaches Association.
Dallastown 3, Red Lion 0: At Red Lion, the visitors rolled to improve to 12-5 overall and 7-3 in York-Adams Division I.
Susquehannock 3, Gettysburg 1: At Glen Rock, the home team improved to 10-6 overall and 8-3 in York-Adams Division II.
Central York 4, Susquehannock 0: At Central, the Panthers clinched at least a tie for the York-Adams Division I championship. The Panthers improved to 10-7 overall and 10-2 in D-I. Susquehannock fell to 10-6 overall and 8-4 in D-II. Central can clinch the outright title with a win Wednesday at Dover. Grace Harrold scored three goals to lead Central. Caitlin Jacobs had the other score. Maliyah Benson had two assists, while Abby Lamison had one. K.C. O'Neil had 13 Susquehannock saves. Sydney Valdes made two saves to record the Central shutout.
Littlestown 1, Bermudian Springs 0: At Littlestown, the Lady Bolts won the showdown of division leaders. Littlestown clinched the York-Adams Division IV title. Littlestown is now 13-4 overall and 10-2 in D-IV. Bermudian fell to 14-2 overall and 11-1 in D-III.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.