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CROSS COUNTRY: York Suburban girls grab key win

ELIJAH ARMOLD
505/5403/@ydsports
  • Both York Suburban teams are now 5-0 in York-Adams Division II action.
  • Eastern York's Maddie McLain won the girls' race in a course-record time of 18:56.
  • Northeastern's Ben Kelly won the boys' race in 17:05.

Coming into Tuesday’s girls’ cross country showdown vs. Eastern York, the York Suburban Trojans had an important question to answer.

According to coach Dan VanHouwe, that inquiry was: "What do we have?"

The Trojans quickly found out, when top runner Courtney Ohl was forced off the course because of illness.

Suburban responded with a team effort that utilized its depth, resulting in a crucial victory, a 27-32 decision over Eastern York at a meet at Northeastern High School.

“We always pride ourselves on depth,” VanHouwe said. “Our girls needed to prove to themselves today, what they were worth. We lost our No. 1 runner out on the course. She just didn’t feel good and had to step off. So everybody had to step up and say ‘I need to help.’ And that’s what this team is about, everybody stepped up and just said 'let’s take care of business.'”

Coach Dan VanHouwe leads the York Suburban girls' cross country team in a cheer after winning the Northeastern meet, Tuesday, September 20, 2016. The Trojans have been undefeated in eight seasons John A. Pavoncello photo

The victory against Eastern moves Suburban's York-Adams League Division II record to 5-0 on the year and clinches at least a share of the division title. The Trojans have been atop the division since 2007.

Aside from the Trojans, the Golden Knights and the host Bobcats, Central York and Delone Catholic were also in attendance.

Maddie McLain of Eastern York held a commanding lead during the entire cross country race at Northeastern, Tuesday, September 20, 2016. McLain won the race in 18:56 setting a new course record. John A. Pavoncello photo

In what turned out to be a sea of orange Tuesday, it was Eastern York’s Maddie McLain who easily stood out. McLain opened a big lead from the gun and didn’t look back, cruising to victory in a new course record of 18 minutes, 56 seconds. Her record would have been even lower, but correcting a small misstep on the course cost her a few seconds.

Suburban’s Zette Pflaum was second, followed by Central York’s Bridgette Palm. Eastern York’s Olivia McLain and Suburban’s Cecilia Lantz rounded out the top five.

The Knights represented Suburban's most likely challenger within Division II this season, so Tuesday’s victory was especially pleasing for VanHouwe.

“Eastern has given us fits for the last four years,” VanHouwe said. “Maddie McLain is a superb runner, her sister, Olivia, is a good runner, Maddie Nalls is another good runner, Katie Myers is another — they have a legit squad. Their gap is just too far apart. When your gap is too far apart, it gives teams like us a chance.”

Emma Trout, Sarah Murray and Phoebe Caplan came through big for Suburban, securing spots nine through 11. Brooke Ruth then finished 13th to start a Trojans stretch where teammate Lena Strong, Ava Millek and Olivia Lantz followed in order.

That huge push in the middle was what gave Suburban the strength to overcome the Knights, who secured their third top-10 finish in Nalls’ seventh-place finish.

Central was also able to place Paige Hartman in the top 10, placing eighth.

The Trojans scored a 22-37 victory against Central York, an 18-45 win against the host Bobcats and a 15-50 triumph over Delone.

The wins Tuesday allowed Suburban to keep alive a division winning streak that hasn’t seen the Trojans lose a division meet since 2007.

Trojans sweep: The Suburban boys made it a clean sweep Tuesday with a 15-48 victory against Eastern York, a 15-48 win against Delone Catholic, a 18-39 decision over Central and a 25-34 win against the hosts.

Northeastern’s Ben Kelly was the race winner in 17:05. Teammate Noah Hake finished second. Bryce Ohl and Josh Kerr of Suburban were third and fourth respectively. Central’s Timmy Buzyinski filled out the top five.

With the win, Suburban moves its Division II record to 5-0. Northeastern took its Division I record to 4-0.

OTHER BOYS'

CROSS COUNTRY

Spring Grove finishes 1-2 to claim meet victory: At Fairfield, Triston Smyzer and Brady Pitzer finished 1-2 for Spring Grove to help the Rockets secure the meet win. Dover wound up taking second in the meet, with John Sengia finishing fourth. Fairfield finished third and West York took fourth, with Jake Spangler finishing in third.

Jacobson leads Wildcats to victory: At York Springs, Dallastown's Patrick Jacobson took first in 17:03 to lead the Wildcats to victories over Bermudian Springs, York Tech, Susquehannock and New Oxford. Teammate Bryce Gable took third. New Oxford took second, followed by Bermudian, Susquehannock and Tech.

OTHER GIRLS'

CROSS COUNTRY

Lytle sets Fairfield school record in win: At Fairfield, Lindsey Lytle broke the Green Knights’ school record, posting a time of 21:06, more than a minute faster than the previous school record and more than two minutes faster than the second-place finisher, Corinne Maloney of West York. The Bulldogs finished first as a team. Dover had the third-, fourth- and fifth-fastest runners in Emily Hogan, Madison Schmaltz and Ashley Goebler to take second, while Spring Grove finished third and Fairfield finished fourth.

Schuler takes first for Dallastown: At York Springs, Dallastown's Emily Schuler took first in 19:22 to lead the Wildcats to victories over Bermudian Springs, Susquehannock, New Oxford and York Tech. Also for the Wildcats, Allison Myers took second, Isabella Wise took third and Lydia Fimmano took fifth. The Colonials took second, followed by Susquehannock, Bermudian and Tech.

Reach Elijah Armold at earmold@yorkdispatch.com.