SPRING GROVE — It doesn’t take much to motivate the York Suburban boys’ cross country team.
The Trojans' runners are both a smart and competitive group that is almost always well aware of where it stands in relation to its goals.
That doesn’t mean, however, that head coach Ron Herman doesn't give his team some reminders.
Such was the case Tuesday afternoon when the Trojans entered their final team meet of the regular season at Spring Grove High School with one more item to check off their list. With York-Adams League Division II rival Gettysburg tied with Suburban atop the division standings heading into the meet, the Trojans were determined to get the better of the Warriors in order to secure another division title.
Herman, who has been known to test his team both mentally and physically, laid it out plainly to his team right before meet.
“He just said that Gettysburg is 4-0 in the division, they want it just as much as we do, so don’t let them have it,” Suburban’s Peter Wagner said. “Just go out and run as hard as you possibly can today.”
Suburban went out and dominated.
Wagner, who won an individual meet for a third time this season, helped the Trojans claim five of the first six spots during the five-meet race that included a 15-46 victory over Gettysburg.
The perfect sweep of the meet, which also included Spring Grove, Biglerville and New Oxford, secured Suburban a fifth-consecutive Division II title.
“It was a great team effort,” said Wagner, who finished in 17 minutes, 15 seconds. “Bryce (Ohl) and I knew we had to go because we wanted to win.”
Ohl finished a second behind his teammate and just eight seconds ahead of Spring Grove runner Tristan Smyser. York Suburban's Josh Kerr finished fourth just ahead of another pair of Trojans in Tanner Haynes and Jarrett Raudensky.
Knowing that Gettysburg was in a position to potentially knock off the perennially solid Trojans may have played right into Suburban’s psyche. Wagner indicated that he and his teammates are typically the most prepared and focused whenever they meet a potential obstacle.
“This year we’ve really focused on the big meets,” he said. “Last year we didn’t have our best meet at states. This year we wanted to make sure that we are all — all seven of us — are running our absolute best.”
New Oxford edged Spring Grove, Gettysburg and Biglerville, while the Rockets downed the Warriors and Canners.
Suburban girls roll as well: While the Trojans' boys’ team celebrated a division title, so too did the Suburban girls’ squad. Coach Dan VanHouwe’s club claimed the first seven spots and eight of the top nine to cruise to a sweep of Spring Grove, Gettysburg, New Oxford and Biglerville.
Cecilia Lantz crossed the line first in 21:15. Teammates Zette Pflaum, Courtney Ohl, Emma Trout, Brooke Ruth, Lena Strong and Bryn Walsh rounded out the top seven.
“The girls ran fantastic tonight,” VanHouwe said. “We kind of put a little fire under them. We have 10 girls and we can only take eight of them to postseason. And I told them Saturday that if they don’t run in a certain spot that they’re going to go to the run-off Thursday.”
The Trojan girls were coming off a loss against Dallastown (18-38) last Wednesday that broke the team’s 168-race (dual-meet) unbeaten streak. That was a streak that began in 2007 and spanned nearly nine full seasons.
With only Suburban, New Oxford and Spring Grove fielding complete teams, the Colonials were able to pick up three victories after downing the Rockets head-to-head.
The Suburban girls have now won eight straight D-II championships.
Jacobson powers Wildcats to Division I title: At Fairfield, Patrick Jacobson's first-place finish in 17:24 led the Wildcats to victories over Fairfield, Kennard-Dale, Littlestown and Northeastern. The 23-36 victory over Northeastern was a battle of unbeaten York-Adams Division I teams. By beating the Bobcats, the Wildcats sewed up the D-I crown. Dallastown's Bryce Gable took second. The Bobcats came in second as a team. Ben Kelly led the Bobcats with a third-place finish, while Noah Hale took fifth. K-D took third. Merle Bernhard led the Rams with a fourth-place finish. Fairfield took fourth.
George leads Lions to first-place finish: At Red Lion, Cameron George took first to lead the Lions to a first-place team finish with victories over Eastern York, York Catholic, Dover and Susquehannock. Teammate Jeb Fregm took fourth. The Golden Knights took second. Zack Falk led the Golden Knights with a second-place finish. Dover came in third. York Catholic came in fourth. Evan Schlosser led the Irish with a third-place finish. The Warriors' Connor Broderick took fifth.
Squires complete unbeaten division season: Delone Catholic completed its third Division III championship in the last five years, knocking off Bermudian Springs and West York. Adler Brininger was the fastest runner for the Squires, finishing in third. The Eagles captured second in the meet, thanks to getting a one-two finish from Chad Long and Anthony Petrosky, with Long completing the race in 17:24, four seconds faster than Petrosky. The Bulldogs finished third with Jake Spangler taking fourth.
Panthers capture first-place finish: At Hanover, the Panthers captured first in the team competition by defeating South Western and York Tech. Timmy Buzynski led the Panthers with a second-place finish. Also for Central, Cole Harris took third, Jacob Montgomery took fourth and Zach Wiltshire came in fifth. The Mustangs took second by defeating York Tech. Dalton Miles led the Mustangs by winning the race in 17:10.
Schuler breaks record, Wildcats win crown: At Fairfield, Emily Schuler's record-breaking first-place finish in 19:26 led the Wildcats to victories over Fairfield, Littlestown, Kennard-Dale and Northeastern. Dallastown finished unbeaten in York-Adams Division I action en route to winning the division title. Also for Dallastown, Allison Myers took fourth, while Isabella Wise took fifth. The Bobcats came in second. Maddie Warrender took third to lead the Bobcats. Fairfield came in third. Lindsey Lytle led the Green Knights with a second-place finish. K-D came in fourth.
McLain breaks course record at Red Lion: At Red Lion, the Lions took first by picking up victories against Eastern York, York Catholic, Dover and Susquehannock. Kiersten Lloyd led the Lions with a second-place finish. Maddie McLain led the Golden Knights to a second-place team finish, by taking first and breaking the course record in 19:31. Eastern's Olivia McLain finished fourth, while Madison Nalls took fifth. The Irish took third. Katelyn MacDougall led the Irish with a third-place finish. Dover took fourth.
Delone continues domination of Division III: Delone Catholic went unbeaten in Division III competition for a fifth straight year, with Leanne Sneeringer winning the meet in 20:43. Her teammates, Natalie Wildasina and Abbey Sweeney, finished third and fourth, respectively. West York took second in the meet, with Corrine Maloney finishing in second and Emily Sweitzer finishing fifth. Bermudian Springs finished third.
Mustangs corral first-place finish: At Hanover, the home team captured victories over Central York and York Tech to take first in the team competition. Sarah Forry led the Mustangs with a second-place finish. Also for South Western, Alyssa Bentzel took third and Madison Wisensale took fifth. The Panthers took second-place by defeating York Tech. Central's Olivia Gemma took fourth. Christian School of York ran as an independent. Nicole Shelton led the Crusaders with a first-place finish in 19:20.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.