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McLain, Jacobson run to league cross country titles

DICK VanO'LINDA
505-5403/@ydsports
  • Eastern York's Maddie McLain won the York-Adams Girls' All-League Run in 18:51.
  • Dallastown's Patrick Jacobson won the York-Adams Boys' All-League Run in 17:01.
  • The York Suburban boys and Dallastown girls had the best team finishes.

GETTYSBURG — For Maddie McLain and Patrick Jacobson, it was their time to be in the spotlight.

McLain, the Eastern York High School standout who finished second to a senior, Maddie Ferner of Kennard-Dale, in last year's York-Adams Girls' All-League Cross Country Run, crossed the finish line first this year.

Jacobson, meanwhile, one of the favorites in the boys' competition, delivered on his potential and won the race in his final opportunity. The Dallastown High School senior put up a time of 17 minutes, 1 second, five seconds ahead of Bermudian Springs junior Chad Long.

More than 250 runners competed in the two races Tuesday afternoon on the course that winds around the Gettysburg High School campus.

"This is the stuff of dreams," Jacobson said. "I've been looking up at all the fast high school runners throughout my career. Now, I'm standing where they did and doing what they did."

Jacobson hung back a bit during the first mile of the 3.1-mile race, but he moved to the front not long after that and gained some separation with about a half mile to go in the race.

"Right before the last little hill, I glanced back, and I noticed I had some distance on people, and I thought, 'I got this,'" Jacobson said.

Eastern York's Maddie McLain, right, holds off Dallastown challenger Emily Schuler to win the York-Adams League cross country championships at Gettysburg High School, Tuesday, October 18, 2016.John A. Pavoncello photo

Girls' race: McLain, meanwhile, seized the lead at the outset, but she was closely pursued by Dallastown freshman sensation Emily Schuler.

"I kept my eye out for her the whole first part of the race," the Golden Knights'  junior said. "She got closer and closer, and I could hear her breathing."

The two dueled for another mile before McLain opened up a gap with a half mile remaining in the race.

"The second loop out in front of the school is where I pulled away," McLain said.

McLain put up a winning time of 18:51. Schuler finished in 19:01.

"Maddie (Ferner), she was a blessing in disguise for me," McLain said. "She beat me, but I learned a lot from her. I tried not to put pressure on myself, but I definitely had nerves today. But, I ran well."

McLain became the first Eastern runner to win the Girls' All-League Run in more than two decades.

"I saw in the newspaper that the last time an Eastern girl got it was in 1990," she said. "I thought, 'wow, I didn't know that.'"

Heat takes toll: McLain said the unseasonably warm day (78 degrees) took a toll.

"I think the heat definitely bothered me," she said. "You're used to running in the cold the last few weeks and now you come out and run in the heat."

Jacobson agreed that the heat played a role.

Dallastown's Patrick Jacobson leads the pack with about a mile to go to the finish line of the York-Adams League cross country championships at Gettysburg High School, Tuesday, October 18, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

"We were used to running in cooler temperatures, so the warm temperatures threw us off our game a bit," he said. "One thing I learned is that the race is longer than a mile so I still have time to catch people."

Jacobson, Long, Ben Kelly (Northeastern), Bryce Gable (Dallastown) and Dalton Miles (South Western) were the first five finishers in the boys' race.

McLain, Schuler, Katelyn MacDougall (York Catholic), Kiersten Lloyd (Red Lion) and Lindsey Lytle (Fairfield) comprised the top five in the girls' race.

Josh Kerr of York Suburban heads towards the finish line while the girls' team cheers him on during the York-Adams League cross country championships at Gettysburg High School, Tuesday, October 18, 2016. Kerr finished sixth overall. John A. Pavoncello photo

Team competition: York Suburban recorded the best team score in the boys' event (53 points). Dallastown was second at 88, followed by Central York (115), New Oxford (154) and Northeastern (165).

Dallastown finished with the lowest team score (38) in the girls' competition. York Suburban (94) York Catholic (150), Central York (152) and Red Lion (154) completed the first five.

Reach Dick VanO'Linda at sports@yorkdispatch.com.