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York Suburban boys aim for another cross country title

DICK VanO'LINDA
505-5403/@ydsports
  • The York Suburban boys' cross country team is aiming for its fourth straight district title.
  • The York Suburban girls' team is aiming at its third team crown in four seasons.
  • The District 3 Cross Country Championships are set for Saturday at Big Spring High School.

The York Suburban boys' cross country teams from 1997 through 2000 set the school standard — four District 3 Class 2-A championships in a row.

Peter Wagner, right, and Bryce Ohl, lead the York Suburban Trojan boys to victory and a Division II title at Spring Grove earlier this season. The Trojans hope to win a fourth straight District 3 Class 2-A title on Saturday.

Saturday at Big Spring High School, this year's group of Trojans will seek to tie the school record by winning their fourth consecutive district title.

"It's  a goal, and it's definitely achievable," said Peter Wagner, the only senior among the seven Suburban runners who earned places in in last week's York-Adams All-League Run. "I'm so honored to be part of this program for three in a row, and, I would love to get four in a row."

The Trojans have captured 10 district titles altogether, along with two state championships (2009 and 2014). They were second, to Dallas, of District 2, in last year's state meet.

Suburban counts on the power of the pack to achieve its goals.

In this year's York-Adams Run, there was just a 31-second gap between the first Trojans' finisher and the fifth finisher. Josh Kerr, Wagner, Jarrett Raudensky, Bryce Ohl and Tanner Haynes were the first five Suburban runners to cross the line.

"The main thing, which helps us succeed, is we work together, and we push ourselves day in and  day out to get better," said Wagner, who will attend Siena College in upstate New York next year..

"We encourage each other, even in races."

The races begin in August  and end in November, but the training is almost year around.

"It (the training) is essentially 10 months," Suburban head boys' coach Ron Herman said. "In the summer, the boys probably run between 350 and 400 miles. To compete in cross country, you got to have a passion for it."

Herman dialed back on the training this week. The Trojans were planning to run for an hour around the Memorial Park area in York on Wednesday before concluding practice with "some 200s on the grass."

"They've raced 10 times this season, and that's a lot for a high school kid," Herman said. "We're optimistic about the district meet. The guys have in mind tying it (four in a row), and the guys coming back next year have in mind breaking it."

Girls' action: While the guys try to make it four in a row, the Suburban girls will bid for their third team championship in the past four years. The Trojans won the 2-A title in 2013 and 2014.

"They're excited," Suburban head girls' coach Dan Houwe said. "Our hope is to get back that district title. But we also need to punch our ticket for states (the top three team finishers at districts advance to states).".

In Class 3-A girls, Dallastown will look to add to its terrific season, which includes the York-Adams Division I title and having five runners among the top 11 at the York-Adams All-League Run.

Emily  Schuler, a freshman who placed second in the York-Adams All-League Run, leads the Wildcats.

Meanwhile, York-Adams All-League Run winners, Maddie McLain of Eastern York and Patrick Jacobson of Dallastown will lead their respective teams into the district meet.

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

York Suburban's Zette Pflaum and the Trojans' girls' cross country team are looking for their third District 3 Class 2-A title in the past four years on Saturday.