A year ago, Northern York’s Marlee Starliper was struggling to find a rhythm.
Injuries, heat, fatigue (both physical and mental) slowed what was supposed to be an impressive junior season. It was, but more for her fortitude in bouncing back from such troubles than it was for the new records she was seemingly destined to set.
Starliper’s senior year is off to no such start. She opened 2019 with a bang — no, an explosion — obliterating the Lebanon Valley College Dutchmen Invitational field with a Pennsylvania all-time record 16 minutes, 30.00 seconds on Saturday at Arnold Field in Annville.
The time is one of the top 10 in American high school history and breaks the state record set by Mechanicsburg’s legendary runner, Lois Brommer, in 1981 at the Kinney Nationals, a 16:43.Starliper was a solid two minutes faster than Cedar Crest’s Gweneth Young, who finished second. The gap between Starliper and Young was larger than Young’s gap and the next 17 runners.
The Northern sensation was also faster than all but 13 of the boys that ran the other race in Annville.
Starliper is the two-time reigning PIAA cross country champion and one of the top high school runners in the country, surely to have her pick of the college litter as her recruiting hits the home stretch.
Northern’s girls won the team title with 39 points. Katie Anthony finished fourth in 19:12.9. The Northeastern girls took second, while Central York was eighth.
Northeastern's Margaret Carroll was third individually in 18:43.00. Another Bobcat, Bella Treglia, was sixth in 19:23.90.
In the boys' competition, Cedar Crest won the championship, while Central York was fifth and Northeastern was sixth. Northern Lebanon's Gage Krall won the boys' race in 15:47.70. Northeastern's James Herman was fifth in 16:09.60 and his teammate, Cole Perry, was eighth in 16:12.80. Central's Brandon Baxter was ninth in 16:13.70.