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HEISER: York-Adams cross country runs to have different feel, but may have familiar champs

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
York Suburban's Cole Adams is the defending York-Adams League boys' cross country champion.
  • The York-Adams League Cross Country Championship Runs are set for Saturday.
  • Both runs are at Gettysburg High. The girls race at 10 a.m.. The boys race at 2 p.m.
  • York Suburban's Cole Adams is the defending boys' champion.
  • Northeastern's Margaret Carroll is the defending girls' champion.

The area’s top high school distance runners will descend on Gettysburg High School on Saturday for the York-Adams League Cross Country Championship Runs.

This year’s event will have a different feel, but it may well have familiar champions.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the boys’ and girls’ runs will be held two hours apart. The girls’ event goes off at 10 a.m., while the boys’ event will start at noon.

By keeping the start times that far apart, it will give organizers time to clear the campus and prepare for the next race, while also limiting the crowd sizes in an attempt to maintain social distance.

CROSS COUNTRY: York-Adams League teams sew up division championships over weekend

In a typical year, the girls’ and the boys’ runs are held back to back, with relatively little time between the races. That allows the boys’ runners to cheer on the girls’ competitors, and vice versa. That will not happen this season.

When the races are held on Saturday, the two defending champions are expected to return in an attempt to keep their crowns.

Northeastern's Margaret Carroll is the defending York-Adams League girls' cross country champion.

Girls' meet: Northeastern’s Margaret Carroll won last year’s league run at Gettysburg in 18 minutes, 28.6 seconds, and she’s been more than little impressive this season, making her a strong favorite to defend her crown.

Carroll won each of her Y-A Division I races during her senior season, including shattering the course record on her home course in a sizzling time of 17:31 on Oct. 10. She also placed second earlier in the season at the prestigious PIAA Foundation Meet in 18:35. The Carroll-led Bobcats also won a second consecutive Y-A Division I crown.

In 2019, Carroll went on to a third-place finish in the District 3 Class 3-A meet and a fifth-place finish in the PIAA 3-A event.

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The girls who finished second (Dallastown’s Emily Schuler), third (Red Lion’s Kiersten Lloyd) and fourth (Red Lion’s Gwendolyn Lloyd) last season behind Carroll at the girls’ league meet have all graduated. Last year’s fifth-place finisher in the girls’ league run (Dallastown junior Lydia Tolerico) is expected back to challenge Carroll, as is last year’s sixth-place finisher, Dover sophomore Summer Hogan.

Boys' meet: On the boys’ side, the top four finishers in the 2019 event are expected to battle for the title again this year.

York Suburban’s Cole Adams, as a sophomore, won the 2019 league run in 16:27.6, followed by Kennard-Dale’s Collin Wolf, Northeastern’s James Herman and Northeastern’s Cole Perry.

Those four, however, are far from the only league title threats.

In a memorable boys’ meet on Oct. 10 between Suburban and K-D in Fawn Grove, the top six runners broke the previous course record of 17 minutes, 15 seconds, set back in 2012. Adams won the race in 16:30, followed by K-D’s Garrett Quinan and Suburban’s Grant Kern in 16:36. The next three runners were from K-D: Dan Gibney in 16:37, Wolf in 17:12 and Dylan Cunningham in 17:13. All of those runners could be factors at the league meet.

The K-D boys edged Suburban in the team competition on that day, 26-29. That victory basically clinched the Y-A D-II title for the Rams, ending Suburban’s eight-year reign. It was K-D’s first league cross country title since taking the East crown in 2004.

Last year, Adams helped Suburban win the District 3 Class  2-A team title and finish second in the 2-A state meet. Individually, he was third in last year’s district 2-A run and 14th in the state 2-A meet.

Perry, meanwhile, went unbeaten in Y-A Division I runs this season, including a record-breaking time of 15:59 at home against South Western on Oct. 10. He also took a seventh-place finish at the PIAA Foundation Meet.

Team race: The Suburban boys and the Dallastown girls won league team titles a season ago.

This year, the Northeastern girls appear to be a major threat to take the girls’ crown, although D-II champion Gettysburg could make some noise.

The K-D boys, meanwhile, will look to take another boys’ title away from the Trojans. Y-A D-I boys’ champion South Western, behind Shernan Singh, Shernel Singh and Evan Freil, could also be a big factor in the boys’ team race.

The Y-A D-III boys’ and girls’ championship teams from York Catholic could also be heard from.

— Steve Heiser is sports editor for The York Dispatch. He can be reached at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com. This story was updated to correct the race start times.