YORK SPRINGS — Over the course of the school's history, York Tech has had few chances to celebrate athletic team championships.
The vocational school has won just six York-Adams League division titles in its existence, four of which have been outright. Success has been more frequent over the last seven years, but still, anytime a program at the school finds itself in position to capture a division crown, it becomes a big deal.
Thursday, the boys' track team had that chance, entering its final meet of the league schedule in a tie for first place in Division III with Bermudian Springs. The Spartans were co-champions last season with Littlestown, but that didn't matter. This was a chance to win the division crown outright, a task that head coach Bradley Snell knew would take a "minor miracle" against a strong Eagles side.
In the end, the miracle didn't occur. Bermudian easily got past Tech, 97-53, claiming the program's first division title since 2009. The Eagles also won the girls' meet, 88-61.
"It went the way I expected," Snell said. "Bermudian has tremendous talent, great kids and their coaching, I've known their coaches for a long time. ... We knew it would be tough. I said to the kids last night we needed a small miracle, but it's happened before. We knew it would be an uphill battle."
Right from the start, Bermudian (6-0 D-III) set the tone, winning the 4x800 relay, taking first and third in the 110 hurdles and sweeping the 100 sprint. At that point, no matter how conservatively you pre-scored the meet based off of previous times and distances, it was obvious that the Eagles were exceeding expectations, while the Spartans (5-1) were coming up short in events in which they needed to do well.
To make matters worse, Tech was swept in all three relays, both hurdle races and also saw Bermudian go 1-2 in the 200 sprint, with Ryan Curfman running away with that event and Thomas Bross edging Jordan Ray for second.
"In the 100, I knew we didn't really have our guys there and the wind was bad, but that's a lot of excuses," Ray said. "At the end of the day, it's all about confidence and who shows up on the right days and we didn't show up in the 100 or 200."
One of the few athletes to step up for the Spartans was D.J. Hamilton, who won both the triple jump and high jump. His best triple jump distance was 40 feet, 4 inches, 3 1/2 feet farther than the second-place finisher. In the high jump, he easily cleared 5 feet, 8 inches to win the event and narrowly missed clearing 6 feet, which would've matched a personal record.
"With fatigue, I didn't perform the way I thought I could," Hamilton said. "I didn't really think I was going to win with the jumps I had, but to still win, I thought that was still pretty good."
The Tech program is part of a co-op with York Country Day and York Catholic, allowing the program to pull athletes from those schools and let them compete for the Spartans.
It's made the program much more competitive in the four years since the co-op began. Going forward, with how well the Spartans have done in track over the past two seasons, Snell can only see the success helping promote the sport to students at the school and continuing to make the program a threat in D-III.
"(The co-op) has certainly helped us," Snell said. "But, my favorite thing about having the co-op with the three schools isn't that we're better. We are better, but it's because it's tremendous to see kids from three different schools ... working together in unison to achieve a common goal."
Girls' meet: In the girls' meet, the Eagles (3-3) won 11 of the 18 events and were led by Deanna Boyer and Aine Yacapsin. Boyer won the 100 and 200 sprints, while Yacapsin swept the hurdles and also helped Bermudian win the 4x400 relay.
For Tech (1-5, 1-5), Katie MacDougall was unbeatable in the distance runs, taking first in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
TRACK AND FIELD
Gettysburg 110, Dover 40: At Gettysburg, Laion Shelton led the Warriors winning the long jump, high jump and triple jump. Gettysburg clinched the outright York-Adams Division II title at 7-0.
Central York 106, York High 42: At Emigsville, the Panthers won 12 events. Evan Czulada won the high jump and javelin for Central.
TRACK AND FIELD
Dover 84, Gettysburg 65: At Gettysburg, the Eagles captured first in eight of the 11 track events. Individually for the Eagles, Sienna Woodyard won the 100 and 200, while Peyton Mulder won the 100 and 300 hurdles.
Central York 104, York High 45: At Emigsville, Sierra Sterner won the 100 and 300 hurdles for Central, while Bridget Palm took first in the 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Reach Patrick Strohecker at email@example.com.