York-Adams weekend roundup: Local athletes shine at annual Ray Geesey Invitational

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

Local track and field standouts ran and jumped through the rain Friday to deliver a memorable 2023 Ray Geesey Invitational, which took a one-year detour to York College from event host Dallastown.

Athletes from 13 York-Adams League schools and 14 programs in total competed in events from mid-afternoon to early night at Graham Field.

Dallastown, which has competed away from home all season because its track and football stadium is part of a construction project, honored its seniors during the event. And plenty of Wildcats excelled on the track, as they’ve done all spring en route to first place in York-Adams Division I with a week left of regular-season dual meets.

Dallastown's Kenneth Johnson competing in the Ray Geesey Invitational at York College in York on Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

Senior Kenny Johnson took the boys’ 100-meter dash title with a time of 11.24 seconds, edging past West York’s Nico Wright-Phillips (11.36) in the final. The Wildcats won six events in all, including Jakob Rager in the boys’ 1,600 (4:23.64), Victoria Rodriguez in the girls’ 1,600 (5:11.20), Maryn Spitzlay in the girls’ high jump (4-10), Ke’Asjah Lawrence in the shot put (35-8.5) and the girls’ 4x800 relay team (10:09.18).

South Western led all teams with seven event victories, including five on the boys’ side. Bernard Bell continued his brilliant season by taking the 110-meter hurdles in 14.78 seconds. Noah Bankert won the 400m (52.12), Gage Schmelyun prevailed in the long jump (20-1), Jackson Hersh won the javelin (140-5), and the Mustang boys narrowly took the 4x100 relay title over Susquehannock (45.56 to 45.90). Jessica Bentzel captured the girls’ 100m (13.33) and Megan Thompson won the girls’ javelin (95-4).

West York's Perry Addey, on left, and South Western's Bernard Bell, on right, competing in the Ray Geesey Invitational at York College in York on Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

The only individual to capture two event titles Friday was Susquehannock’s Ryleigh Marks, who won the 100 hurdles in 15.80 — she posted a 14.87 in better conditions in the prelims — and the long jump with a leap of 16 feet, 10 inches. Teammate Elena Martin won the girls’ discus (95-4) and the Warriors also claimed the girls’ 4x100 relay title (52.39, just ahead of Dallastown’s 52.61).

Susquehannock's Ryleigh Marks competing in the Ray Geesey Invitational at York College in York on Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

Kennard-Dale athletes found success on the jumps, as Dominic Smith took the boys’ high jump (5-10) and Michael Rake won the boys’ triple jump (41-3.25). Josie Kelly also shared the girls’ pole vault title with Dover’s Savannah Williar, as both athletes cleared 8 feet.

Central York’s boys also claimed multiple event titles, with Joseph Sevison winning the discus (156-7) and Danny Pham taking the shot put (44-8). Four schools — Central, South Western, Dallastown and Kennard-Dale — accounted for 11 of 12 boys’ event champions, with only Lampeter-Strasburg’s 4x800 relay team spoiling the party.

Winners of other girls’ events included Fairfield’s Ava Deming in the 400m (1:02.36); Red Lion’s Isabella Thompson in the 300 hurdles (52.98); and Hanover’s Alanys Perez-Beltran in the triple jump (31-0). 

Kennard-Dale's Josie Kelly competing in the Ray Geesey Invitational at York College in York on Friday, Apr. 28, 2023.

York Suburban had three runner-up finishers, while West York and New Oxford had two apiece. York Tech had just five athletes competing and earned two fifth-place finishes. Lampeter-Strasburg was the only school from outside the county to participate; Central Dauphin, Donegal and Waynesboro all registered but ultimately didn’t travel through the rain.

While not every local school was represented at the Geesey Invitational and some standouts from participating programs did not compete, Friday afternoon still served as a sneak peek for the York-Adams League meet coming in two weeks’ time. And the excitement should only continue to build as the stakes get higher through the postseason.


Athletes from Eastern York, Northeastern, Spring Grove and Littlestown competed in the Cy Fritz Open at Millersville on Friday. Eastern’s Kendall Felix led the local contingent by capturing the girls’ discus (81-5) and javelin (106-5) alongside a seventh-place finish in the shot put. Amani Brown led Northeastern by placing fourth in the girls’ 400m, while Littlestown’s only entrant, Peyton Small, finished fourth in the boys’ 1,600. Spring Grove’s Morgan Dayett and Kassidy Hinson placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the girls’ discus.

Bermudian Springs’ Cole Stuart placed second in the boys’ 1,600 in Saturday’s John Kambic Memorial Relays at Cedar Cliff.


The three-day sprint is complete, and the York-Adams League has its singles champions

Dallastown's Hayden Koons at the YACTA in Hanover on Saturday, Apr. 29, 2023.

Dallastown’s Hayden Koons captured the association’s Class 3A title on Saturday morning, taking down Red Lion’s Cooper Wheeler 6-2, 6-4 at the York-Adams Community Tennis Association indoor bubble in Hanover. Biglerville’s Guillaume Schmitz won the 2A crown, continuing his undefeated season with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Hanover’s Charlie Zitto.

Saturday’s consolation match winners were Dallastown’s Andrew Chronister in 3A and Littlestown’s Cyrus Marshall in 2A. The top three finishers in each classification qualified for the District 3 singles tournament, which begins next Friday at Hershey Racquet Club. 

The league’s doubles tournament will take place Monday and Tuesday, with the district team tournament beginning Wednesday. 


It was a weekend filled with postponements for local baseball and softball teams. The York-Adams divisional schedule will resume Monday.

A handful of boys’ and girls’ lacrosse matches went forward Friday, including Spring Grove’s 21-4 win over Northern York and York Suburban’s 10-8 victory over Conestoga Valley. Spring Grove’s boys fell 11-5 against Northern on Friday.

Central York's Andrew Guiddy (12) and Sam Czech (4) against Hempfield during their lacrosse game in Springettsbury on Wednesday March 22, 2023.

Saturday’s boys’ lacrosse slate was headlined by Central York’s 10-4 handling of State College for the Panthers’ 12th straight win. Elsewhere, Eastern York topped Muhlenberg 14-1 and York Suburban fell 16-4 to Exeter Township. Both girls’ games scheduled for Saturday — Susquehannock vs. Twin Valley and York Suburban vs. Chambersburg — were postponed.

Dallastown boys’ volleyball hosted the Dallastown Invitational on Saturday, with New Oxford among the teams in the field. Central York and York Suburban competed in the Little Lion Invitational at State College, which was won by North Allegheny.