By DICK VANO’LINDA
Five years ago, on the first Saturday in November, five seniors from York Suburban completed an historic run in Hershey.
Nick Schrading, Matthew Barton, Jacob Jones, Jeremy Saur and Kyle Cote delivered the school’s first state cross country championship.
Schrading, Barton, Jones, Saur and Cote scored 76 points to win the Boys’ Class AA team crown.
Michael Johnescu and Brian Sanchez also ran for the Trojans that day on the demanding Parkview course.
Fast forward to the first Saturday in November of 2014, and another group of Suburban runners will be out on the 3.1-mile Parkview layout attempting to match the feat of the 2009 team.
This group of Trojans, like the 2009 runners, will enter the state meet after having won the District 3 crown.
“To win the state title would mean the world to me,” Suburban senior Brady Wilt said before he and his teammates took off on a training run late Wednesday afternoon. “In my three years at Biglerville (Wilt transferred to Suburban this year), it was mainly an individual thing. To come here and be part of a team like this, it would be a huge blessing for me and the team to bring the state championship home to York Suburban.”
Wilt, Donovan Mears, Bryce Ohl, Adam Barley, Peter Wagner, Zach Lofties, Quentin Schorr and Josh Kerr will represent the Trojans on Saturday.
“In 2009, that team was more of a thinking team, while the 2014 team is more carefree” said Suburban head boys’ coach Ron Herman, who’s in his 27th season.
Both teams put up impressive numbers at their respective district meets. The 2009 team recorded a school-record score of 37 points, and this year’s team finished with 41 points. The time spread between the first five Trojans to cross the line at districts in 2009 was 35 seconds, and this year, it was 40 seconds.
“If you follow times, it would suggest that it’s going to be between us and Scranton Prep on Saturday,” Herman said. “But I never count out Grove City or Pottsgrove. Scranton Prep has five seniors, so they all know the course.”
Parkview, a former golf course, is also used for the District 3 Meet. The district and state layouts are identical with one major exception: a make-or-break uphill portion in the final part of the state race.
“I try to get out (at the start), but not too fast,” Wilt said. “My head is definitely focused on the team aspect. The state course is a lot more beneficial to us, throwing that last hill in there is where we get a lot of our competitors. We put it in high gear.”
Along with family and friends, the Trojans will have the backing of members of the 2009 team when they go for the gold.
“Most of them are going to be there on Saturday,” Herman said. “They’re behind this team 100 percent.”
Girls’ meet: The Suburban rooting contingent will also be 100 percent behind the Trojans’ girls’ team, which earned a place in states by winning the District 3-AA crown.
Cecilia Lantz, Emma Leik, Lena Strong, Brooke Ruth and Zette Pflum were the Suburban scorers at districts. Danielle Cardone, Sarah Cardone and Olivia Gettle are also entered in states.
Gettle, the 2013 York-Adams All-League Run winner and the team’s leading runner during the 2014 regular season, has been battling injuries (tendinitis, back) recently. She didn’t run in either the York-Adams or District 3 meets.
Will Gettle run at states?
“Olivia is day to day,” Suburban girls’ coach Dan VanHouwe said. “If the state run was (Wednesday), she would not run. If the run was (Thursday), she would not run. Saturday, we’ll see.”
The Trojans are aiming to finish among the top five teams.
“If we run the way we ran on Wednesday, we can do it, even without Olivia,” VanHouwe said. “That would be a huge success for the year.”
Asked which girls’ teams he expects to be among the leading ones at states, VanHouwe said: Villa Maria (District 10), Northwest Lehigh, Scranton Prep, Dallas and Danville.
If the Suburban girls’ team finishes in the top three, VanHouwe will have a different look next week: pink hair.
“If the boys win it, they’ll shave it (the hair) after two weeks,” he said.”
Kennard-Dale will also compete in the Girls’ AA meet. The Rams placed third in the district meet. The Delone Catholic girls’ team will go after the Class A state title after capturing the district championship.
State qualifiers: Following are the York-Adams runners who qualified for the state meet:
Girls’ Class A: Kate Mowrey, Delone Catholic. Leanne Sneeringer, Delone Catholic. Alyssa Alberghini, Delone Catholic. Abbey Sweeney, Delone Catholic. Lydia Dickmyer, Delone Catholic. Megan Mall, Delone Catholic. Jenna Salter, Delone Catholic. Katelyn MacDougall, York Catholic.
Girls’ Class AA: Cecliia Lantz, York Suburban. Emma Leik, York Suburban. Lena Strong, York Suburban. Brooke Ruth, York Suburban. Zette Pflum, York Suburban. Danielle Cardone, York Suburban. Sarah Cardone, York Suburban. Olivia Gettle, York Suburban. Kayla White, Kennard-Dale. Caitlin Salomon, Kennard-Dale. Maddie Ferner, Kennard-Dale. Ashley Moffit, Kennard-Dale. Jessica Ollis, Kennard-Dale. Emily Livezey, Kennard-Dale. Alyvia Simonds, Kennard-Dale. Lizzie Graham, Kennard-Dale. Maddie McLain, Eastern. Madison Nalls, Eastern. Bethany Weaver, West York.
Boys’ Class A: Will Greene, Delone Catholic.
Boys’ Class AA: Brady Wilt, York Suburban. Donovan Mears, York Suburban. Bryce Ohl, York Suburban. Adam Barley, York Suburban. Peter Wagner, York Suburban. Zach Lofties, York Suburban. Quentin Schorr, York Suburban. Josh Kerr, York Suburban. Tyler White, Eastern. Dan Filler, Gettysburg. Theo Kioussis, Kennard-Dale.
Boys’ Class AAA: Aaron Gebhart, New Oxford. Ben Linne, Northeastern. Ben Schott, South Western.
Girls’ tennis: Cross country isn’t the only sport in which state champions will be crowned this weekend in Hershey.
Evan Boone and Alyssa Miller of Kennard-Dale are entered in the Class AA Doubles portion of the State Girls’ Singles and Doubles Tennis Championships. The event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Hershey Racquet Club.
Boone and Miller, the District 3 runner-up team, will take on Emilia Jakubek and Tatiana Klacko of Scranton Prep in the opening round at 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Jakubek and Klacko are the District 2 champions.
— Reach Dick VanOlinda at email@example.com.