As if there wasn’t already enough pressure on performing well at the YAIAA Cross Country Championships, there was an added twist on Saturday at Gettysburg High School. In addition to awarding medalists and champions, the meet also served as a qualifier for the District 3 Championships.

In this era of Covid-19, in an effort to reduce the extremely large number of runners at districts, District 3 decided that each of the large conference meets (YAIAA, Mid-Penn and Berks) would serve as district qualifiers. Qualifiers for districts in Class 2A and 3A included the top two teams in each class, and the top 10 individuals not on the top two teams. In 1A competition, all teams may run at districts because of the small number of A schools.

Although not every team may compete at districts this year, local schools will be well-represented. The Gettysburg boys’ team ran a superb team race, placing third overall and second amongst 3A schools. Having lost to perennial state title contender York Suburban and Kennard-Dale in the regular season, that scenario played out at YAIAAs as well.

Kennard-Dale, with four runners in the top 10, edged the Trojans with 67 points. Suburban scored 74 for second place and Gettysburg was third with 109. The Warriors had to beat upstart South Western to go to districts, and they were able to do that as the Mustangs were fourth with 127 points.

Gettysburg’s top runner, junior Drew Cole, is accustomed to going out fast with the leaders. That strategy often has him reeling in the race’s final mile. He and coach Brian Mount have been trying to get him to go out a little easier in order to have more energy left at the end. It is not in his nature to back off, but Cole made himself do it on Saturday and it paid off.

“I tried to go out a lot slower,” said Cole, “because the past few meets I have been going out fast, and then in the last mile I have been dying. I thought this would be a good time to change and not be doing the same old thing. I still don’t know how fast is too fast at the start of the race.”

At the mile, Cole was just inside the top 20 before he began moving his way up. By the two-mile mark he had worked his way into third place behind defending YAIAA champion Cole Adams from York Suburban and Northeastern’s Cole Perry. Four runners passed the Warrior after the two-mile, then Matthew O’Brien from Susquehannock passed him late, putting him eighth. Cole was able to outkick O’Brien at the end to grab seventh place in 16:26.5. Adams won in 16:03.6, with Perry six seconds back.

Not far behind Cole was Warrior senior Jacob Bordatto. Enjoying his best season ever, Bordatto ran a strong race and had a superb finish to claim 13th place (16:38.7), splitting South Western’s Shernan and Shernel Singh. The twin Mustangs, along with teammate Evan Friel, will run at districts.

“My legs never felt like they were going so fast my whole life,” said Bordatto of his finishing kick. “I didn’t even feel like my feet were touching the ground in that last stretch. Even if this had been our last race, we couldn’t complain. We have all worked so hard over the summer and all fall.”

Senior leader Sam Douds had the race of his life as well, placing 23rd in 17:17.6. He was closely followed by Auden Day (27th, 17:25.2) and Gavin Cole, Drew’s younger brother (39th, 17:57.6), to round out the Gettysburg scorers. For Bordatto and Douds, it has been a great four years with their team.

“We have such a great team culture this year that is so supportive,” Douds said. “I didn’t feel any pressure today. It was more of the attitude of going out there and doing it for one another. I think we all wanted an opportunity to have one more race together. We didn’t want our warm-up run today to be the last time we run together. Running has been such a gift for us this year.”

Nathan Taylor of Bermudian Springs (68th, 18:39.9) and Littlestown’s Alexander Lehigh (82nd, 19:07.7) both qualified for districts in 2A, and Fairfield and Delone Catholic are eligible for districts in 1A.

While it may be unlikely that the Warriors will be able to claim first place at districts and qualify for states, it has been a rewarding season for Gettysburg. Losing two-time state qualifier Andrew Hirneisen was big, but Cole and Bordatto have picked up the slack as front runners. And the team camaraderie cannot be underestimated.

“It’s nice to have them buy into strategy of a little bit more conservative start, and it is paying off,” said Mount. “It’s hard to hold Drew back, but he had a nice race today. I’m proud of the guys. A lot of them got PRs, and it is happening at the right time. I’ve never had a group work as hard during the summer, with their captains’ practices. It has certainly been an interesting year. We couldn’t do a lot of the team-building things we would normally do, but they are very close.”

In the girls’ meet, the top Times Area runners throughout the season continued their winning ways, and earned the right to compete next week. Tops among them was Gettysburg freshman Winter Oaster. The diminutive Oaster, who is the fastest female runner in Adams County at any level, lived up to her billing and charged out with defending YAIAA champion Margaret Carroll of Northeastern.

By the two-mile mark the duo had pulled away from the field and were running neck and neck. On the long straightaway after the two-mile, Carroll pulled ahead and built that lead over the final mile. Her winning time of 18:26.2 broke her own course record, set at the YAIAA meet last year.

Oaster, who had gone out much faster than she is used to (6:04), went from ‘just hanging on’ with Carroll to ‘running scared’. Once she realized that Carroll was running away, Oaster began to be concerned with the two runners behind her, York Suburban’s Brooke Sargen and Dallastown’s Helen Zardus. While that pair closed the gap a bit on Oaster, she had a lot left for a strong finish. Her runner-up time of 18:54.4 was the fastest cross country time a Gettysburg runner has ever run, on any course, and the first time a girl has run under 19 minutes for the Warriors.

“I hit the one mile and I was pretty shocked,” Oaster said. “And then when I hit the two-mile, I noticed that it was my two-mile PR (personal record). I thought, ‘am I going to die later, or am I supposed to be here?’ I felt pretty good then, so I just tried to keep my distance from the third and fourth girls, because I knew Margaret would pull ahead. It worked pretty well I guess. I gave it all I had in the third mile.”

The Warriors placed fourth as a team, just five points behind Red Lion. Northeastern and Dallastown wrapped up the top two spots, with Northeastern scoring just 34 points, placing five runners in the top 10.

Oaster’s teammate, senior Marrin Crist, ran her fastest time on the home course, placing 17th in 20:29.0. That was good enough to qualify her for districts. She was the lone Warrior senior on Saturday and has become quite a leader for her team.

“Marrin has shown amazing leadership this year, and we really needed it, with everything that is going on,” said Gettysburg coach Michael Beegle. “She has really helped me a lot. I’m very happy for her to be where she is.”

Crist has improved greatly over her four years, and last year made it to the state meet. That feat will be more difficult this year, but she will give it her best effort.

“I was kind of dying during the race, but I felt like I could keep up my pace,” Crist said. “I just didn’t want to lose my place. Coach was telling me where I was for districts. That helped a lot. It’s going to be more difficult to make it to states this year, but I’ll see how I can do.”

South Western’s Paige Watson ran just three seconds behind Crist and was able to move on to next week as well. With only two 2A schools with full teams, all but two runners in that class did not qualify for districts. Earning the right to compete on Saturday will be Littlestown’s Sonya Yingling, Abigail Riedel and Alyssa Meyers, and Bermudian Springs’s Rebecca Durbin, Hannah Fletcher and Maddison Kuhn.

It has been an interesting year for the Gettysburg harriers, with a pandemic to deal with and the loss of two state qualifiers. But the Warriors were able to keep things together with the addition of some young, new faces and the steady leadership of Crist. Gettysburg won the regular season YAIAA-2 title for the third consecutive year. Oaster’s presence has helped pick up the pace for everyone.

“I know what Winter is made of from coaching her in middle school track “said Beegle. “She is a competitor. I told her to run easy in some meets this year, and she can’t. It’s not in her. She is always ready mentally. I am ecstatic with the way the girls ran. I’m just grateful we have been able to get to this point in the season. We had a lot of PRs today.”

Delone will send its team next week in 1A competition, but senior Julia O’Brien ran a fine race to place 16th (20:20.3), which would have enabled her to move on in any class. O’Brien, who has competed at states each of the last two years, was far back halfway through the race but picked it up and finished strong. Her time was her fastest on the Gettysburg course, and she is looking forward to making another trip to states.

“I felt good, and the conditions were good,” O’Brien said. “But everyone went out really, really fast. There was a lot of competition up front. I was with the front pack to the first mile, then I fell back from then. I was by myself for awhile, then I was with a couple of other girls that I raced hard. It was a PR on the course, so I’m happy. I’m going to miss this a lot. We are like a family.”

Big Spring High School will host the District 3 championship meet on Saturday. The district meet, run in three divisions, is the qualifying meet for the state championships.

This year, only the winning team in each district will qualify for states in each classification. In Class 1A, the top five individuals not on the winning team will qualify also. In 2A, it will be the top six individuals, and in 3A it will be the top 12.

YAIAA Cross Country Championship

Saturday - Gettysburg H.S.

Girls’ Team Results (13 full teams)

1.Northeastern 34, 2.Dallastown 59, 3.Red Lion 115, 4.Gettysburg 130, 5.York Suburban 160, 6.York Catholic 163, 7.Central York 177, 8.Susquehannock 194, 9.Delone Catholic 201, 10.Eastern York 248, 11.South Western 271, 12.New Oxford 323, 13.West York 344.

Girls’ Individual Results

(Medalists out of 103 finishers)

1.Carroll (NE) 18:26.2 (course record), 2.Winter Oaster (Get) 18:54.4, 3.Sargen (YS) 19:02.0, 4.Zardus (Dal) 19:05.3, 5.Dauberman (Sus) 19:11.9, 6.Pritchett (NE) 19:15.2, 7.Tolerico (Dal) 19:17.3, 8.Treglia (NE) 19:26.6, 9.Herr (NE) 19:39.7, 10.Schraudner (NE) 19:46.2, 11.Hogan (Dov) 19:50.7, 12.Hammond (KD) 19:58.7, 13.Breschi (RL) 19:59.6, 14.Fives (CY) 20:11.0, 15.Treml (Dal) 20:13.6, 16.Julia O’Brien (DC) 20:20.3, 17.Marrin Crist (Gett) 20:29.0, 18.Paige Watson (SW) 20:32.6, 19.Hartman (Dal) 20:41.3, 20.Register (Dal) 20:50.2, 21.Green (CY) 20:56.5, 22.Kauffman (RL) 21:01.2, 23.Kurtz (SG) 21:02.6, 24.Kurilla (NE) 21:03.1, 25.Fahringer (Sus) 21:05.3.

Gettysburg (4): 2.Winter Oaster 18:54.4, 17.Marrin Crist 20:29.0, 36.Carolyn Scheungrab 21:54.1, 43.Gabriella Sainato 22:04.4, 47.Megan Hurst 22:24.0, 83.Katherine Wagner 24:59.1.

Delone Catholic (9): 16.Julia O’Brien 20:20.3, 40.Samantha Smith 21:59.9, 50.Becky Hernandez 22:32.2, 55.Annabelle Biggins 22:47.8, 68.Jessica Crawford 23:48.0, 88.Emma Goddard 25:20.9, 95.Zoe Sanchez 25:58.5.

South Western (11): 18.Paige Watson 20:32.6, 65.Alexis Plesic 23:33.7, 77.Abrielle Bembow 24:24.4, 78.Allyson Klansek 24:27.2, 85.Emily Frock 25:04.0, 93.Brooke Ridenour 25:38.6.

New Oxford (12): 41.Ella Kraus 22:01.8, 74.Alayna Diviney 24:12.4, 81.Erin Deak 24:48.2, 92.Courtney Cox 25:36.4, 101.Chloe Trawinski 28:23.9.

Bermudian Springs: 79.Rebecca Durbin 24:31.4, 89.Hannah Fletcher 25:24.4, 97.Maddison Kuhn 25:56.6, 99.Kylee Oseen 27:13.8.

Biglerville: 98.Kaitlin Kline 27:10.4.

Fairfield: 66.Morgan Dennison 23:40.8, 103.Haley Hebenton 32:02.6.

Littlestown: 52.Sonya Yingling 22:39.0, 59.Abigail Riedel 23:11.9, 71.Alyssa Meyers 24:10.3.

Boys’ Team Results (19 full teams)

1.Kennard-Dale 67, 2.York Suburban 74, 3.Gettysburg 109, 4.South Western 127, 5.Susquehannock 140, 6.Central York 156, 7.Dallastown 180, 8.York Catholic 192, 9.Northeastern 224, 10.Dover 265…12.New Oxford 356, 13.Fairfield 375…15.Delone Cathlolic 404...17.Bermudian Springs 462…19.Littlestown 474.

Boys’ Individual Results

(Medalists, out of 137 finishers)

1.Adams (YS) 16:03.6, 2.Quinan (KD) 16:09.7, 3.Perry (NE) 16:09.8, 4.Kern (YS) 16:09.9, 5.Gibney (KD) 16:10.0, 6.Wolf (KD) 16:16.8, 7.Drew Cole (Get) 16:26.5, 8.O’Brien (Sus) 16:29.0, 9.Rager (Dal) 16:34.9, 10.Cunningham (KD) 16:36.8, 11.Shernan Singh (SW) 16:38.0, 12.Herman (NE) 16:38.5, 13.Jacob Bordatto (Get) 16:38.7, 14.Driscoll (YC) 40.3, 15.Walsh (YS) 16:40.6, 16.Shernel Singh (SW) 16:54.9, 17.Baxter (CY) 17:00.4, 18.Coggins (Sus) 17:07.3, 19.Henry (CY) 17:12.0, 20.Evan Friel (SW) 17:14.8, 21.Glatfelter (Dov) 17:14.9, 22.Rackley (Dov) 17:17.4, 23.Sam Douds (Get) 17:17.6, 24.Rizzuto (YC) 17:19.2, 25.Wingard (YS) 17:19.5.

Gettysburg (3): 7.Drew Cole 16:26.5, 13.Jacob Bordatto 16:38.7, 23.Sam Douds 17:17.6, 27.Auden Day 17:25.2, 39.Gavin Cole 17:57.6, 46.Colin Arnold 18:06.1, 71.Ryan Clayton 18:47.1.

South Western (4): 11.Shernan Singh 16:38.0, 16.Shernel Singh 16:54.9, 20.Evan Freil 17:14.8, 38.Connor Miller 17:52.7, 43.Austin Tyler 18:00.1, 48.Ben Bouselli 18:11.0, 70.Allen Divell 18:46.8.

New Oxford (12): 26.Lukas Raullerson 17:22.2, 60.Vance Hagarman 18:24.1, 77.Neil Price 19:03.2, 94.Max Boyer 19:40.3, 110.Mason Richter 20:06.4, 128.William Krauss 21:15.9, 134.Isaac Johnson 23:26.0.

Fairfield (13): 52.Levi Davis 18:14.7, 64.Gabe Schubring 18:34.3, 80.Matthew Turner 19:05.7, 81.Camryn Wiles 19:06.6, 106.Vincent Malpica 19:58.1, 117.Kyle Davis 20:17.0, 131.Matthias Sacco 21:44.9.

Delone Catholic (15): 72.Aden Davis 18:47.2, 74.Liam Allen 18:48.7, 76.Ryan Murphy 19:01.8, 96.Adam Lawrence 19:42.5, 97.Jack Goedecker 19:43.5, 108.Ethan Darlington 20:04.2, 120.Joey Caitlin 20:44.3.

Bermudian Springs (17): 68.Nathan Taylor 18:39.9, 95.Trevor Wiley 19:41.7, 98.Isaac Talkington 19:49.5, 105.Parker Sanders 19:57.4, 114.Connor Shaw 20:09.4, 119.Cole Stuart 20:21.9, 130.Jacob Simpson 21:33.9.

Littlestown (19): 82.Alex Lehigh 19:07.7, 92.Michael Justice 19:35.1, 101.Peyton Small 19:51.9, 104.Zach Eader 19:55.0, 112.Anthony Riedel 20:07.2, 135.Sam Murphy 24:11.9, 136.Austin Shank 24:17.3.

Biglerville: 86.Dante Aguilar 19:10.5, 93.Kalani Crum 19:37.8, 109.Isaac Soto 20:05.2, 132.Colin Ferguson 22:17.9.

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