YORK, Pa. – For the first time in program history, the York College men's cross country team captured the Capital Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Championship, placing first overall on a snowy afternoon at John Rudy Park in York. Remarkably, the Spartans posted just 24 team points and swept the individual accolades.
"The men ran outstanding today," an elated Spartan head coach Erick Camodeca said. "They not only impressed me but other coaches as well. We knew we could do it and everyone stepped up today. They are mentally a tough group of guys."
Tim Hartung, Steven Childres, and John Wallace proved not only the first three Spartans to cross the finish line, but the first three runners overall out of the 94 participants. In a great show of sportsmanship, Hartung and Childres crossed the finish line together at 28:29. Hartung was awarded the victory as he crossed the line just a mere two-hundredths of a second before Childres – 28:29.28 and 28:29.30, respectively. Wallace came in just 15 seconds later as he posted a 28:44.55.
"Our top three went out," Camodeca said, "and didn't let anyone pass them."
With the individual title in hand and the top-three spots solidified, the Spartans would now need depth to garner the team title. And depth they received. In just his first CAC Cross Country Championships, Aaron Robertson put together a fantastic race as he grabbed sixth-place overall with a 29:15.05 to snag a spot on the first-team all-league squad. Matt Smith collected an all-conference place of his own as he traversed the course in 30:04.21 to take 12th overall, just one season removed from placing 48th, to land on the second-team.
For their efforts, the Spartans swept the conference's three major awards. Childres was named the CAC Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year after taking second overall today and being an outstanding leader for York throughout the entire campaign. Childres becomes the first Spartan to nab the honor since the inception of the league in 1991. Following his tremendous performance, Robertson collected CAC Rookie of the Year honors while Camodeca was named the conference's Coach of the Year. Camodeca's selection, his third overall as a head coach at York with two from men's track & field, marks yet another first for the Spartan program.
"Steve was awarded for his unselfishness and leadership of the team by being named the Athlete of the Year," Camodeca said. "Aaron really stepped it up today. I knew for weeks he would be our number four as he had outstanding workouts. He went above and beyond. I also challenged Matt Smith and he came up big as well."
The quality finishes continued as Michael Stetson, another first-year Spartan, finished just two spots outside the all-league squad. Stetson ran to a 17th-place 30:16.58 while Joey Corrigan took 21st with a 30:29.98.
York's team title marks the second-straight running championship won by the Spartans. The Green and White also collected the 2011 CAC Men's Track & Field overall title, also hosted by York.
The Spartans will now celebrate their team championship and bevy of individual honors, albeit only briefly. York soon turns its attention to the NCAA Mideast Regionals hosted by DeSales University. The regional race is slated for Saturday, November 12th, at 11:00 am in Center Valley, Pa.
PHOTO ANIMATION: York competes at the 2011 Capital Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Championships in York, Pa. Tim Hartung and Steven Childres cross the finish line together. The Spartan team poses for a shot with the CAC Championship plaque. Childres, Hartung, and John Wallace (who took the top three places) pose with their All-CAC first-team certificates. Courtesy of Zach Clabaugh - www.sharpedgefoto.com
2011 ALL-CAC FIRST-TEAM
1 - Tim Hartung - 28:29.28
2 - Steven Childres - 28:29.28 - CAC Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year
3 - John Wallace - 28:44.55
6 - Aaron Robertson - 29:15.05 - CAC Men's Cross Country Rookie of the Year
2011 ALL-CAC SECOND-TEAM
12 - Matt Smith - 30:04.21
Erick Camodeca - CAC Men's Cross Country Coach the Year