FROSTBURG, Md. – For the second year in a row, the York College men's cross country team captured the Capital Athletic Conference Men's Cross Country Championship, placing first overall on Saturday morning at the Maplehurst Country Club in Frostburg, Md.
The Spartans posted 32 team points and once against swept the individual accolades.
"Our men ran outstanding races today," said an overjoyed head coach Erick Camodeca. "I am so proud of them and I also can't thank my staff enough for all the work they have done with our group this year."
Junior Tim Hartung (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin) had another brilliant race and was able to finish in first place as he did last year at the championships. His first place finish at 26:52.07 was crucial in helping the Green and White come out on top. Hartung was able to set the pace and allowed his other teammates to finish at their best.
Coming in third place overall was freshman Carus Cookman (Cockeysville, Md./Dulaney) at 27:36.01. Like always, Cookman was able to keep his cool during the beginning of the race and let the front of the pack come to him.
Also having a fantastic race was Spartan Aaron Robertson (Mohnton, Pa./Governor Mifflin). Robertson crossed the finish line at 28:01.56 to earn himself seventh place. His run proved to be a key in the Spartans first place finish.
Senior Steven Childres (Ellicott City, Md./Mt. Saint Joseph) had a spectacular race. Childres has been struggling to get to the next level this season but was able to put it all together today for an excellent finish. He came in 11th place with a time of 28:15.18.
Finishing a few seconds behind Childres was Connor Simpson (Warminster, Pa./William Tennent). Simpson was able to run his breakout race of the year with a time of 28:22.10 and was another key piece to the Spartans repeating.
Other point scorers for the Spartans included Matt Smith (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) who had a very strong race with a time of 28:47.49 and Craig Eppler (Bethlehem, Pa./Northampton) who also ran very well and crossed the finish line at 29:00.96.
Sophomore Andrew Ward (Oxford, N.J./Warren Hills) may not have scored for the Spartans, but he was able to put his hard work to the test and ran the race of his career. He finished in 25th place with a time of 29:12.71.
To top off a great day, the Spartans swept the conference's three major awards. Hartung was named the CAC Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Year after placing first overall and being an outstanding leader for York throughout the entire season. Hartung becomes the second Spartan to receive the award since the inception of the league in 1991. Childres nabbed the honor last season. Cookman collected the CAC Rookie of the Year honors for having a tremendous freshman campaign. Lastly, Camodeca was named the conference's Coach of the Year. Camodeca, like his team, repeats after winning the honor last season as well. He has now accumulated four selections overall as a head coach of both cross country and track & field.
The Green and White also had its top five runners earn either first team or second team CAC honors. Hartung, Cookman and Robertson were named first team while Childres and Simpson earned second team recognition.
York's team title marks the third-straight running championship won by the Spartans. The Green and White also collected the 2011 CAC Men's Cross Country Championship as well as the 2011 CAC Men's Track & Field overall title.
The Spartans will now be turning their attention to preparing for the NCAA Mideast Regionals. Thanks to a first place finish in the CAC championship, York will be able to run as a team. The regionals are scheduled for Saturday, November 10 at Big Spring High School in Carlisle, Pa. The race is set to begin at 11:00 am.
Photo courtesy of Frostburg State University Athletic Communications