Coach Bruce Lee has been involved in the Mustangs' program for 24 years, including nine as the girls' head coach.
Certainly, Lee benefited from a stable of great athletes for sure, but still he must be doing something right.
So we thought we'd ask him what works.
To what do you attribute such a great run of success to?
Good athletes, and we have a good coaching staff. We rely on some great volunteer coaches. It's not just one things, it's a combination of things.
How do you keep that success going from year-to-year?
In track and field to be successful you must have sprinters. We have been fortunate that we have always had at least one good sprinter. Then you are looking to score in other events, and we have always had someone pretty good. We've been able to get some of faster girls in school on track team.
You have a fair amount of star athletes for sure, but how key is the depth your team has had in relation to winning dual meets?
That is how you win them. We have gone into championship meets where we have not won the majority of the events but picked up more seconds and third. The thirds are really crucial, especially in a close meet. We've also had the ability to put together relays -- those are winner take all.
What about the Division A rivalry with Dallastown?
You are not going to out-coach Tim Barshinger and his staff at Dallastown. It's been tremendous competing with them. We have been fortunate to come out on top with them.
How much do you love coaching?
I love it. I wouldn't have done it this long if didn't enjoy it. It's more fun when you have success, but even if not, just seeing improvements in kids is what makes it fun. It all runs in cycles. We are going to have down cycles, so you want to make sure when on top you are a class act.
What is the most important thing you can do as a coach?
Try and get the kids to want to belong to something greater than themselves.
It seems that you and Bob Shue have a great combination going, how important is working together?
When I first started, I was just Bob's assistant coach fresh out of college. Bob has taught me a lot. I go to him when I have questions, still to this day. We are to the point where we are on the same page. We have been fortunate in a couple of areas, with (assistant coaches) Bob Glover, Dennis Latshaw (and) Frank McFalls. I have a lot of minds to pick who have a lot of experience. They are great people and all concerned about the kids.
What is your proudest moment coaching? T
There have been so many. I would say every one of our championships have been special in their own way. Some of the performances in relays at district meet have been special. I can't pinpoint just one. I can't do it.
How has this success changed you?
I would hope it hasn't. We haven't changed our approach. I am just thankful I have had the opportunity and had the kids that came out.
The Mustangs won 10 Division A titles in 11 years (1999-2002, 2004-09) -- their 19th title overall -- and have posted a 38-0 division record over the last six seasons.
2005: The 1,600-meter relay team (Catie Hare, Katie Colburn, Shelly Lobach and Emily Good) set a school record of 3:27.26 in the state trials.
1999: Ashley Lobach set a school record in the 400-meter dash with a 58.0 at the District 3 championships, where she took the silver medal. She also easily surpassed her school's single-season points record for a freshman -- Lobach had 268; the former high was 205.
1999: Sarah Price vaulted to the top of District 3 in the pole vault with her gold-medal winning 10-0 clearance, becoming the first female district champion in the meet's 75-year history.
2009: Brittany Harman, Inayah Roach
2008: Emily Smith, Jenny Claycombe, Harman, Roach
2007: Jenny Claycombe, Emily Good, Katie Colburn, Shelly Lobach
2006: Noreen Seymore, Shelly Lobach, Good
2005: Catie Hare, Athlete of the Year; Shelly Lobach, Good, Seymore,
2004: Hare, Jamie Lawyer
2002: Kate Brady, Adrienne David, Sarah Price, Rebecca Redding
2001: Ashley Lobach, Brady, David, Price
2000: Brady, Price
1999: Price, Ashley Lobach; Honorable mentions: Krista Meckley, Jill Nonemaker, Kellie Wentz, Becca Kelley, Laura Dalrymple, Claire Fawcette, Rachel Gass, Katie O'Brien, Brady, David.
Catie Hare: Hare won two district titles in the 100 meters and had a second-place finish at states in that event over her career.
Shelly Lobach: In 2005, the sophomore won three golds at the league meet, then followed up with a fourth-place showing in the 400 at districts.
Ashley Lobach: She made the state finals in the 400 as a freshman in 1999 by running a 58.27 in a qualifying heat.
Noreen Seymore: As a junior in 2005, she won the YAIAA crown and finished fourth in districts in the shot put.
The Mustangs ran wild Tuesday en route to their fifth consecutive YAIAA Division A girls' track and field championship.
South Western's Emily Smith earned three individual victories to lead the 119-30 rout of visiting New Oxford.
Brittany Harmon, Inayah Roach and Jenny Claycombe each won two individual events for South Western (8-0, 6-0), which won its 50th straight dual meet and ninth division crown in the last 10 years. The program is 86-1 over those 10 years.
Smith swept the dashes and cleared 5-0 in the high jump.
Roach took first place in the long jump and triple jump. Claycombe won the shot put and discus, and Harmon won both hurdles races.
NEW OXFORD -- Against any other team, it would have been a banner day.
Collectively, New Oxford's girls' track and field team posted more than a dozen personal-best finishes Tuesday. Three school records fell. Distance standout Jordan Jenkins even came through in a very respectable performance in the 400-meter dash.
Put it together, and the Colonials won 10 of 18 events.
But New Oxford was hosting South Western, not any other team.
When the Mustangs won, they really won, taking both hurdles events, the 400, shot put, high jump and a pair or relays.
South Western's depth finished the job, and the Mustangs won 88-62, clinching their fourth consecutive YAIAA Division A title. It was South Western's 17th girls' title in school history and the eighth in the last nine years.
By finishing off another undefeated season, the Mustangs' seniors became the second class in school history to have a perfect record in dual meets.
"They have some outstanding horses, and we have some outstanding horses," South Western coach Bruce Lee said. "I just think our corral is a little more full."
What a way to open up the YAIAA track season, with Dallastown at South Western -- last year's two top teams -- going head-to-head.
Somehow, the girls' meet managed to exceed expectations, with the result coming down to the final event, the 1,600-meter relay.
The Mustangs looked to be in trouble when Dallastown's Jamie Maloney opened up a huge gap during the opening leg, but South Western's Katie Colburn closed the gap during the second leg, while third runner Sarah Hirsch took the lead for the Mustangs to set the stage for Shelly Lobach. Lobach was challenged by the Wildcats' Kristi Potter, but the South Western freshman managed to hold her off to win both the race and the meet for the Mustangs, 79-71.
"It was a great finish for us," South Western coach Bruce Lee said. "We told our girls it would probably come down to the mile relay and I am sure (Dallastown) felt the same thing. It's a great way to start a season."
The victory helped South Western exact some revenge from Dallastown, which last year ended the Mustangs' streak of 36 consecutive dual-meet victories. The Wildcats also took the YAIAA Division A title.
"We didn't talk about the streak, (but) I think some of our letter-winners from last year remember losing," Lee said.
-- Tom Doran, Lyzz Jones and Steve Navaroli