NEWVILLE >> When the Chambersburg girls cross country team arrived at Big Spring high school Saturday for the District 3 Class-AAA tournament, the Lady Trojans were eying their second district title in three years.
But with 220 of the district's top female runners all competing for the same prize, Chambersburg settled for a fourth-place team finish and a ticket to its fifth-consecutive state tournament.
"It's not easy to qualify for states and fortunately we've been able to do it on a fairly regular basis," Chambersburg girls coach Chris Monheim said. "There was a lot of pressure on this team this year. My top three were phenomenal."
Despite not taking home a district championship, Chambersburg finished three girls in the top-20. Abby Yourkavitch finished third overall with a 18:20 finish, followed by Kaylee Mowery in sixth place with a time of 18:55. Cadie Kiser rounded out the top-20 with a 20th-place finish with a 19:30 final time.
"We had three district medallist and that has only happened a few other times in program history so we were really strong up front," Monheim said. "And my fourth and fifth held on and came out well. There was a ton of pressure on Cassie Essis and Sydney Parson, they knew going into the race that us moving on was more than likely going to come down to them and they ran well enough to get us through."
Essis and Parson finished 76th (20:41) and 96th (20:56), respectively, with Olivia Sommers and Rachael Sollars rounding out the Trojans with 167 (22:07) and 199 (22:46) finishes, respectively.
Yourkavitch was a strong contender to win the race, but with stiff competition from Mady Clahane from Cumberland Valley and Alison Willingmyre from Wilson, and an unfavorable course, Yourkavitch finished third for the second year in a row, but improved her time from last year's district race by 57 seconds.
"This definitely isn't my favorite course," Yourkavitch said. "I've never really gotten along with it, but I went out and hung back a little bit which definitely helped with my time."
Clahane and Willingmyer finished first and second, respectively, and qualified for the state tournament next week.
Sophomore runner Mowery crushed her district time from last year, moving up 12 spots from an 18th-place finish in 2014, to sixth place in her second district appearance.
"She gets better as the season goes on," Monheim said. "At the end of every season I've coached her, she is running her best. Her sixth-place finish suggests that she has a shot at a state medal next week and I'm thrilled (for her). That was a big break through for her in this race."
Mowery said she had high expectations for herself thanks to Monheim's encouragement to earn a top-10 finish.
"Monheim said 'Mowery all you need to do is finish fifth or sixth and you're going to be in good shape'," Mowery said. "I just kept replaying that in my head and going through the finish line knowing I was sixth was a great feeling."
Kiser, the final top-20 finisher for Chambersburg, earned a place in the CASD Cross Country Hall of Fame, reserved for only district medallists with her top-20 finish.
The team will compete in Hershey in the PIAA District 3-AAA state tournament next week.
"It's really nice to be able to go back to states," Yourkavitch said. "We weren't sure once we all finished if we were, but the support is everything, knowing that I'm going to have them there to run the race with me it means a lot."
The Chambersburg boys team did not make it to the state meet but senior Alex Hayden qualified as an individual to attend the state championships in Hershey next week. Hayden is the first Trojan to qualify without the team since 2011.
Hayden finished 27th with a time of 16:40 and at first thought that he had finished his last race of the year. A scoring error had pushed him out of state qualifying, but once it was corrected, Hayden earned the second-to-last individual qualifying spot from District 3-AAA. The Chambersburg boys team finished with seventh with 260 points. Only the top four teams earn a trip to states.
"It feels good to have one more race in my senior year of cross country," Hayden said. "I've put so much work in to it in all four years."
In four years, though, 2015 will be his first year competing at the state level.
Hayden hopes to break a personal record next week, but admits that it will be a difficult run without his teammates there.
"I'm going to enjoy the course," he said. "Its going to be weird (without my team). I'm going to have to push through it and do it on my own. I want to make my coach happy that i made it. Everyone on our team runs for our coach to make him happy and its nice that we get to go to states because usually he just goes with the girls team but now we will be competing."
1.Hempfield, 141, 2.Cumberland Valley, 167, 3.Carlisle, 211, 4.Wilson, 216, 5.Twin Valley, 242, 6.Hershey, 243, 7.Chambersburg, 260.
1.Nathan Henderson (JP McCaskey) 15:38, 2.Nach Lefever (Ephrata) 15:52, 3.Justin Yurchak (Hempfield) 15:57, 4.Morgan Cupp (Mechanicsburg) 16:00, 5.Kyler Shea (Lower Dauphin) 16:01, 6. Matt Wesner (Carlisle) 16:09, 7.Zach Seiger (Red Land) 16:10, 8.Nate Becker (Ephrata) 16:14, 9. Yahya Soliman (Cumberpand Valley) 16:16, 10. Jared Kearns (Northern) 16:16, 11.Jake Underwood (Wilson) 16:19, 12. Mike Morris (Hershey) 16:21, Sam Mancuso (Garden Spot) 16:23, 14.Doug Kramer (Penn Manor) 16:24, 15.Colton Cassel (Lower Dauphin) 16:26, 16.Jared Giannascoli (Lower Dauphin) 16:26, 17.Rhett Hart (Ephrata) 16:27, 18.Joel Burkholder (Penn Manor) 16:30, 19. Jesse Cruise (Cedar Crest) 16:32, Liam Hodgson (Solanco)16:32, 21. Isaac Kole (Carlisle) 16:35, 22.Andrew Brown (Cumberland Valley) 16:37, 23.Owen Seeber (Cumberland Valley) 16:39, 24.Micah Bodisch (Red Lion) 16:40, 25.Patrick Jacobson (Dallistown) 16:40, 26. Evan Royko (Wilson) 16:40, 27.Alex Hayden (Chbg) 16:40, 28.Brodie Skrocki (Wilson)16:40, 29. Evan Kreider (Cocalico) 16:42, 35.Chris Wurtz (Chbg) 16:49, 46.Andrew Feldman (Chbg) 16:59, 65.Tanner Amsley (Chbg) 17:13.
1.Wilson, 105, 2.Manheim Township, 135, 3.Carlisle, 192, 4.Chambersburg, 194, 5.Cumberland Valley, 237
1.Mady Clahane (Cumberland Valley) 17:55, 2.Alison Willingmyre (Wilson) 18:18, 3.Abby Yourkavitch (Chbg), 18:20, 4.Ella Breidenstine (Lower Dauphin)18:38, 5. Jamie Zamrin (Cocalico) 18:47, 6.Kaylee Mowery (Chbg) 18:55, 7.Skye Christian (Red Land) 19:03, 8.Gabby Audi (Wilson) 19:04, 9.Andie Demko (Hershey) 19:07, 10.Sydney Meyers (Central Dauphin) 19:09, 11.Cheyenne Hansen (Garden Spot) 19:10, 12.Marie Raulapaugh (Cumberland Valley) 19:14, 13. Lianna Tirado (JP. McCaskey) 19:16, 14.Cat Shontz (Elizabethtown) 19:18, 15.Samantha Shields (Warwick) 19:20, 16.Molly Conrad (Hempfield) 19:23, 17.Kelsi Bixler (Palmyra) 19:24, 18.Courtney Johnson (Solanco) 19:29, 19.Maddie Kole (Carlisle) 19:29, 20.Cadie Kiser (Chbg) 19:30, 21. Kira Jenkins (Manheim Township) 19:31, 22.Alyssa Koser (Manheim Township) 19:32, 23.Siena Gates (Hempfield)19:36, 24.Meghan Horan (Twin Valley) 19:38, 25.Ashlie Kline (Gov. Mifflin) 19:38. 76.Cassie Essis (Chbg) 20:41, 96.Sydney Parson (Chbg) 20:56, 119.Chelsea Cover (Waynesboro) 21:24, 150.Chelsea Bricker (Waynesboro) 21:51, 163.Virginia Cooley (Waynesboro) 22:03, 164.Ashlyn Beck (Waynesboro) 22:03, 167. Olivia Sommers (Chbg)22:07, 199.Rachael Sollars (Chbg) 22:46.
1.York Suburban, 45, 2.Trinity, 165, 3.Boiling Springs, 189, 4.East Pennsboro, 194, 5.Milton Hershey, 201
1.Jack Di Cintiro, (Wyomissing) 15:59, 2.Daniel Filler (Gettysburg) 16:05, 3.Sam Signor (East Pennsboro) 16:08, 4.Jared Harnish (Eastern Lebanon) 16:13, 5.Donovan Mears (York Suburban) 16:16. AA GIRLS
1.Donegal, 88, 2.Bishop McDevitt, 157, 3.Boiling Spring, 160, 4.Northern, 165, 5.Oley Valley, 188
1. Maddie Ferner (Kennard Dale) 19:07, 2.Rebecca Snyder (Oley Valley) 19:10, 3.Maddie McLain (Eastern York) 19:12, 4.Cassidy Kuhn (Wyomissing) 19:18, 5.Shay Strawser (Sesquenita) 19:39
1.Camp Hill, 24, 2.Tulpehocken, 70, 3.Delone Catholic, 84, 4.York Catholic, 128, 5.Kutztown, 140
1.Cooper Leslie (Camp Hill) 16:21, 2.Will Greene (Delone Catholic) 16:27, 3.Blake Behney (Camp Hill) 16:45, 4.Ian Gabig (Camp Hill) 16:59, 5.Evan Schlosser (York Catholic) 17:28.
1.Veritas Academy, 40, 2.Delone Catholic, 48, 3.Kutztown, 80, 4.Camp Hill, 80, 5.York Catholic, 86
1. Jordan Haberstroh (Columbia) 19:15, 2.Allison Einig (Camp Hill) 20:15, 3.Nicole Shelton (Christian School of Y) 20:17, 4.Leigha Martin (Veritas Academy) 20:24, 5.Leanne Sneeringer (Delong Catholic) 20:30