Meanwhile, Palmyra swept the team titles at Saturday's Lebanon County Cross Country Championships.
ANNVILLE - It almost doesn't seem fair to run one's heart out for three grueling miles, only to see the outcome decided in the final couple hundred meters.
But cross country runners, hearty souls that they are, understand that's the way their sport is sometimes. And on Saturday afternoon, Derin Klick and Lily Brubaker had even less trouble than normal with that fact.
Using furious finishing kicks over the final couple hundred meters, Lebanon's Klick and Elco's Brubaker walked - ran- away with the individual titles of the Lebanon County Cross Country Championships, held at Annville-Cleona High School.
Klick, a senior and 800 meters state meet qualifier in track and field in the spring, overtook Elco's Nick Madigan in the final stretch to win his first county cross country crown in 17:31.6, while sophomore and cross country rookie Brubaker made her move on Palmyra's Ellie Keck a bit sooner to ultimately claim the girls' title in 20:08.8.
Team glory went to the Palmyra boys and girls, who followed up last Saturday's sweep of the Lebanon Valley College Invitational with another double win this weekend.
Freshman Matt Carroll led three Cougars in the top five and five in the top eight to wrap up the boys' team championship, while Keck's runner-up finish helped Palmyra nail down the second through seven spots and easily win the girls' event.
The individual spotlight, though, was all Klick's and Brubaker's to enjoy, something they assured with their respective mad dashes to the finish line.
"It feels a lot better than last year," said Klick, runner-up to Elco's Jared Harnish in 2015. "We all just went out easy because we wanted to see who was gonna take it (in the end). Whoever went for it in the end, went for it."
That person who went for it the most was Klick, who followed Lebanon coach Tommy Pearson's pre-race advice to not try to take the lead until the end to the letter.
"It all starts with him, because he knows everything," Klick said of his coach. "If you listen to him, everything will work out, so I listened to him."
While Klick was fairly confident in victory - if he listened to Pearson - against a field that was minus Cedar Crest's top runners because of their participation in the Big Spring Invitational, Brubaker had more modest expectations for herself in her county meet debut, shooting simply for a top five finish.
Those expectations, of course, changed after she narrowed the gap with the front-running Keck in the latter stages.
"My coach (Holly Hartman) was yelling at me when we had like three-quarters of a mile left," Brubaker said. "She said, 'If you want to do it, do it now.' So I thought I should kick it in and I did."
"I never lost sight of (Keck) but I fell further behind than I wanted to. You just have to go for it a little bit at a time, because if you sprint she'll have more energy than you at the finish."
Saturday's meet, like any cross country event, showcased both the individual and the team, with Palmyra more than owning the team aspect.
Carroll was joined in giving the Cougars the boys team title by Derek Wadas (4th), Brad Blaszynski (5th), Kevin Cole (7th) and Garrett Funck (8th), while following Keck in the third through seventh spots were teammates Kelsei Bixler, Sarah Hollen, Amelia Baldo, Emily Cowfer and Caroline Williams.
The Palmyra boys totaled 27 points to runner-up Elco's 63, while the Cougars girls' score of 20 easily outdistanced second-place Cedar Crest's 64.
"This was one of our goals," Palmyra coach Dave Hollen said, "just to run strong up front. We tried to run as a pack. I asked the kids up front to really push and try and run in the lead and they did a nice job of that. We talk about trying to close the gap on the runner in front of you, and everybody's stepping up. They just really did a nice job today."
Lebanon County Cross Country Championships
1. Derin Klick (L) 17:31.6, 2. Nick Madigan (E) 17:33.9, 3. Matt Carroll (P) 17:36.5, 4. Derek Wadas (P) 17:37.5, 5. Brad Blaszynski (P) 17:39.9, 6. Ryan McAllister (E) 17:41.4, 7. Kevin Cole (P) 17:51.2, 8. Garrett Funck (P) 17:54.7, 9.Cole Nelson (E) 17:58.2, 10. Dylan Mehler (CC) 18:05.5, 11. Jordan Berger (NL) 18:05.5, 12. Anthony Frattarole (AC) 18:08.2, 13. Klayton Adams (NL) 18:12.9, 14. Daryl Werni (L) 18:13.2, 15. Zach Toth (P) 18:17.7, 16. Sean Springer (AC) 18:21.8, 17. Lucas Richardsen (P) 18:27.2, 18. Alec Richard (P) 18:47.0, 19. Lucas Wampler (CC) 18:47.4, 20. Ryan Firestone (CC) 18:47.7, 21. Taylor Taylor (AC) 18:52.5, 22. NIck Blandy (CC) 19:00.2, 23. Levi Brooks (E) 19:00.3, 24. Dominique Brooks (CC) 19:06.8, 25. Chance Leed (E) 19:08.6, 26. Darren Hitz (CC) 19:11.2, , 27. Chris Habowski (E) 19:15.0, 28. Sterling Hetrick (E)19:18.3, 29. Alex Kudlanov (NL 19:19.1, 30. Matthew Inman (AC) 19:19.1, 31. Gavin Knox (AC) 19:33.1, 32. Quinten Pemberton (CC) 19:37.6, 33. Doyle Shertzer (AC) 19:39.3, 34. Nick Felty (CC) 19:43.8, 35. Anier Caldwell (L) 19:44.6, 36. Hunter Hartranft (E) 19:46.7, 37. Devin Root (L) 19:48.8, 38. Earl Pyles (NL) 19:50.7, 39. Riley Klick (L) 20:04.8, 40. Ethan Fortuna (AC) 20:47.9, 41. Xavier Carpenter (AC) 21:00.7, 42. Brandon Bomberger (NL) 21:25.3, 43. Matthew Hoffman (L)21:48.5, 44. Patrick Bray (L) 21;52.1, 45. Dustin Varvel (NL) 21:57.9, 46. Scottie Porter (L) 23:37.9.
1. Palmyra 27, 2. Elco 63, 3. Cedar Crest 91, 4. Annville-Cleona 107, 5. Lebanon 118, 6. Northern Lebanon 125
1. Lily Brubaker (E) 20:08.8, 2, Ellie Keck (P) 20:15.2, 3, Kelsei Bixler (P) 20:39.4, 4. Sarah Hollen (P) 21:05.4, 5. Amelia Baldo (P) 21:34.4, 6. Emily Cowfer (P) 22:30,3, 7. Caroline Williams (P) 22:40.4, 8. Hannah McCurdy (CC) 22:51.2, 9. AJ Madigan (E) 22:51.8, 10. Mia Reigert (CC) 22:54.2, 11. Mary Tshudy (AC) 23:25,2, 12. Jacy Carmenatty (P) 23:33.7, 13. Krysta Weik (CC) 23:42.6, 14. Emily Williams (E) 23:49.0, 15. Kayla WIlburn (CC) 24:12.6, 16. Jess Gutekunst (AC) 24:19.1, 17. Jalissa Nolt (E) 24:21.1, 18. Michaela Smith (CC) 24:30.4, 19. Shakira Lopez (L) 25:02.3, 20. Zoee Garis (AC) 25:04.2, 21. Drashti Patel (NL) 25:33.8, 22. Sarah Domencic (AC) 26:00.6, 23. Hailee Smith (CC) 26:12.5, 24. Zoe Sweigert (AC) 26: 28.6, 25. Abbey Dubble (P) 26:50.6, 26. Mackenzie Peters (CC) 27:01.1, 27. Jaya Hackman (E) 27:08.8, 28. Erin Ditzler (NL) 27:08.9, 29. Julia Underkoffler (E) 27:20.0, 30. Shaylin Youman (NL) 28:26,2, 31. Sydney Flory (E) 30:02.2, 32. Megan Werni (L) 30:54.7, 33. Amanda Rhoads (AC) 31:37.9
1. Palmyra 20,2.Cedar Crest 64, 3. Elco 65, 4. Annville-Cleona 88