The Trojans ran their winning streak to 142 dual meets in a row. Runners Zette Pflaum and Cecilia Lantz discuss the win. Zach Miller - GameTimePA.com
The Eastern York girls thought this would be the year.
Some of the York Suburban girls felt nervous that it would indeed be the year.
But this year isn't the year. At least not yet.
The Trojans ran their dual-meet winning streak to 142 straight on Tuesday afternoon at Northeastern High School, continuing a streak that dates back to 2007.
Eastern York junior Maddie McLain set a course record, winning the meet in 18 minutes, 56 seconds. She beat her closest competitor by 1:47 despite having to correct a wrong turn late in the race. The Golden Knights also received strong finishes from sophomore Olivia McLain and junior Madison Nalls, but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome the Trojans in a 27-32 loss.
York Suburban junior Zette Pflaum placed ahead of the younger McLain, and fellow junior Cecilia Lantz placed ahead of Nalls. Then five more Trojans packed in ahead of Eastern York No. 4 runner Katie Myers to score just enough points to keep the winning streak alive.
“We thought we could do it. We were very excited, we thought after our performances on Saturday (at the Big Spring Invitational) that we were definitely gonna get them," Maddie McLain said. "Today just wasn’t our best day."
The formula for beating Eastern York — which is the last team to defeat York Suburban — is the same one that the Trojans have used to win so many dual meets in a row: Pack a bunch of runners together in the second wave to cross the finish line.
“We always pride ourselves on depth," York Suburban coach Dan VanHouwe said. "Our girls had to prove that to themselves today. That was the mantra for the week: What do we have? Our girls really stepped up.
“They’ve got a legit squad, but their gap is too far. When their gap is too far, it gives a team like us — we don’t have a phenomenal runner, but we have a core group of good runners — we can fit them in there and take a meet like we did today.”
The Trojans' depth especially showed itself when Courtney Ohl, one of the teams' best runners, couldn't finish the race.
“That’s what team is about," VanHouwe said. "When a person has to step off, who’s gonna step up to take their place?”
The winning streak now lives on, at least for a few more weeks. The Trojans have one more major test waiting when they host Dallastown on Oct. 5. The Wildcats are 10-0, and beat Eastern York last week.
"They’re a 3A school, they’re twice as big as us, they should beat us every year," VanHouwe said of Dallastown. "They’re a very competitive school this year. York County has a lot of really good runners, and they’re starting to blossom.”