YAIAA girls' track: Top athletes return
Here are some of the top girls' track athletes returning to the YAIAA in the spring of 2017. Jim Seip, GameTimePA.com
A quick glance at recent year-end standings reveals how difficult the competition has been in YAIAA Division I girls' track.
A different team has at least shared the crown or won it outright in each of the last five seasons.
South Western notched an undefeated season a year ago, but the Mustangs lost do-everything athlete Lynne Mooradian — who ended her career with six state medals.
Even though the Mustangs return GameTimePA first-team All-Star Sammy Trone, Spring Grove is the favorite to hold on to the top spot after attracting great numbers this spring and placing second with just one loss a year ago. The Rockets have already knocked off the Mustangs, 87-63, and should remain the favorite to win the division.
Rockets pole vaulter Nathalie Elliott returns after placing second in the YAIAA, fourth in District 3 and sixth in PIAA a year ago. Madyson Miller should help earn points in the 400-meter run and the 1,600-meter relay and Zoe Stauffer should score points in both hurdles events.
District 3 runner-up in the discus, Red Lion's Madisen Kling, returns for her junior season.
The division will also feature one of the state's best in the javelin, with New Oxford's Madi Smith, who owns the league record, returning for her senior year.
Much like the big-school division, Division II could be a two-team race.
The favorites remain Eastern York and York Suburban. Those two programs have won all but one of the last 10 Division II titles.
Defending champion Eastern returns distance standout Maddie McLain and 800 league champion Maddison Nalls. Ashley Kerr returns for her senior year after winning the league shot put title.
Gettysburg (with two dual meet losses a year ago) could challenge for one of the top three spots. Gettysburg's Hannah Baddick is coming off a breakout season where she won the league title in the triple jump and placed seventh in District 3. Genesis Mercedes could challenge for the top time in school history in the 400.
Any conversation about Division III has to begin with Delone Catholic.
The defending Division III champions have won nine of the last 10 titles and should be a favorite to return to the top.
York County School of Technology placed second last season, but the Spartans lost district champion Kirstyn Evans and YAIAA pole vault champion Lauren Corbitt to graduation.
Fairfield's Hannah Logue and Cierra Phillips, who each earned GameTimePA honorable mention nods last season, should help anchor the Green Knights one year after securing three wins.
Note: An original version of this story incorrectly listed the number of consecutive titles Delone Catholic won. Littlestown snapped Delone Catholic's division title streak by winning Division III in 2011.
Athletes to watch
Hannah Baddick, jr. Gettysburg
Nathalie Elliott, sr., Spring Grove
Ashley Kerr, sr., Eastern York
Madisen Kling, jr., Red Lion
Maddie McLain, jr., Eastern York
Madi Smith, sr., New Oxford
Sammy Trone, jr., South Western