The 2008 Spartans put together yet another strong campaign,
emphasized by a third overall finish at this year’s Capital
Athletic Conference championships. First-year head coach
Erick Camodeca has quickly become one of the top
young mentors in the region as his intensity and winning attitude
have translated into quality results for the green and white.
“We had a pretty good season,” Camodeca said. “This year set a solid foundation for the success that we want to have in the future.”
The Spartans competed in six outdoor meets this season prior to the championships, highlighted by a first-place team finish in the York College Quad Meet on March 19. York won a total of nine events, dominating in their first home meet of the season. Nate Krotzer (Wrightsville, Pa./Eastern York) grabbed a pair of wins, notching victories in the long jump and high jump while Steve Kinnear (Bel Air, Md./Bel Air) earned first-place in the pole vault. Zack Raywood (Hamilton, N.J./Nottingham) and Gary Rynier (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) each picked up a throwing wins as Raywood took the javelin title and Rynier placed first in the shot. On the track, Joe Hill (York, Pa./York Suburban) captured first in the 110 hurdles, Gabe Henise (York, Pa./Dallastown) won the 100-meter dash, and Ryan Liggit (Windsor, Pa./Red Lion) crossed the line first in the 200 meters. The 4x100 team of Henise, Liggitt, Danny Toula (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg), and Tom Kentouris (Belle Harbor, N.Y./Saint Edmund's Prep) also grabbed a first-place finish.
“That was a good meet for us,” Camodeca said. “The weather conditions were pretty rough but we still went out and worked hard and got some quality wins. We were able to build some confidence off that meet which helped us later in the year.”
Over spring break, the Spartans traveled to Durham, NC for the Duke/Asics Invitational where the Spartans went up against a number of Division I programs including Duke, North Carolina, Maryland, and Wake Forest. Competing against some of the best athletes in the country provided the Spartans with valuable experienced as they prepared for the CAC Championships.
“What a great experience that was for our athletes,” Camodeca said of the Spartans’ trip to Durham. “There were a lot of very strong, very talented athletes down at Duke. I was proud of our guys for going out there and competing hard. We want to get to that level and seeing what it is like proved valuable.”
After a strong showing at the Messiah Invitational, where the Spartans placed seventh out of 19 squads, York returned to their home track as hosts of the 2008 CAC Championships.
“Simply having the opportunity to host that big of a meet was yet another great experience,” Camodeca said. “We had been preparing for the CACs all season and we had a good showing.”
The Spartans recorded 117 team points for the meet, finishing third overall behind traditional powers Salisbury and Mary Washington. Kinnear registered a first-place finish, as his 3.95-meter height in the pole vault earned him first-team All-CAC honors after coming in second in 2007. York also recorded six second-place finishes, including four in the field events. Rynier took second in the shot put (12.71 meters) and the hammer (42.42 meters) while Raywood’s performance in the javelin (53.55 meters) set a new school record and earned him second-team honors. Krotzer also picked up a second-place result in the high jump (1.96 meters).
On the track, Hill earned second-place points in the 110 meter hurdles (16.27 seconds) while Jesse Jaeger (Kingsville, Md./Perry Hall) backed up his outstanding cross-country season by earning second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase (10:19.17). York’s 4x100 team of Toula, Liggitt, Kentouris, and Chad Richardson (York, Pa./Eastern York) clocked a new program record crossing the line at 43.83.
“We had a good championship meet,” Camodeca said. “Of course you always want to win more events but this was a step in the right direction for us. We got to see where we are in relation to the rest of the conference and know what we need to work on for next year.”
Camodeca and the Spartans will now look to build upon the success of this season as they strive for supremacy in the difficult CAC.
“I am definitely looking forward to seeing what we can do next year,” Camodeca said. “This season was pretty good but with hard work next year could be even better.”
Gary Rynier photo courtesy of Scott Guise