YORK, PA – The York College women's cross country team enters the 2017 season in unfamiliar territory. The Spartans begin the campaign as the defending Capital Athletic Conference champions after winning the title last fall in Hershey, PA.
While Spartan head coach Stephen LoBianco needs to replace a number of top performers from last year, the Green and White still has a number of runners who should make a significant impact on the York fortunes in 2017.
LoBianco will look to four returning All-CAC finishers to lead the way for this young Spartan squad. Juniors Jess DelViscio, Alayna De Bruin, Stephanie Savage, and Kristi Wandzilak give LoBianco a strong core heading into the campaign.
DelViscio is a two-time All-CAC honoree after she earned first-team honors for the second year in a row as she placed sixth last year. DelViscio, the CAC Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, now has two top six finishes in her career. She also finished 37th at last year's regional meet, just missing all-region honors by a mere second. DelViscio finished the race with a time of 22:57, a personal best for the Spartan standout.
De Bruin finished fifth at last year's conference championship as she earned her first All-CAC finish. De Bruin crossed the line in a time of 24:15 for her fifth place finish. She followed that with a top-80 finish at regionals, an improvement over her freshman year.
Savage earned an All-CAC finish last year as she placed seventh with a time of 24:15.4, a mere 0.2 seconds back of DelViscio. It was Savage's first All-CAC honor. Savage followed that with a solid regional performance as he was York's sixth finisher at last year's regional event in Carlisle.
Wandzilak made an impact on the cross country team last year in her first year in running on the team. She finished 10th at her first conference championship to earn second-team All-CAC honors. Wandzilak followed that with a 73rd place finish at the regional meet as she crossed the line in a time of 23:48.
The Spartan roster features 10 freshmen and LoBianco expects a number of those newcomers to push for top seven spots, he just isn't sure who that will be yet.
"The women have some rebuilding to do this year," says LoBianco. "We lost some key seniors this past year and will look for some athletes to keep improving, as well as some newcomers to be in the mix. I have a feeling we will make some people look with the larger numbers and talent this year."
The Spartans open the regular season on Friday, September 1 with their annual trip to Shippensburg for the Piper XC Challenge hosted by Shippensburg University. The Capital Athletic Conference championships will be held at Christopher Newport University on October 28. The Mideast regionals follow two weeks later in Carlisle, PA.