Solanco Cross Country
Official Site of Solanco XC
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The initial season of cross country at Solanco High School was in the Fall of 1965.
Considered a club team, in the first season, the team would gain varsity status in 1966 when it entered the Lancaster County League. The L-L League would not be formed until the mid-1970’s.
It should also be noted that distance running for women would not gain acceptance until the end of the next decade. The initial course length was 2.5 miles over the high school campus.
The members of the 1965 team were seniors: Robert Swarr, Richard Smith, Barry Giberson and Joseph Graybeal. Juniors: Charles Walker, Steve Heisey, John Burkins, William Hash, John Glick, Terry Dombach, Gary Asbury, Sam Martin. Freshmen: Larry Black and Arnold Anderson.
With limited pre-season practice, the team improved quickly as the season progressed. Late in the season, they defeated two teams and tied another that they had defeated earlier in the year. They completed the season with two wins, five losses and one tie. It was with the enthusiasm and hard work of the core group that cross-country had its beginning. Lee Rhodes was the coach of the initial group.
In 1966 the team finished its first Lancaster County League season with a record of 5 wins and 5 losses, but the potential for future success was evident. The highlight of the second season was the performance of first year runner Jeff Derr, who finished 2nd in the Lacaster League meet, 2nd in the PIAA District 3, Class B meet and 4th in the PIAA State Championship meet at State College.
In order to promote interest, in the sport, Solanco hosted an invitational meet of 17 schools that was run through the streets of Quarryville beginning and ending at Legion Field. Members of this team included Keith Gillespie, Bill Harsh, Jeff Derr, Tom Regan, Steve Heisey, Donald Osborne, manager/Thurston Hassler, Rick Brown, Jim Ankrum, Dave Phipps Dave Arnsdorf and Mike Osborne.
The 1967 team began its season with high expectations based on the performance of the 1966 team. It did not disappoint. They completed an undefeated Lancaster County League dual meet season. The season began in August with the first pre-season camp. The team ran on the back roads to Strasburg where they slept in tents and then on to Conestoga Valley before returning home to Solanco. The success of this team continued after the regular season, with 2nd place finishes in the League meet and Districts. It became the first Solanco team in any sport to qualify for the PIAA State Championships where they finished 5th. Jeff Derr had another successful season. Winning the Solanco Invitational and placing fifth at the PIAA State meet.
Members of this team included, Steve O’Connell , David Arnsdorf, Glenn Splanger, Jeff Derr, David Phipps, Tom Regan, Charles Smith, Keith Gillespie, Allen Adsitt, Mark Brabson, Rick Browm, Mike Latham, Bill Hash Rex Cutchall, Mike Osborne, Randy Johnson, Fred Dings.
1968 was another stellar season. Coach Rhodes departed for graduate school and Ken Adams who had been a supporter of the program since its inception took over the reins through the 1969 season. The 1968 squad won the Solanco Invitational and the league championship meet. They were also the District 3 Class B Champions and qualified for the PIAA State Championships where they place 8th.