The York Boys Cross Country Team once again conquered Illinois opponents Saturday, as well as a Major League baseball dynasty.
The Dukes captured an unprecedented 28th state team championship as they rolled to the Class 3A state title at Peoria’s Detweiller Park.
York (82 points) easily won behind individual all-staters Scott Milling, Kyle Mattes and Alex Mimlitz. O’Fallon (117) was second for the second year in a row and West Suburban Conference Silver Division rival Lyons Township (125) was third.
With this championship, York coach Joe Newton achieved a personal goal of seeing the Dukes finally surpass the New York Yankees’ total of 27 World Series championships. When the Yankees won their last World Series in 2009, the Dukes had 26 titles before winning No. 27 in 2010.
Milling (6th, 14:21 for 3.0 miles), Mattes (23rd, 14:47) and Mimlitz (24th, 14:48) earned all-state honors for placing among the top 25. Junior Alex Bashqawi (27th, 14:50) was two places and two seconds from the final all-state spot, followed by seniors Chris May (49th, 15:05) and Jack Libert (59th, 15:08) and sophomore Matt Plowman (146th, 15:41). Other members of the state roster were senior Zach Herrera, juniors Nathan Mroz and Connor York, sophomore Nathan Dale and freshman Jon May.
All 28 state titles have come since Newton took over as head coach in 1960. Starting with their first state title in 1962, the Dukes have collected 44 trophies over the past 51 seasons (28 first, 12 second, 4 third) and have never gone consecutive years without earning a trophy. Prior to Newton’s arrival, York also placed third in 1948.
Last season, the Dukes were fourth at state (151 points), seven points behind third-place Neuqua Valley. Milling (15th), Mattes (30th), Libert (59th) and May (80th) returned from that lineup as the team's No. 1-3-4-5 finishers.
In 2010, Mimlitz (41st) and Milling (55th) were the Dukes’ No. 2 and 4 finishers for that state championship lineup, but injuries since then have kept Mimlitz from competing in either cross country or track until this season.
With back-to-back all-state performances, Milling became the Dukes’ 29th runner to earn all-state honors more than once. This was the first time York had three individual all-staters in one race since the state title team of 2006, the final year of just two classes, with Tom Achtien (8th), Mike Fry (9th) and Steve Sulkin (15th).
More state cross country news. See how the York girls did on Saturday..