A clean sweep for Ephrata

By on April 3, 2019
Photo by Missi MortimerEphrata’s Andrew Foster captured a pair of distance wins in Mon-day’s 81-68 victory over Cocalico.

Ephrata’s Andrew Foster captured a pair of distance wins in Mon-day’s 81-68 victory over Cocalico. Photo by Missi Mortimer


It was a battle of strengths, particularly on the boys’ side, Monday afternoon when Ephrata hosted Cocalico in their annual Section Two track and field battle behind the Ephrata Middle School.

As expected, the Eagles shined in the field, accumulating 49 out of a possible 62 points. On the track, Ephrata’s talent and depth took a toll on the Eagles, as the Mounts won eight of the 11 events, which included three event sweeps.

In the end, the latter won out as the Mounts (2-0) edged the Eagles, 81-68 in a highly entertaining meet. On the girls’ side, Ephrata completed the sweep, winning 14 out of 18 events en route to a big 111-39 win.

The Ephrata girls swept the 800, 3,200 and discus and won five of the seven field events to clinch the win and improve to 2-0 on the season.

“We were very excited as a coaching staff,” first-year coach Wayne Hooper said following the meet. “Starting the season off with a tough matchup for the girls at Elizabethtown and following that up with a tough matchup for the boys vs Cocalico was a challenge. We knew that these first two weeks would test our athletes. With both programs starting 2-0 in the section, we are quite pleased with our athletes’ effort and focus. Our athletes knew what they had to do, and for the most part, they did it.”

It was the first loss for both the Cocalico boys and girls, who opened the season with a double win over Lebanon. Both squads are now 1-1 in Section Two play.

“With the Cocalico-Ephrata next door rivalry it is always disappointing to leave with a loss,” Cocalico coach Ron Derr said. “Over the years both teams have seen days where many season-best performances occur during this meet as both teams really enjoy having won, and the kids take great pride in performing well against each other. Last year it turn out that this meet wound up being a key meet in determining the Section Two title on the boys side, it is very early this season but it may be a factor again this season. (Ephrata’s) kids did a great job of stepping up and their coaches had them prepared very well. Their lineup earned 68 points on the track which really put them in excellent position to earn the win in the boys meet.

“Their girls team just seems to be able to continue to re-load and they are now combining strong field performances with their traditionally strong performance on the track. I was pleased by the effort our girls put forth and was hoping to keep the score a bit closer, but they are still very strong.”

The Cocalico boys seemed primed to challenge Ephrata and possibly beat them after a stellar performance in the field.

Josh Hoover was a double winner in both the javelin (135-11) and discus (151-9) while Brock Gingrich recorded his outdoor best throw of 51-8 to win the shot put. Austin Landers took home the long jump (19-7) while Joe Zimmerman, a triple winner Monday by also winning both hurdle events (high hurdles- 16.1; 300 hurdles- 42.0), claimed the triple jump with a hop, skip and a jump of 37-2.

“It was really a case of their dominant performance on the track against our ability on the field,” Derr said. “Depending on your perspective of watching the meet it appeared that one team must really be dominating the other, but in the end it worked out to be a fairly competitive meet. We knew our only chance to win the overall meet really was to score a tremendous amount of points in the field, and they actually exceeded our expectations. If I knew going in that we could win 49 of the 62 possible points in the field I would have thought we would be in great position to win the meet.”

Fortunately for Ephrata, which did get field wins by Jared Groff (high jump, 5-4) and Bryce Babyak (pole vault, 11-6), the Mounts were even more dominant on the track.

Andrew Foster won both the 1,600 (4:40.2) and 3,200 (10:21.6) as the lone double winner individually. Nathan Kimmel (800, 2:09.4), Tyler Shue (400, 50.5), Stefano Astudillo (200- 23.6) and Stanley Wratto (100, 11.5) also picked up key individual wins.

Ephrata added a pair of relay wins as well, capturing the 4 x 400 as the team of Astudillo, Ben Kamide, Trevin Hertzog and Shue won with a time of 3:30.4. And the team of Tanyon Loose, Ray Truex, Foster and Shue ran to victory in the 4 x 800 with a winning time of 8:56.8.

The Mounts’ distance event were particularly impressive, sweeping the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs. And the Ephrata sprinters did their part scoring 31 big points in those events.

“Our boys did shine on the track, and they knew they had to in order to secure the victory,” Hooper said. “The Cocalico boys team is very strong in the field, so we had to match that on the track. We knew our distance squad would handle business, but we challenged our sprinters to step up, and Ben Kamide, Trevin Hertzog, Stefano Astudillo, Sam Knowles, and Stanley Wratto helped lead the way on the sprints side.

“Although distance is truly a strong point of our team, it is only 32 points. We have to find 44 points in other places. Our kids stepped up in all areas where they needed to. It was a solid ‘team’ win. They lost a close one to Cocalico last year, and it was their only loss of the season. They have been dialed in for weeks on this meet knowing its implications.”

Cocalico did salvage one key relay win as Aaron Weitzel, Moses Madison, Steven Flinton and Landers sprinted to victory in the 4 x 100 relay with a winning time of 45.2.

On the girls’ side, while sophomore sprinter Ania Johnson was a double winner in both the 100 (12.3) and 200 (26.9), and fellow sophomore Alyssa Fedorshak claimed two wins in the 1,600 (5:35.6) and 3,200 (12:36.6), Ephrata got it done in the field.

Depth played a big role as five different athletes won events. Lexie Clayton took the shot put (30-4¼), Olivia Good captured the discus (91-6), Kandice Liebl won the javelin (126-6), Olivia Myer claimed the high jump (5-0) and Piper Snow earned victory in the pole vault (8-0).

On the track, in addition to Johnson and Fedorshak, Ashlyn Mazzocchi claimed the 800 (2:35.2) while Talia Sheaffer was a winner in the high hurdles (16.5). The Mounts also took home all three relays to close out an impressive day.

“I was impressed with our girls overall,” Hooper said. “They are a well-rounded team who performs well on the track and in the field. On the track, Ania Johnson has been leading the way for the sprinters. Mary Campbell and Alyssa Fedorshak have been impressive in the distance events, and Talia Sheaffer has been improving her 100 meter hurdle time. In the field, Piper Snow has been gaining confidence in the pole vault while Kandice Liebl and Lexie Clayton have been consistent scorers in the throws. A nice addition to these two throwers is Olivia Good who won the discus as a freshman (Monday). Faith Hershberger has been jumping consistently as well and Ania has been right with her. Both of them have jumped further than 16 feet. Both Faith and Talia have jumped over 30 feet in the triple as well. I can’t leave out our high jumpers Ciara Baretto and Olivia Myer…they both got over 5 feet (Monday). The depth has been an advantage for us over the years, and it was during (Monday’s) meet.”

The Cocalico girls collected four wins on the day, led by Olivia Sensenig’s pair of wins in both the long jump (17-0) and triple jump (33-8). On the track, Kaia Martz sprinted to victory in the 400 (63.8) while Maddie Mattos captured the 300 hurdles with a time of 51.4.

‘Olivia Sensenig had a fantastic day jumping as she won both the long and triple and popped a terrific 17-foot long jump which is a personal best in a big meet,” Derr said. “Kaia Martz runs a very challenging series of events each meet and had a nice 400 come-from-behind victory and also ran a personal best time in the 100 (12.6). Maddie Mattos is also really stepping up as a sophomore and ran two great hurdle races and teamed up with Kaia to help our girls run a season best 4 x 100 time even though we didn’t come away with victory. Hanah Greenly had a season-best javelin throw to earn us points in the javelin while Nina Borisik had her best 1,600 time this year to earn our only distance point of the meet.”

In addition to Monday’s meet with Ephrata, Cocalico also was in action last Wednesday at home where the Eagles scored a boys/girls sweep in the season opener vs. Lebanon.

In the boys’ 85½-64½ win over the Cedars, Zimmerman led the way for Cocalico with three wins on the day.

Zimmerman claimed the high hurdles (17.2), 300 hurdles (41.5) and the triple jump (39-8) to lead the way for the Cocalico boys.

Aaron Weitzel chipped in with a pair of wins in both the 100 (11.7) and 200 (24.1) sprints, while Nick Stauffer (400- 53.2), Gingrich (shot put- 50-10½), Hoover (discus- 144-0), Noah Palm (javelin- 152-5) and Landers (long jump- 20-11½) also won individual events for Cocalico.

On the girls’ side, Sensenig was a triple winner to power the Eagle girls to an 88-61 victory.

Sensenig claimed victories in the 300 hurdles (17.0), long jump (16-4) and triple jump (33-5½) to pace the Eagle girls.

Martz earned a pair of wins on the day, claiming both the 100 (13.0) and 400 (64.5) sprints while Saige Musser (200- 28.0), Borisik (800- 2:48) and Mattos (300 hurdles- 51.8) also earned individual wins on the day for Cocalico.

Up next, Cocalico will be in action Thursday at home vs. Elco. The Eagles will also host Elizabethtown next Monday at 4 p.m.

As for Ephrata, the Mounts will host Lebanon next Monday at 4 p.m.


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