Eagle boys run table to claim section title

By on May 9, 2018
Cocalico’s Evan Kreider (right) and teammate Nick Stauffer are out in front in the 800 Monday afternoon in Denver as the Eagles wrapped up the section title with a 98-51 victory over Lebanon. Photo by Denise Mitchell

Cocalico’s Evan Kreider (right) and teammate Nick Stauffer are out in front in the 800 Monday afternoon in Denver as the Eagles wrapped up the section title with a 98-51 victory over Lebanon. Photo by Denise Mitchell

The Cocalico boys’ track and field team completed an undefeated regular season schedule in Denver Monday afternoon, cruising past Lebanon 98-51. The Lady Eagles completed the dual meet sweep by out-pointing the short-handed Lady Cedars 109-40.

The Eagles (7-0 league, 8-0 overall) captured the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s Section Two title by one game over Ephrata (6-1, 6-1) taking the boys’ seventh championship since 1999 under head coach Ron Derr, but the first since 2009.

“This team, there was just a lot of desire,” explained Derr after the meet. “They’ve also been incredibly consistent. Whenever there’s been a challenge, they’ve been able to step up. It was something (the section title) that they themselves really wanted.”

The beautiful Monday afternoon weather was a first in a spring meet schedule that saw more snowflakes than rays from the sun. The Cocalico boys won 11 of the 18 events, while the girls took 15 of 18 as both teams led from wire to wire.

Senior Jake Musselman led the track side by capturing the 400 meter dash in 51 seconds and the 200 in 23.5. He also anchored the winning 4 by 400 meter relay team to a season best time of 3:32.7.

Fellow senior Brad Heck doubled on the field side of the ledger, outdistancing the field in both the javelin 184-3 and the shotput 42-11.

“The past couple of years we’ve just been building slowly,” said Musselman, still breathing heavily from the relay, the last event. “We had more depth than we ever had this year. We have a lot of skill, too. A lot of guys who can take first place.”

That was demonstrated by the following winners: sophomore Moses Madison (11.3) in the 100 meter dash; senior Evan Trowbridge (4:55.7) in the 1600 meter run; junior Evan Kreider (2:02.4) in the 800, who also started the winning 4 X 400 relay; junior Dylan Becker (10:51.2) in the 3200; and junior Joshua Hoover (130.4) in the discus throw.

“We’re close, and we always push each other,” added Madison, when asked about the reason for the team’s success. “It’s big (winning the section). I never expected to win the championship.”

“In the beginning of the season there was some small-talk that we would have a chance at the section title,” related Kreider. “We just kept our heads up and worked hard every day.”

Heck will be the third-seeded javelin thrower in Friday and Saturday’s League Meet at Hempfield High School.

“We were motivated every single day to get better,” Heck said. “Everyone comes with energy every day. That’s the key thing.”

As for goals for the post-season, the Cocalico senior is all-in on the long spear.

“My goal is to get to states,” said Heck. “That’s my big goal. The competition is really good, but I’m ready to throw far.”

The Lady Eagles (3-4, 3-5) had two notable victories in the easy win over Lebanon (0-7, 0-8). Senior Mackenzie Hainley (139.1) broke her own school record in the javelin, moving into first place in the L-L rankings going into the weekend league tournament. Fellow senior Jamie Zamrin (2:12.2) ran this season’s fastest time in the 800.

“My first five throws were really high,” explained Hainley, after the meet. “My last throw, I adjusted down a little bit. Pointed it more of a low angle. It went, and it happened.”

And Zamrin may not even run the 800 in the post-season.

“I felt I had a very good 800 PR (personal record) today,” she said. “I’m going for the two mile and the mile at Leagues. I’m hoping to beat my freshman year time in the mile and get under 11 minutes in the two mile. At Districts, I’m probably just doing the mile.”

Derr will certainly be busy this weekend, with contenders on all ends of the track.

“Every team is allowed one competitor per event,” he said. “Our league has what is called ‘second entry standards.’ If you have other athletes that have gone above that (standard), you can enter more. Our boys will have two and possibly three in the discus. I believe that’s the only event.”

“Looking at the team that we have, trying to win the league meet would not be one of our goals,” added Derr. “We’re going to let the kids concentrate more on their individual success.”

The L-L Meet gets underway Friday at 4 p.m., and will resume Saturday at 10 a.m.

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