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EHS girls trip Spot, gain inside track in section
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
There are several "swing events" in every track meet that ultimately decides it when a pair of equally-matched teams go head-to-head.
Friday’s home meet vs. Garden Spot was no exception.
In a battle of unbeatens, Ephrata Coach John Keller felt the difference going into the meet would be determined by the results in the 800, 1600 and 4 X 800 relay.
Well, Ephrata not only swept all three events, but gained precious second and third-place points. The Lady Mounts 4X800 team of Andrea Castillo, Nicole Wilkerson, Jordan Carvell and Vanessa Hurst ran a season-best time of 10:07.82 to take first. In the 800, Wilkerson (2:36.3) and Castillo (2:34.7) grabbed first and third place while in the 1600, Carvell (5:36.5) and Hurst (5:38.6) went one and two which ultimately keyed an eventual 85-65 triumph over the Lady Spartans.
"I looked at (those three events) as the key events that I thought could have swung the meet for either team," Keller said. "Obviously the girls 4X8 was a great race and I was proud of our girls…Wilkerson, Hurst, Castillo and Carvell stepped up in all three of those events and rose to the occasion. The point total was 19-4 in events that I thought were evenly matched."
With the win, as well as their 111-38 victory at Solanco Monday, the Lady Mounts now have gained the possible inside track on their second-straight Section Two title with three meets (home vs. E-town April 15, @ Cocalico April 22 & @ Lebanon April 29) remaining.
"We have not won anything yet," Keller said of the message he plans to drive home with his team. "Our focus needs to be on a very dangerous Elizabethtown team. This section is too competitive to overlook anybody. There are some things we need to work on and improve upon and we will do that this week. It’s still too early to crown anyone a champion. We can improve in many areas."
In the victory over Garden Spot, sophomore Kelly Liebl was a big winner on the day, taking three individual events while also anchoring the 400 relay to victory. Liebl captured the 100 (12.4), 200 (26.3) and long jump (15-6 3/4) events while also teaming with Moriah Pfautz, Yasi Davis and sister Kay Liebl to take the 400 relay in a time of 42.4.
"I thought Kelly Liebl had a nice day," Keller said. "She has been fighting a tight quad muscle and has missed some practice time and really this was her first full meet. She handled the 100 and 200 quite well I feel under the circumstances, and put out some fast times."
Mary Witmer also put out some fast times on her way to a four-win day as well. Witmer ran to victory in the 400 (60.9), high hurdles (15.0) and 300 hurdles (46.3) and also captured the triple jump with a hop, skip and a jump of 35-8.
Crystal Hartman added a victory in the javelin with a throw of 120-5, while Ephrata’s 1600 relay team of Sarah Haddon, Castillo, Jordan Crills and Emily Blackshire was victorious in a time of 4:23.9.
"Our kids just stepped up and performed at a championship level," Keller said. "I feel the experience from last season plus having the top end athletes to lean on just gives the girls confidence and they feed off each other. Each girl knows her responsibility and takes it seriously…They took a good shot from a very good Garden Spot team and answered each time. I was very proud of the way the girls stepped up."
In the girls’ team win over Solanco Monday, Witmer led the way individually as a triple winner on the day. She claimed victory in the 400 (59.0), high hurdles (16.0) and triple jump (34-7 1/4). Hartman added a pair of wins, claiming both the discus (103-4) and javelin (116-3).
Other individual winners for Ephrata included: Pfautz in the 100 (13.7); Kay Liebl in the 200 (28.7); Wilkerson in the 800 (2:30.6); Carvell in the 1600 (5:52.8); Erica Voigt in the 300 hurdles (51.2); Madison Fox in the 3200 (13.38); and Kelly Liebl in the long jump (16-6).
The Lady Mounts also swept all three relays in the win.
In boys’ action, Ephrata dropped both of its meets vs. Garden Spot and Solanco.
In the Garden Spot meet, which resulted in a 125-24 loss, Ephrata captured two event wins on the day. Carl Rowits was victorious in the 800 with a winning time of 2:07.4 while Ryan Zimmerman won the javelin with a throw of 127-0.
The Mounts had better success against Solanco before falling short, 89-61.
Ephrata earned seven event wins on the day as Samuel Wolde was a double winner to lead the way. Wolde captured both the 1600 (4:42.0) and 3200 (10:17.3).
Other individual winners included: Rowits in the 800 (2:08.0); Max Shrom in the high hurdles (17.3); Ricardo Angel in the 300 hurdles (45.8); and Will Young in the javelin (134-5).
Rowits, Brian Kramer, Alex Smith and Angel teamed to capture the final Ephrata win of the day by winning the 1600 relay in a time of 3:47.7. More EHS GIRLS, page B-2