Ephrata girls clinch share but boys fall to Barons

By on May 1, 2019


Ephrata’s Mary Campbell (left) and Alyssa Fedorshak finished one-two in the 1600 Monday vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Mary Campbell (left) and Alyssa Fedorshak finished one-two in the 1600 Monday vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer.

The Ephrata boys were in position to win its first Section Two track and field title. But Monday at home, visiting Manheim Central threw a wrench into those plans.

Behind a four-win day by Will Rivers, and a dominant performance in the field events, the Barons handed the Mounts their first loss of the season in an 80-70 verdict.

Rivers earned 20 big points and keyed a 53-10 Manheim advantage in the field as he won the long jump (22-1¼) and triple jump (45-4¼) in addition to track victories in the 100 (11.1) and 200 (23.2). The Barons’ depth in the field also played a big role as they swept three events and took two of the three top spots in the other four.

“Game-planning going into it we were hoping for maybe possibly grabbing a second in jav instead of a third, hoping for something in the triple jump, and a second or a third in the long jump, not just a third,” first-year Ephrata Coach Wayne Hooper said. “We were thinking maybe we could get a third in the discus or shot, and that didn’t happen. So things that we were thinking could happen for us to win, they didn’t. We knew that they were a good team. We knew that we were a little weaker in the field and as I said the last time we won against L-S, things went our way at L-S, things didn’t go our way at this one. That’s just the way it is.”

The good news for Ephrata is the Mounts can still get a piece of the pie, despite the loss. The Mounts , who last won a section title in 1989, are now tied atop the section with Lampeter-Strasburg at 5-1 with one meet to go. Ephrata hosts Solanco (1-5) while the Pioneers close at Lebanon (3-3). A win by both guarantees a share of the prize for both schools.

While the boys tasted defeat for the first time, the machine that is the Ephrata girls continued to roll as they clinched at least a share of the Section Two crown with a 114-36 victory.

Ephrata claimed wins in 17 of the 18 events as five different athletes were double winners for the Mounts, who clinched at least a share of their seventh title in eight years. The Mounts (6-0) lead second-place L-S (5-1) and can win the title outright next Monday with a win over Solanco (2-4) in the season finale at home.

“It’s nice to walk into this situation personally,” Hooper, who was a volunteer assistant in the program the last five seasons, said. “It just seems like when one athlete goes another one comes in. That’s pretty much it. And just keeping a positive culture, keeping a positive environment and just keeping kids pumped up and always wanting to compete. I obviously think that’s a part of it as well. And having that bleed over to the guy’s side the last two years has been great too.”

Monday, sophomore Ania Johnson continued her fine spring in the sprints, winning both the 100 (12.4) and 200 (26.7). Hurdler Talia Sheaffer claimed victories in both the high (16.2) and 300 (49.0), while in the field, Lexi Clayton took both the shot put (31-5½) and discus (110-1) events and Faith Hershberger grabbed wins in both the long jump (16-2) and triple jump (32-8).

Finally, junior Mary Campbell continued her hot season with wins in both the 800 (2:25) and 1600 (5:25.5). She was also part of perhaps the most exciting race of the day in the girls’ 4 x 4 relay.

Campbell, who was running anchor, had some work to do as Ephrata trailed MC by several lengths and with talented Barons sprinter Laura Good trying to close the deal.

With about 200 to go, Campbell made her move and passed Good with about 70 meters remaining to take first and knock two seconds off their best time with a winning time of 4:14.6.

“She’s tough…she’s a tough cookie for sure,” Hooper said when asked of Campbell’s finish. “I knew (Manheim Central) had a good 4 x 4, and I knew we needed to run faster than we have been running. I told them, this is our track. Just don’t let it get away from you. And that’s pretty much what they did. Mary just held on long enough to around that 200 when she let it go. She kept that distance where she knew she would have something left that last 70 meters. She’s tough. She’s a grinder. She doesn’t have the most speed but just hangs on and grind it out.”

In addition to the 4 x 4, the Mounts won both the 4 x 100 (50.2) and 4 x 800 (10:36.5).

Individually, other winners for Ephrata included: Alyssa Fedorshak in the 3200 (12:43.0); Kandice Liebl in the javelin (117-11); Olivia Myer in the high jump (4-10); and Piper Snow in the pole vault (9-6).

As dominant as the Manheim Central boys were in the field events, Ephrata’s boys owned the track Monday.

Ephrata completely swept four events and took all three relays, out-scoring MC 60-27 in the running events.

Senior Andrew Foster had quite a grueling day, albeit a successful one, leading the way with three individual wins while helping earn a fourth running anchor on the 4 x 8 squad, which also included Nathan Kimmel, Tanyon Loose and Alex Auker.

Foster claimed the 800 (2:04), 1600 (4:37.8) and 3200 (10:04.9), while the relay finished with a winning time of 8:55.7).

Ben Kamide added a victory in the 400 (52.3) while Jared Groff picked up the Mounts’ lone field win, claiming the high jump (5-6).

The 4 x 100 relay, which included Stefano Astudillo, Logan Usner, Sam Knowles and Stanley Wratto, sprinted to victory in a time of 44.7. And Ephrata’s 4 x 400 team of Astudillo, Kamide, Trevin Hertzog and Kyle Emrey also was victorious with a time of 3:36.7.

Ephrata’s Miracle Wratto competes in the triple jump Monday vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Ephrata’s Miracle Wratto competes in the triple jump Monday vs. Manheim Central. Photo by Missi Mortimer


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