Ephrata runs past Barons

By on April 25, 2018
Ephrata’s Tyler Shue legs it out down the stretch to capture the 400  Monday in a L-L best 50.7 seconds. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Ephrata’s Tyler Shue legs it out down the stretch to capture the 400 Monday in a L-L best 50.7 seconds. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Boys get first victory since 2008 vs. MC

Tyler Shue didn’t have much time to catch his breath.

After posting the best time in the league in the 400 Monday vs. Manheim Central (50.7), Shue was summoned back to the track some 20 minutes later to run the 800.

The goal there was simply to have enough stamina to grab third and sweep that key event.

Mission accomplished.

Tanyon Loose (2:06.7) and AJ Morales (2:06.9) went out and set the pace, while Shue (2:09.1) trailed just behind with enough left in the tank to hold off the nearest Baron challenger for third. The eventual one-two-three sweep of the event turned out to be one of the bigger moments in the Mounts’ 86-64 team victory.

“That is as difficult a double as you could ask any athlete, even the caliber that Tyler is, to do,” Ephrata Coach John Keller said of Shue. “That 400 takes it out for one because it is an ‘all-out lap’. Combine that with the lactic acid buildup that forms in your leg muscles during that race, it is just not a lot of time to work that stuff loose and have your legs feeling good enough to race again. We told Tyler, hang on for a third-place point, let Loose and AJ do the work to secure the first two spots.”

All told, Ephrata’s distance runners were the key to the victory as they out-scored the Barons 62-25 in those races.

“Our distance boys executed to perfection,” Keller said. “Each race was key, because I knew we had to beat them on the track.”

The win not only vaulted the Mounts (4-1) ahead of the Barons (3-2)in the standings behind unbeaten Section Two leader Cocalico (5-0), it marked the first time Ephrata had defeated Manheim Central on the boy’s side since 2008.

“It means a lot,” Keller said of the win. “Manheim Central has been the team to beat in our section the last few years. We have struggled to put a dominant boys track & field team together consistently since I became head coach in 2004. We have decent numbers this year and some good athletes that came out from other sports. We have as well rounded a team as we have had in a long time. Just to see the excitement and enthusiasm that I see in these boys, and the confidence that it takes to take this sport as a team to another level, it just has been very gratifying to see our boys program competitive and string together the team wins that we have.”

Monday’s key events, in addition to the 800, were the 400, 1600 and 3200. In the 400, Ephrata’s Ben Kamide (52.6) held off a charging Zach Reed of Manheim Central to earn second place points behind Shue’s personal best effort.

The 1600 was also an eight-point event for the Mounts as Andrew Foster won it with a time of 4:35.5 while Morales took second in 4:39. Later in the 3200, Foster (10:00) earned his second win of the afternoon that led to a clean sweep in that event with Jackson Hart (10:47) and Ray Truex (10:50) coming in second and third respectively.

“In my mind those were the key events going in,” Keller said. “We really had to show our muscle in those events and we did so very well. Along with that, Elie (Basenga) winning the 110 high hurdles was huge and gave us the early momentum because I know they thought they had a lock on that. Then when we went one-two in the 200, that was not expected and along with the 3200 meter sweep, that pretty much sealed the deal.”

Basenga’s claimed his hurdles win in a time of 16.0, and the senior also won the high jump with a leap of 6-0.

Logan Usner (200, 23.7) and Jordan Zahm (discus, 137-8) rounded out the individual winners for the Mounts, who did add 1600 and 3200 relay wins to close out the big team victory.

As for the girls’ meet, this one was billed as a battle of unbeatens but there was little drama as Ephrata dominated throughout en route to a 114-36 victory.

Ephrata (5-0) took 16 of the 18 events contested as Madison Martin Mary Campbell and Faith Hershberger all were double winners to pace the Lady Mounts.

“We just outnumbered them and had way too much depth for them to handle, not to mention all phases of our girls’ team was spot on,” Keller said. “I was a little surprised, but we put out what I think is our best lineup because I did not want to leave any stone unturned, and other than two events, we were dominate from start to finish.”

Martin claimed the 100 (13.0) and 400 (62.4) sprints, Campbell captured both the 800 (2:30.6) and 1600 (5:26.3) and Hershberger won the long jump (15-11¼) and triple jump (34-7½).

In addition to those three athletes, also winning individual events were: Jennie Young in the 200 (27.3); Alyssa Fedorshak in the 3200 (12:50.8); Jenna Raezer in the shot put (36-4); Alexus Clayton in the discus (108-8); Kandice Liebl in the javelin (126-9); Ciara Barreto in the high jump (4-8); and Sarah Megivern in the pole vault (9-6).

Ephrata closed it all out with three relay wins.

With the win, the Lady Mounts remained tied atop Section Two with two meets to go. Ephrata hosts Solanco next Monday in what figures to be a tune-up prior to a pending battle for the Section Two title at fellow unbeaten Elizabethtown (5-0) May 7 in the regular-season finale.

“We have to take care of business next week with Solanco before we can look ahead to Elizabethtown,” Keller said. “Both teams present some match-up challenges, but from what I see on paper I am confident with what we have in our depth and team speed.”

This past Saturday at the Jake Roddick Invitational held at Shippensburg University, Shue led a contingent of Ephrata athletes who earned 11th medals, including three golds on the day.

Shue was part of the victorious 4 X 800 Ephrata relay that won gold. The team of Shue, Loose, Morales and Foster posted a winning time of 8:02.42.

Shue also took an individual title in the 800, setting a new EHS school record with a winning time of 1:55.17. Morales, incidentally, finished fifth in that event with a personal record time of 1:57.05.

Ephrata’s final gold medal came in the boys high jump competition where Basenga claimed first place honors with a jump of 6-4.

In addition to the gold medalists, the following athletes claimed medals Saturday: Dawsen Miller, boys pole vault, 13-6; Young, seventh, girls 200, 26.62; Miller, sixth, girls 400, 60.39 (PR); Campbell, sixth, girls 1600, 5:17.89; Raezer, third, shot put, 36-3; Clayton, fourth, shot put, 35-7¼; and Megivern, seventh, pole vault, 10-6.

Ephrata also was in action last Thursday at Garden Spot where they picked up a pair of lopsided wins in Section Two competition.

On the boys’ side, Usner captured both the 100 (11.1) and 200 (24.8) while Basenga also was a double winner in the high hurdles (16.2) and triple jump (37-5) to lead the Mounts to a 112-36 team victory over the Spartans.

In the Ephrata girls’ 108-38 victory over Garden Spot, Martin, Liebl and Hershberger all were double winners individually to lead the way for Ephrata.

Martin claimed the 100 (12.4) and 400 (64.6), Liebl captured both the discus (92-4) and javelin (103-1), while Hershberger was a winner in both the long jump (14-9) and triple jump (31-0¼).


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