Felpel claims State silver medal in discusEHS relay sets school mark

By on June 1, 2011

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

It was an up and down kind of weekend in Shippensburg for Cocalico’s star junior thrower Kyle Felpel.

Making his third-straight trip to States, Felpel opened his weekend with a strong performance in the discus, placing second behind only a record-setting throw by Hempfield’s Kyle Long on Friday. He ended it however, with a pair of disappointing performances in which he did not place in either the shot put or the javelin.

Despite claiming just the one medal, Cocalico Coach Ron Derr said he was proud of Felpel’s efforts and looks forward to him hopefully getting another shot next year.

"The level of competition in track in field in Pennsylvania continues to grow as seen by the number of state records that fell again this year," he said. "It is extremely challenging to get there so as an entire staff we are very proud of Kyle for all he has accomplished and for who he is as a person. Hopefully we will be able to return next year and continue to strive for special accomplishments."

Friday, on his final throw of the day, Long posted a record heave of 202-10, eclipsing the mark of 201-9 set by Central Dauphin’s Ryan Whiting in 2005. That may have been a little out of reach, even for Felpel’s standards. But he saved his best of the competition for last, reaching 178-4 to clinch the silver, the third medal for his career.

"Kyle did a nice job in the discus on Friday," Derr said. "When someone breaks a state record and beats you then its time to congratulate them and do your best. Kyle was very happy with the place, but would have liked to have a little more distance on his throw. One of his first comments after the discus was, ‘178 again’. He has consistently been throwing disc in the 170s throughout the season and was hoping for a bit more distance Friday. He did hit his furthest throw on his final throw so I appreciate that he continued to compete and tried to do his best eventhough the top place was really out there."

Felpel hoped to carry some momentum into the shot put Saturday morning. The top seed going in, couldn’t match his earlier success, however. The Eagle junior never got it going, and finished 14th overall with his best throw coming in at 50-05. Incidentally, Long won his second gold of the tourney, uncorking a throw of 58-03.75.

In the javelin Saturday afternoon, Felpel had similar results as his best throw of 175-02 landed him in 13th place overall. Top seed Tom Lang of Pope John Paul went on to capture gold with a throw of 211-04.

"Saturday was the type of day where you wish as a coach you give a mulligan or do-over," Derr said. "It was a ‘bad day’ to have a ‘bad day.’ Kyle has achieved a phenomenal amount of success with his throwing and was hoping to finish the scholastic season with something special in shot, but it didn’t work out that way. The javelin is still a work in progress for Kyle so he needs to develop more consistency in that event."

While Felpel was the lone Cocalico athlete competing at States, Ephrata was represented by a foursome of runners, led by sophomore Mary Witmer, who competed in three events.

Witmer’s best individual finish came in the 400, where she was seeded 18th but finished 13th out of 29 runners with a time of 58.23.

"I thought Mary ran a very nice 400 meters and handled the pressure and magnitude of competing at the State Meet very well," Ephrata Coach John Keller said. "She did stumble out of her block a bit which probably cost her one or two tenths of a second. Other than that she ran the backstretch great and competed very well. Hey…the competition in that event (as well as all the events) is amazing, and she beat her seed by five places so 13th in the State overall is not a bad place to end your season."

Witmer’s other individual event was the 300 hurdles where she finished 28th out of 30 runners in a time of 47.37.

In the relays, Witmer ran second let on the girls 4 X 400 team that also included Whitney Blouch, Brianna Brubaker and Emily Blackshire.

That squad came in seeded 19th, but went out and set a new EHS school record with a time of 4:03.71 to finish 17th overall.

"Our goal going in was to erase the old school record," Keller said of the relay. "The girls did not want to be tied with last year’s group. They had already staked claim to being the first four girls to qualify for the State Meet in that event, they wanted the record to go with that. All the girls did exactly what they had to do to break the record. Whitney came through in a 61.9 (split) which is close to her best, and Mary was at her typical 58 second split, which really had us in the pack. It was Brianna Brubaker, our only senior who ran the lap of her life, coming through in 60.87 which is just phenomenal. That was certainly her very best effort ever and one she will remember the rest of her life. Then Blackshire, who was fighting a bit of a cold, held her own very well and finished in 61.9.

"They were very competitive in their heat. I was so proud to be even in the mix with some of the teams from District One– the competition up there is crazy– and just to have earned the right to compete is a huge accomplishment so for that I am very thankful the girls had the opportunity, and I believe made the most of it." More STATE TRACK, page B-2

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