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Hartman, Witmer claim indoor records at Christmas City
The Ephrata High School winter track & field team competed at the prestigious Christmas City Relays at Lehigh University on Saturday, Dec. 29.
Billed as one of the largest indoor track meets the state of PA has to offer, it draws hundreds of athletes from New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland as well as Pennsylvania.
The local team did not disappoint as they brought home several medals (top 4 medaled in each event) as well as set two new indoor school records.
EHS shot putter Junior Crystal Hartman got things started with a huge "put" in the girls shot put event. Hartman tossed the shot 35 feet to finish in second place, a mere half inch behind Alexia Troise of Charter School of Wilmington. The 35-foot "put" was a PR for Hartman and also broke the indoor school record of 33-6 set by Callie Sweigart back in December of 2007.
Senior Mary Witmer followed with a great hurdle race in the 60 meter hurdles trials. Witmer not only broke Courtney Beiler’s indoor school record set back in 2005 (10.07), but also qualified for the indoor state championships that will be held at Penn State in late February. Witmer went on to finish seventh in the event after some tight racing and bumping in the finals led to a near fall in that race.
Witmer was seated second in the finals race, however she did not let the setback get her down as she came back to finish second in the triple jump and secure her third event at the indoor state meet (the others being the 400 meter dash and 60 meter hurdles). With a leap of 35 feet 7 1/4 inches, Witmer narrowly missed the win to Nikki Serratore of Methacton (35-8 1/2). Witmer also finished second in the 400 meter dash (60.74) and helped lead the girls’ 4 X 400 meter relay to a third place finish. Moriah Pfautz, Emily Blackshire and Erica Voigt teamed with Witmer in the event to finish in 4:25.71.
Pfautz, who is a senior first-year track athlete had some nice races of her own, finishing ninth overall (out of 54 competitors) and narrowly missed the finals in the 60 meter dash (8.53 seconds) and led the girls 4 X 200 meter relay to an 11th place overall finish.
The Lady Mount distance runners secured some medals as well as a handful of personal records. Sondra MacNeal and Vanessa Hurst finished 5th and 6th in the mile run, MacNeal crossed the line in 5:46.84 while Hurst was right on her heals with a PR time of 5:47.09. Andrea Castillo finished in 8th place overall in the 800 meter run (2:36.0) while the combination of all and including freshman Jordan Carvell claimed the second spot in the 4 X 800 meter relay (10:31.26). The team fell second only to Cardinal O’Hara.
In the sand and jumps events, along with Mary Witmer’s triple jump and second place finish, senior Virginia Njenga placed 4th in the high jump with a PR jump of 4 feet, 10 inches, and also had her second consecutive 15-plus foot long jump meet of the season. Njenga finished 10th in the long jump with a leap of 15-0 1/2, and also competed in the triple jump (9th place, 31- 2 3/4) and anchored the 4 X 200 meter relay.
For the Mountaineer boys, senior distance runner Sam Wolde and a pair of relay teams made the utmost out of their efforts. Wolde ran the daily double finishing 9th in the mile run with a PR time of 4:51.48 and claimed a top 10 finish in the 3000 meter run with a very good time of 9:42.97. The time narrowly missed Wolde’s best in the 3000 meter run. Both the 4 X 200 meter relay and the sprint medley relay teams also had very nice runs on the day. Neither expected to be much of a factor, but both teams won their heat and finished 6th overall. The 4 X 200 relay consisted of Marquice Nolt, Max Schrom, Mark Njenga and Brian Kramer and ran a season best of 1:42.25 while the sprint medley consisted of Schrom and Alex Nguyen running 200 meters, Kramer running 400 meters and Alex Smith anchoring the event running 800 meters. The team finished with a time of 4:03.47. Eric Trella continued his streak of PR’ing in each race with a mile run time of 5:29.97. Trella has now ran a PR in his last 5 indoor races dating back to last year.
The Mountaineer winter track & field team will be back in action January 12 at F&M College.
Also, the team is in the middle of their season fundraiser which is coupons or saver card to Papa John’s Pizza. If anyone has interest in purchasing a book of coupons in support of the track and field program the cost is $20. If anyone has interest in donating to the track & field program, that would also be appreciated. Please contact Amy Trella, the Booster Club President at 738-2010, or Head Coach John Keller at 738-4094 for details on the fundraiser or ways you can help the booster club out. More INDOOR TRACK, page B-4