Zamrin makes it two in-a-row

By on October 19, 2016
Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin leads the pack around the corner early in Tuesday’s L-L League Girls Championships. held at the Ephrata Middle School. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin leads the pack around the corner early in Tuesday’s L-L League Girls Championships. held at the Ephrata Middle School. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Lefever claims second place in boys’ race

A year ago, then sophomore Jamie Zamrin barely made it out of the bus, suffering from a bad case of the nerves.

But after being coaxed onto the course, Zamrin blew past everyone to win her first Lancaster-Lebanon League crown.

Tuesday, everyone was gunning for the defending champ as the runners made their way back to the league course at Ephrata. But Zamrin handled her nerves a lot better this time around.

The Cocalico junior calmly withstood a challenge from both E-town freshman Katie Locker and Kira Jenkins of Manheim Township, and in the end, captured her second-straight league title with a winning time of 19:07.6.

“This year I think I was a lot more calm going into the race because I had a lot of confidence in my abilities,” Zamrin said following her victory. “Last year, I was a nervous wreck before the race. I didn’t want to run. I was crying on the bus. This year was very different. This year I was ready to run. I was ready to win it.”

Zamrin’s back-to-back win was one of several quality performances by local runners.

Ephrata’s Zach Lefever, who missed last year’s State Meet because of appendicitis, fought off a bad cold Tuesday to capture his second-straight runner-up finish to McCaskey’s Nathan Henderson.

And team-wise, Ephrata showed off its quality depth by placing second as a team in the girls’ race and finishing fourth as a team in the boys’ competition.

Zamrin, Locker and Jenkins ran in a pack most of the way with the Cocalico runner holding a slight lead throughout. She held a three-feet lead heading into the final mile before putting some distance between her and runner-up Locker (19:11.3) heading to the finish line.

“I could feel her on me the entire time,” Zamrin said of locker. “I could see a shadow behind me so I knew I just had to keep pushing it.”

“It’s really exciting to be able to come back and win it again,” she continued. “I’m hoping to do the same next year. It makes me feel really good to know that I’m improving every year.”

She said she is beginning to hit her stride at the right time, heading into Districts and States in the coming weeks.

As for Lefever, who quickly fell behind Henderson in the first mile and never could catch up, he said his sickness affected him as the race wore on.

“The first mile I felt pretty good,” he said. “Today in school I was feeling a little better. But that second mile, I just couldn’t breathe that well, and not getting enough air I kind of lost form. I was just trying to fight for second place then.”

With Henderson about a football field in front of Lefever and the rest of the pack, finishing with an eventual winning time of 15:57.3, the Ephrata senior was able to hold off his nearest challenger — Hempfield’s Nick Norton (16:34.8) — to claim his second runner-up finish in as many years with a time of 16:28.3.

“That’s over a minute slower than my PR, so not good at all,” he said following the race. “This is one of my worst times all year so I’m not going to say I’m happy with it. But I mean, I did the best that I could with how I was feeling.”

Asked if he felt a bit cursed in big races, especially after his appendix ordeal last fall, Lefever said, “I was telling my mom last night, saying it’s just not fair…the universe is out to get me. But, it’s just another obstacle for me to overcome. There are two races (Districts and States) left. I’ll get over my cold and I’ll be back in two weeks and those two races will be a little different.”

With Lefever leading the way despite his illness, Ephrata had some strong performances on the boys’ side to place fourth behind only champion Manheim Central, runner-up Cedar Crest and Hempfield.

Sophomore Andrew Foster followed Lefever in 15th place with a time of 17:21.7, while the rest of Ephrata’s top five included: Phillip Wenger (31st, 17:54.7); Seth Bollinger (46th, 18:14.5); and Kellan Swarr (59th, 18:31.4).

“For the boys, Lefever was very impressive,” Ephrata Coach Mike Hershberger said. “He was sick the last couple days, but he gutted out a strong second place finish. Andrew Foster is starting to show his abilities. Andrew finished 15th and was the top underclassman in the race. The rest of the guys ran their hearts out to finish fourth. Our targets were Penn Manor, McCaskey, E-town, and Warwick and we were able to finish ahead of all of those teams. The coaches are very impressed with the hard work and improvement the boy’s team made this season.”

The Ephrata girls also impressed, finishing second behind only Manheim Township, which captured the title with a score of 51.

Ephrata (110) was paced by freshman Mary Campbell, who took 11th in her first leagues with a time of 20:09.1. Senior Haley Schaller was next in the 21st position (20:40.6), and was followed by Nadine Eichenlaub (24th, 20:45.5), Sydney Morgan (27th, 21:03.0) and Courtney Schrom (41st, 21:37.6).

“The girls were outstanding,” Hershberger said. “The race started as bad as possible as five of our seven girls fell very hard at the start of the race. They sprinted to get into position and fought for every position the entire race. Mary Campbell, Haley Schaller and Nadine Eichenlaub all received medals. E-town defeated us last week, so they were one of out targets. We knew that Hempfield always runs very well in the postseason, and they would be tough. The girls’ team could have quit after falling at the start, but their second effort made up for the fall.”

The Cocalico boys earned a solid ninth place overall in the team standings. The Eagles were led by sophomore Dylan Becker, who crossed the line in 19th place with a time of 17:28.9. Evan Trowbridge was next (17:29.4) in front of teammates Dan Main (33rd, 17:57.5), Simon Stull (58th, 18:28.5) and Max McCormack (80th, 19:09.7).

On the girls’ side, in addition to Zamrin, Ashley Derr posted a time of 24:52.4 to finish in the 104th position.

Up next, the District Three Championships will be held Saturday, October 29 at Big Spring High School.






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