Make it a clean sweep for Cocalico Girls remain perfect while boys win first vs. L-S

By on April 3, 2013

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

The Cocalico girls track program has always been competitive, but has taken a backseat to the boys, who have been a dominant team through the last decade or so.

But this year there has been a bit of a role reversal at Cocalico, thanks in part to a group of versatile female athletes as well as freshman phenom Emily Stauffer, who have re-energized the program.

The CHS girls entered Tuesday’s home meet vs. Lampeter-Strasburg looking for their third-straight victory to start the season. And they got it by an 81-69 verdict, thanks to 10 event wins on the day.

Senior standout Ashley Strenko was a triple winner to lead the way while several others posted key victories and earned big points in the win.

"We are thrilled with the girls," Cocalico coach Ron Derr said. "We are getting contributions from a lot of different sources. We don’t have a lot of real standouts, other than Emily who is the big name, but we have a lot of people who are contributing from a team-wide perspective. I think the kids are really getting along with each other and they are having a good time. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a lot of success on the girls’ side of the program at Cocalico so it’s really fun to see."

It was also nice from Derr’s standpoint to see his boys’ squad earn its first victory of the season Tuesday to complete the boys/girls sweep. After dropping a heartbreaker to Solanco (77-73) last Wednesday, the Eagle boys needed a win in the final event of the day to clinch it outright.

They did just that as the 4×400 relay team of Alec Sensenig, Tyler Buckwalter, Wyatt Dungan and Cordell Stauffer ran their best time of the year to win in a time of 3:42.5 to seal an 80-70 Eagle victory.

"They were really down in after coming so close against Solanco," Derr said. "We were at a point where a win was really big for them. They worked real hard but fell a little short (vs. Solanco) and that sometimes happens in sports. They really wanted to get one today. It came down that final relay…We had a guaranteed tie but they didn’t want to end that way and they ran their best 4×4 of the year to get a win against a very quality L-S team. It was just great to see."

The Cocalico boys (1-2) were led by junior Jhett Janis, who both won a pair of individual events while also running anchor for the winning 4×100 relay (:46), which also included Spencer Moser, Alec Whitsett and Tyler Buckwalter.

Individually, Janis, who along with Moser advanced all the way to States in the javelin, captured the 100 (11.0) and also took home a win in the jav, uncorking a throw of 187-2. Moser was a distant second with a throw of 157-4.

According to Derr, the versatility of Janis and Moser has paid some big dividends for his team in the early going.

"Coming in those were two of the definite knowns that we had that were obviously very solid in the javelin," he said. "But they are spreading out to help us a little more. Spencer has been long jumping and they both run in our 4×100 relay, and now Jhett’s actually running the 100. We are able to use them in some other areas, although the javelin will be the main area they are focusing on. They are team captains and are doing a lot to help the team."

Senior distant runner Hans Shollenberger chipped in Tuesday with a pair of wins coming in the 1600 (5:05.8) and 3200 (11:27.1).

Other individual winners for the Eagles included: Shea Evans in the high jump (6-2); freshman Abdul Saad in the shot put (42-3 1/4) and senior Logan High in the discus (121-3).

Back to the girls, where Strenko continued her solid ways Tuesday in winning the high hurdles (17.0), long jump (16-1 1/4) and high jump (4-8) events to help pave the way.

"Ashley has been a points machine for us in a lot of meets, in the jumps and hurdles," Derr said. "She is a kid when you see her you’d think she didn’t have a care in the world. She just always has a big smile on her face, but when it’s time to compete she really digs in. She’s done a really good job and does a great job working with a lot of our younger kids as well."

Junior Carrie Sensenig had a productive day, winning the 200 (26.5) while also being part of two winning relays. The team of Sensenig, Wahl, Emily Johnson and Gina Glass earned victory in the 4×100 with a time of :53, and Sensenig teamed with Megan Gingrich, Marissa Gingrich and Janelle High to win the 4X400 (4:20.7).

High added a win in the 300 hurdles with a time of 52.6, while fellow senior Rebecca Grube staked claim to the discus with a throw of 102-1. Cocalico also captured the 4X800 relay as the team of Tabitha Derr, Katelyn Bollinger, Shannon Hoeveler and Marissa Gingrich finished first in a time of 10:48.8.

And finally, Stauffer continued her winning ways in the shot put. The freshman, who recently captured the State Indoor title in the shot, has carried that momentum over into the outdoor season. On Tuesday, she finished more than 13 feet ahead of her closest competitor, winning with a throw of 41-0 3/4.

"Unbelievable talent there," Derr said of Stauffer. "She still has a lot of room for growth from the technical aspect, and (throwing coach Scott Krall) is working on different things there. It’s just going to be a fun ride to see where she can go. She’s still young and is having a lot of fun, and who knows where the possibilities will go with that?"

She, like the rest of her team, is certainly off to an amazing start.

Last Wednesday afternoon at home, Cocalico split a Section Two Meet vs. Solanco.

The Cocalico girls had nine different individuals earn events wins en route to a 98.5-50.5 team win over the Mares.

Strenko was a triple winner to lead the way for the Lady Eagles, claiming the high hurdles (16.8) while also taking both the high jump (4-10) and long jump (4-10) events.

Other individuals to earn victories included: Emily Johnson in the 100 (13.3); Sensenig in the 200 (26.8); Hoeveler in the 400 (1:09.5); Marissa Gingrich in the 1600 (5:50); High in the 300 hurdles (52.7); and Megan Gingrich in the triple jump (30-11).

Cocalico added wins in the 400 relay and 1600 relay. The 400 team of Sensenig, Johnson, Cassandra Bean and Glass ran to victory in a time of 54.3, while Sensenig, Hoeveler, Marissa Gingrich and High claimed the 1600 in a time of 4:24.7.

In the boys’ tight loss, Stauffer led the way individually for Cocalico, earning a pair of wins in both the high hurdles (16.3) and 300 hurdles (44.6).

Other individuals to earn event wins for the Eagles included: Saad in the shot put (43.1); Hiram Tapia in the discus (118-3); Janis in the javelin (182-1); and Evans in the high jump (6-0).

Cocalico also swept all three relays on the day. The team of Moser, Buckwalter, Whitsett and Janis claimed the 400 in a time of 46.3. The 1600 team of Sensenig, Dungan, Buckwalter and Stauffer placed first (3:45.7), and the 3200 squad of Dungan, Harry Major, Jake Grasser and Shollenberger also was victorious, coming in at 8:59. More SWEEP, page B-2

About Ephrata Review