Sensenig takes seventh at L-L League Meet
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org, Staff Writer
What was billed as a wide-open race turned into a two man duel Tuesday afternoon in the L-L League Meet held at Ephrata Middle School.
Lancaster Mennonite’s Jared Schatz and Penn Manor junior Harrison Schettler were neck-and-neck as they came down the home stretch Tuesday. A late stumble by Schettler was the only break Schatz would need as he hit the tape first to remain unbeaten on the year and win his first league title in a time of 16:30.
"There are 10-12 boys that can challenge for the win on any day," Ephrata Coach Mike Hershberger said. "Schatz was impressive this year. He won every Lancaster Lebanon meet. Schettler ran a very impressive race but lost to Jared by inches."
It was a nailbiter.
As for Hershberger’s top runner Tyler Sensenig, the EHS senior who had high hopes of a title finished just outside the top five. John Ausel of Solanco was third in a time of 16:38, the Manheim Township tandem of Elliott Hirsch (16:47) and Joey Warner (16:49) were fourth and fifth respectively, while E-town’s Nate Kreider (16:51) edged Sensenig (16:51) for sixth. Cocalico’s top finisher was Dillon Rey, who was 25th in a time of 17:24.
In the team race, Manheim Township placed first overall with 98 points while Hempfield was second (111) and Warwick (121) third. Closer to home, Ephrata finished 12th with 311 while Cocalico was 15th with a score of 344.
In addition to Sensenig, Ephrata had four other male runners finish in the top 100. Samuel Wolde placed 50th in a time of 17:55 while Tyler Gallagher (61st, 18:10), Ibsen Powers (95th, 18:49) and Jordan Schrom (98th, 18:55) rounded out the top five. In addition, Thomas Shoff was 116th in 19:12, Eric Trella placed 147th with a time of 20:35, and Mitchell Althouse was right behind in 148th with a time of 20:44.
"Billy Hauser suffered a stress fracture on his foot a week ago," Hershberger said. "Billy was ranked in the top 30 in the league and was able to run with the top runners in the league. Despite the setback, the rest of the Ephrata boys team had very respectable results. Overall the Ephrata boys improved from 16th in 2010 to 12th in 2011."
Cocalico had four runners finish in the top 100, including Rey at 25. Ryan Conner was next in 32nd place with a time of 17:30, followed by Austin Aletriz (70th, 18:20) and Josh Lorah (97th, 18:50). Other Eagle finishers included: Spencer Henry (120th, 19:19); Ben Terry (125th, 19:28); Josh Grasser (129th, 19:36); and Jonah Wood (139th, 20:04).
"Our boys had a very solid day," Cocalico Coach Ron Derr said. "Dominic Rey is the highest individual place finisher since John Wallace in 2008. Personal best times were completed by Spencer Henry and Josh Grasser, and Ben Terry ran a seasonal best time."
On the girls’ side, Penn Manor sophomore Greta Lindsley ran to her second-straight L-L crown with a time of 19:14. She finished well ahead of E-town’s Olivia Espenshade, who finished second with a time of 19:37. Emily McBride (19:44) of Township was third, while Manheim Central’s Danae Peters (20:04) and Haleigh Echard of Cedar Crest rounded out the top five.
Leah Wallace of Cocalico was the top local finisher as she placed 22nd in a time of 21:01. Ephrata’s top runner Malynda Beam was one place behind her in 23rd, finishing the run in 21:03.
In the team standings, Manheim Township claimed the team title with a score of 62. Elizabethtown was second with 112 while Hempfield (146), Garden Spot (158) and Penn Manor (161) rounded out the top five. Ephrata finished a very respectable eighth with 273 while Cocalico placed 12th with 309.
In addition to Beam, Ephrata had eight runners place in the top 100. Vanessa Hurst placed 45th in a time of 21:46 while Andrea Castillo was 56th in 22:01. Sondra MacNeal was in the 64th position, finishing in a time of 22:26, while Erica Voigt (85th, 22:52), Madison Fox (89th, 22:56), Kelly Liebl (96th, 23:17) and Madison Walmer (98th, 23:22) rounded out the EHS lineup.
"Last year, the Ephrata girls finished 12th in the league," Hershberger said. "This year the Ephrata girls finished 8th. Only two of the top five runners returned to the 2011 team. The number four runner from 2010, Madison Walmer, suffered an injury halfway through the year. As a result, the only girl who was in the top five from last year was our number five runner (Beam). Ephrata’s group of sophomore and freshmen girls (Hurst, Castillo, MacNeal, Voigt, Fox, and Liebl) have done an outstanding job challenging many of the top teams all year. This group of girls is looking forward to continuing to improve heading into the District Meet next week. We are hoping to get Madison Walmer back to her normal form to help strengthen an already strong young team heading into next week."
While Wallace led the way, Cocalico had four other runners place in the top 100 Tuesday. Amanda Drexel was 58th with a time of 22:04, followed by Avery Longstaff (63rd, 22:15), Kari Longstaff (78th, 22:43) and Megan Glover (88th, 22:55). Three other runners also competed as Megan Caizzo was 101st in a time of 23:26, Shannon Hoeveler placed 105th in a time of 23:41, and Shannon Mohler captured 125th with a time of 24:51.
"The girls did not have their ‘A’ game going as a team today," Derr commented. "Several of the girls expressed disappointment with their times, but they all felt they gave the best effort they had at the race. As a coach I was very proud of the efforts both squads demonstrated in competing at the meet."
Both Cocalico and Ephrata will now gear up for the District Three Meet which will take place next Wednesday afternoon at the Parkview Course in Hershey. The AAA girls’ race will begin at 2 p.m., followed by the AAA boys at 4 p.m. More CROSS COUNTRY, page B-6