Stauffer breaks school shot record in win over Garden Spot

By on April 27, 2016
Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer shoves off on her record-breaking toss in the shot put Monday vs. Garden Spot. Photo by Preston Whitcraft.

Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer shoves off on her record-breaking toss in the shot put Monday vs. Garden Spot. Photo by Preston Whitcraft.

Cocalico Coach Ron Derr didn’t have to tell his girls’ team how big Monday’s meet vs. Garden Spot was in regards to the Section Two race.

He let that up to his small group of seniors, led by star thrower Emily Stauffer.

“In the locker room (the seniors) tried our best to let everyone know what’s on the line because not a lot of people realized that if we won against Garden Spot we’d have a very high chance of being section champs,” Stauffer said of her pre-meet speech. “Just getting everyone excited and hyped up for it…it was just a really good experience.”

Stauffer was just getting started when she delivered her talk. She made an even bigger statement in the meet itself, winning both the discus and the shot put, breaking her own school record in the latter event to set the tone for her squad.

Fellow senior Steph Wahl also chipped in with a pair of wins while a slew of others did their collective part as the Lady Eagles gained the inside track on a potential section title with a 94-56 victory.

The win gives Cocalico (5-0) sole possession of first place over previously unbeaten Garden Spot (4-1) and Manheim Central (4-1), both teams the Lady Eagles have now already defeated. The Lady Eagles have two home meets remaining, one next Monday vs. winless Lebanon, and May 9 vs. Ephrata (3-2).

“Across the board I just thought we really stepped up,” Derr said of the win. “It was something they wanted to do together and as a coach you couldn’t be any prouder than that.”

Derr pointed to the speech by Stauffer as what set the tone Monday.

“Emily took the lead in the team meeting,” he said. “She said, ‘we’ve got a chance for a section title and today is a major piece along the way and we need everybody to do it.’ To have her make that statement and then go out and compete as she did…she’s going to be one of the most decorated athletes to ever come through our school, but she cares about the team and as a coach that’s something that you just can’t appreciate enough.”

Stauffer’s record-setting throw reached a distance of 48-feet, five inches, which easily eclipsed her previous mark of 47-7¼. Her mammoth throw was the sixth best in the country this year and the result of a simple tweak she made recently.

“I’ve been changing the front of my finish because I’m trying to do the full reverse so I can get over the toe board more and get as much extension on it as I can,” she said. “Just throughout the weeks I’ve been practicing that and getting a lot of repetitions. That’s really been helping me a lot.”

She says it has her feeling primed for a peak performance at the Penn Relays this Thursday, and then the post-season in a few weeks.

“50…got to hit 50,” she said when asked of her goal in the shot for the remainder of the season. “When I threw the 48 today it didn’t even feel like a PR because I felt like I had so much more left in me. I’m feeling pretty good for the post-season and everything.”

One big key to Monday’s team victory was the Lady Eagles owned the field events. Not only did Stauffer win the shot and discus (130-10), but Wahl took both the long jump (16-11½) and triple jump (35-7½), while Mackenzie Hainley (javelin, 111-8), Morgan McDevitt (high jump, 4-8) and Brooke Meckley (pole vault, 9-0) also picked up crucial first-place points.

Another factor according to Derr was his team’s ability to off-set the production of Spartan star Nesta Petit-ton, who won four events on the day. In those events, Cocalico athletes took seconds and thirds in three of the four events to take some steam out of the Spartans.

“We were thinking (Petit-ton) could come in and score 20 points, which she did,” Derr said. “We thought we had to try to limit the damage behind her, and we had second in all of the events behind her and third in three of the four, so we were able to minimize that.”

On the track, Cocalico sophomore Jamie Zamrin earned wins in both the 800 (2:37.7) and 1,600 (5:28.3), while the Lady Eagles won a pair of relays. The team of Julia Sensenig, Hannah Palm, Brooke Meckley and Joelle Lehman ran their fastest time of the year to win the 4 X 100 relay in a time of 52.3. And the 4 X 400 squad of Lehman, Sensenig, Megan Gingrich and Palm also was victorious in a time of 4:20.9 to close out the huge team victory.

“This is something I know all of the girls were looking forward to,” Stauffer said of Monday’s meet. “We had this meet set out on our calendars from Day One since we’ve been undefeated. There aren’t a lot of seniors on the team this year but from the seniors who are here there is a lot of good leadership. And I think that was the difference today. We were able to get our adrenaline pumping and we were really excited to go out and ace the challenge.”

While the Cocalico girls were having their way Monday, the Eagle boys were even more dominant in cruising to a 104-45 victory.

The Eagles were led by Demitri Whitsett and Abdul Saad, who together won seven events to key the big win.

Whitsett claimed his wins in the high hurdles (16.1), 300 hurdles (42.2), long jump (21-5¼) and high jump (6-1). Saad took ownership of the throwing events, winning the shot put (50-9¼), discus (135-8) and javelin (143-7).

Cameron Steffy (pole vault, 11-6), Austin Landers (200, 24.6), Jake Musselman (400, 55.9), Dylan Becker (3,200, 10:37.6) and the 3,200 relay team of Becker, Nick Stauffer, Simon Stull and Ken Wallace (10:55.0) added victories as Cocalico cruised to the win.

“We have a young team, and they are exciting,” Derr said of the boys’ squad, which improved to 3-2. “We don’t have many seniors but the ones we have are fantastic leaders. Abdul Saad has been having a great year for us, Kenny Wallace in the distances and Cameron Steffy had a real nice pole vault today. Our seniors are doing what they need to do. And our young guys are having fun and are learning what they can do. They seem to be taking a step each meet and just continue to improve.”

In addition to Monday’s meet, Cocalico also was in action Saturday, competing at the Shippensburg Invitational.

Stauffer was the lone medal winner for Cocalico, taking the shot put title with a throw of 47-2. Stauffer also claimed a second place medal in the discus with a throw of 144-7.

Up next, Cocalico will compete at the Millersville invitational Friday before Monday’s section meet with Lebanon.

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