Ephrata girls deny Cocalico

By on May 11, 2016
Ephrata’s Sydney Morgan crosses the finish line to win the mile Monday afternoon at Cocalico. Her win  over Cocalico star Jamie Zamrin (back) was one of many key victories for the Lady Mount. Photo by Stan Hall.

Ephrata’s Sydney Morgan crosses the finish line to win the mile Monday afternoon at Cocalico. Her win
over Cocalico star Jamie Zamrin (back) was one of many key victories for the Lady Mount. Photo by Stan Hall.

Lady Eagles still clinch tie for section

After seeing their 33-meet winning streak, and more importantly their four-year reign as Section Two champs, end at mid-season due to a new tiebreaker rule that was instituted this year, the Ephrata girls track team never wavered.

The Lady Mounts continued to work hard and kept improving, and it all culminated Monday with their best performance of the season at rival Cocalico.

Playing spoilers to Cocalico’s own title quest, Ephrata was in the zone from start to finish, running away with a 92-58 victory to hand the Lady Eagles their first loss of the season.

Ephrata won 11 events on the day, including 10 on the track, and swept a total of four key events to make quite a statement in the regular season finale for both teams.

“It was the girls’ team I was expecting to see this year,” Ephrata Coach John Keller said after the win. “I’m proud of our girls. We came over here to win a track meet, and we finished this season off the way we really thought we could. I was very happy and very proud of the way the kids performed.”

There were also a few highs as far as Cocalico was concerned. Megan Gingrich set the school record in the 300 hurdles with a time of 47.2, and Emily Stauffer broke her own mark in the shot put with a record throw of 48-5½.

Most importantly, the Lady Eagles still grabbed a share of the Section Two title, finishing at 6-1 and in a first-place tie with Manheim Central.

“I’m very proud,” Cocalico Coach Ron Derr said of the co-championship. “Our seniors, we don’t have a lot of them but they have been huge pillars to this program. It’s really exciting for them and some of our younger girls who will be looking to move forward. It’s a great thing. This team has accomplished a number of great things. Today was not quite what we expected but it’s been a fantastic season for them. We’ve had a number of school records go, and I still think we have a lot to look forward to in the post-season.”

As far as Monday was concerned, Ephrata set the tone early with a win in the 4X800 relay (Jordan Carvell, Theresa Cummings, Haley Schaller and Nadine Eichenlaub), followed by Amanda Hauser upsetting a less-than-100 percent Steph Wahl of Cocalico with a winning time of 17.6.

Ephrata (5-2) then followed with a one-two-sweep in the 100 as Kay Liebl (12.6), Jennie Young (12.7) and Cassie Vaitl (13.2) picked up nine big points as the Lady Mounts surged ahead 20-3.

But the race of the day came next in the mile as Ephrata sophomore Sydney Morgan dueled it out with Cocalico 10th grader Jamie Zamrin.

Zamrin, who captured the L-L League cross country title this past year, held a slight lead with Morgan on her tail as they headed down the stretch. Morgan, though, found an extra gear shortly after the final turn and passed Zamrin on her way to a huge victory with a personal best time of 5:14.1.

“Sydney wanted that pretty bad,” Keller said. “She and Zamrin are good friends but when Sydney runs, she’s tough to beat. That was a huge turn of events, along with us sweeping the 100 and Amanda Hauser winning the hurdles.”

Morgan said her main focus was to stay “latched onto” Zamrin until she could make her move.

“I know Jamie is a really great runner,” Morgan said. “I was just really motivated to stick with her the entire race. I just saw the opportunity and I just went for it.”

Ephrata followed with a sweep in the 400 with Chelsea Brubaker winning it in a time of 1:03.9. The Lady Mounts then claimed wins in both the 4 X 100 and 4 X 400 relays, while Schaller (800- 2:26.9), Young (200- 27.0) and Eichenlaub (3,200- 11:43.7) also earned victories to close out an amazing day on the track for Ephrata, which lost a pair of tiebreakers in meets vs. Garden Spot and Manheim Central, resulting in their only losses this season.

“These girls wanted this,” Keller said. “They knew coming in that we left some things out there that we can’t go back and undo, but we can sure make a statement here today. I’m extremely proud of the way we came out and handled ourselves.”

Derr was certainly impressed by his team’s opponent.

“They were better than we were today,” he said of the Lady Mounts. “They just came out hard and strong. There was definitely a flatness for us on the track. We performed well in a few areas but not consistently across the board. We didn’t match their, ‘Come get us, we are taking this to a different level,’… We’ve been doing that all year, and I didn’t expect that with it being Ephrata and the other things that were on the line. But we just struggled. We had a flat, ‘off day’ today.”

Cocalico did have its normal solid day in the field, taking six of the seven events. Gingrich claimed the triple jump with a winning distance of 33-6. Stauffer won both the shot put and discus (127-1) while Mackenzie Hainley (javelin- 109-6), Brooke Meckley (pole vault- 9-6) and Paul (high jump- 4-8) also were winners for the Lady Eagles.

Ephrata’s Kay Liebl captured her team’s lone field event by hitting 17-7 to win the long jump.

While the Ephrata girls were putting together their win, the Mount boys made it a sweep Monday with an 83-67 victory over Cocalico.

Charlie Warden, Zach Lefever and Mark Njenga all were double winners individually to pace Ephrata (4-3). Warden captured wins in both the 100 (11.3) and 200 (23.4), Lefever earned victories in the 800 (2:06.5) and 1,600 (4:27.2) while Njenga won the long jump (21-7½) and triple jump (40-7¼).

Other individual winners for the Mounts included: Chris Hershberger in the 400 (52.1); and Nate Becker in the 3,200 (10:15.1). And the Mounts swept all three relays to pick up key points there.

On the Cocalico side, Demitri Whitsett led the Eagles (3-4) with three wins on the day. Whitsett captured the high hurdles (15.7), 300 hurdles (42.7) and high jump (5-8).

Abdul Saad added a pair of event wins for the Eagles, claiming both the shot put (51-3½) and discus (155-9), while Brad Heck (javelin- 179-0) and Cameron Steffy (pole vault- 12-3) rounded out the Eagles’ winners.

This past Saturday, both Ephrata and Cocalico competed in the annual Blue Streak Relays hosted by Manheim Township.

On the girls’ side, Ephrata scored a total of 50 points to tie Palmyra for second place in the team standings behind Manheim Township, which won it’s own event with a score of 86.

Ephrata took firsts in two events on the day, winning both the 3,200 and 6,400 relays.

The 3,200 team of Eichenlaub, Morgan, Kayley Eshleman and Schaller captured first place in a time of 9:38.02. And in the 6,400, the team of Eichenlaub, Morgan, Carvell and Schaller won gold with a winning time of 21:52.96.

The Cocalico girls tied for ninth place overall with Donegal as both teams earned 26 points on the day.

The team of Emily Stauffer and Megan Gingrich captured the shot put title with a combined throw of 72-0.

Cocalico also won gold in the discus as Katie Carrasco and Kayla South took first place (distance N/A).

In boys’ action, Ephrata placed 10th with 22 points with a pair of wins on the day.

The 6,400 relay squad of Becker, Tanyan Loose, Rhett Hart and Lefever captured gold with a winning time of 18:50.90. And in the distance medley relay, Becker, Warden, Alex Morales and Lefever took first as well, finishing with a winning time of 10:39.19.

The Cocalico boys weren’t able to come up with any wins as the Eagles placed 12th in the team standings with 7 total points.

With the regular season now complete, the athletes will turn their attention to the L-L League Meet which will take place Friday and Saturday at Hempfield High School. Action will begin Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. while Saturday’s starting time is 10 a.m.

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