Ephrata sending three to States

By on November 1, 2017
In a race for top twenty District 3 AAA medals Mounts sophomore Mary Campbell (389) and Alyssa Fedorshak (391) grabbed 10th and 11th places, respectively. Campbell finished in 19:25, one second ahead of her younger teammate. Photo by Mike Shull

In a race for top twenty District 3 AAA medals Mounts sophomore Mary Campbell (389) and Alyssa Fedorshak (391) grabbed 10th and 11th places, respectively. Campbell finished in 19:25, one second ahead of her younger teammate. Photo by Mike Shull

In a photo finish, Hempfield’s Christian Groff edged out Ephrata junior Andrew Foster for the L-L League Cross Country title a few weeks back.

Ever since that time, Foster looked forward to getting a chance to exact some revenge. Saturday, at the District Three Championships at Big Spring was that chance, and Foster went out to make the most of that opportunity.

“Ever since leagues, everybody kept reminding me point two (seconds), so my big goal was to try to get him here at Districts,” Foster said.

Foster did just that with a strong kick to finish in a time of 16:23 which was good for fifth place, one second and one place better than Groff, who was sixth in 10:24.

In addition, Foster’s top five finish punched his ticket to Saturday’s State Meet at the Parkview Course in Hershey. There he will be joined by female teammates Mary Campbell and Alyssa Fedorshak, who placed 11th and 12th, respectively, in the girls’ race at Big Spring.

Campbell, a sophomore, will be making her second appearance at States after posting a time of 19:25 Saturday. And Fedorshak, a freshman, will run at the State Meet for the first time after finishing in 19:26 this past week.

“I was hoping (to finish) around 20th…I didn’t think I was going to get (11th),” Campbell said following her race. “(Qualifying for States) is awesome. I went last year with Nadine (Eichenlaub) and now this year I get to go with Alyssa, so it’s really great that we get to go together. We’re really close, so it will be awesome.”

Fedorshak agreed.

“It’s incredible making (States) as a freshman,” she said. “I never knew if this would ever happen. I just love running. It’s what I do and love.”

Campbell said after a fast start to the race, she and Fedorshak worked together the rest of the way before both kicked hard at the end.

“We were around 30th (place) but after ‘Kill Hill’ me and Alyssa just worked together and then definitely at the end. When we were coming down near the finish, me and Alyssa were kinda just racing back and forth. And then while we were doing that, we were just passing like 10 people,” Campbell stated.

Fedorshak added, “Me and Mary really pushed toward the end and she’s a person I always like to be with during runs.”

And how did she feel afterward?

“I thought it was a really good time,” Fedorshak said. “After the race, I felt really dead, but very proud that I made it this far. My goal coming into it was just knowing that no matter what happens today, I’ll be proud of myself for making it this far.”

“I felt pretty good throughout the race,” Campbell said. “The first mile was rough, but when we got into it, then I felt pretty good. I was pleased (with her finish and time). I didn’t think I was going to be that high up since last year, I barely made it to States.”

Abby Yourkavitch of Mechanicsburg won the race with a winning time of 18:23. Emily Schuler of Dallastown was nine seconds off the pace (18::32) in second while Hershey’s Andie Demko (18:39), Governor Mifflin’s Andrea Miller (19:08) and defending champ Jamie Zamrin of Cocalico (19:11) rounded out the top five individual finishers.

As a team, the Ephrata girls placed a respectable ninth overall. In addition to Campbell and Fedorshak, the other EHS competitors (with place and times) included: Sydney Morgan (34th, 20:10); Eichenlaub (50th, 20:40); Sierra Zimmerman (149th, 22:44); Elizabeth Martin (181st, 23:38); and Kelly Cummings (182nd, 23:41).

The strategy for Foster Saturday was to hang with some of the top L-L League runners and then see how the race unfolded. The pace was slow for the first mile before the lead runners picked it up. Still, Foster said he found himself behind coming down the stretch.

“I’m not really sure what the two-mile split was, but it was slower than we wanted it to be,” Foster said. “I was 10th, so I had to make up a lot of ground coming back. With about a thousand left to go is when I really started to pick up and go.”

Foster’s kick left him “feeling a little sick” but in the end, he accomplished his ultimate goal.

“(Top five) was my goal because last week, I said I wanted to get top five at Districts and that’s what I did,” he said.

“He did well,” Ephrata Coach Mike Hershberger said. “We were shooting for top-five and he finished fifth, so it’s about what we expected. He was aiming for Christian Groff from Hempfield and he beat him by a place. That was who we were really targeting so it was a little minor victory to edge out Christian today. So it was good. It’s about where we were expecting for a good race.”

Mechanicsburg’s Morgan Cupp captured the boys’ title with a time of 16:04. Cocalico’s Evan Kreider, who was third at L-Ls, was runner-up at Districts with a time of 16:11. Mechanicsburg’s Brandon Knepper (16:17) and Jack Wisner of Carlisle (16:20) finished just ahead of Foster.

In the team race, Ephrata finished in 26th place. In addition to Foster, the other Mount finishers included: Ray Truex (63rd, 17:25); Geoffrey Goodman (164th, 18:34); Nathan Kimmel (183rd, 18:42); and Micah Weaver (244th, 20:52).

NOTE: Bruce Morgan contributed to this story.



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