Ephrata streaks past L-S

By on April 1, 2015
Ephrata’s Travis Troutman cruises down the stretch to clinch a win in the 1600 relay Monday vs. Lampeter-Strasburg. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata’s Travis Troutman cruises down the stretch to clinch a win in the 1600 relay Monday vs. Lampeter-Strasburg. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Monday was a day about streaks for the Ephrata High School track team.
On April 29, 2013, the Mountaineer boys defeated Lebanon by the slim margin of 76-74. That happened to be the last time the Ephrata boys tasted victory as a team.
Until Monday.
Sparked by several outstanding individual performances, and a distance crew that out-scored visiting Lampeter-Strasburg 26-1, Ephrata won for the first time in two seasons with a 90-60 victory over the Pioneers.
On the girls’ side, Ephrata continued its amazing run that started four seasons ago with their first of three straight Section Two titles. Behind a dominant performance in which they won 17 of 18 events, the Lady Mounts captured their 25th straight team victory in a convincing 131-19 decision.
A great day for sure, but especially nice the Ephrata boys’ squad.
“It feels good for the guys,” Ephrata Coach John Keller said following the win. “They’ve worked their tails off. The kids have worked hard and it just felt really good to see them win a track meet.”
While the win was a total team effort with Ephrata gaining valuable points in a number of areas, the key was in the distances races.
Ephrata (1-1) flip-flopped Dayne Wetzel, who normally runs the 800, to the 400 and put Nate Becker, a 400 runner, into the 800 race. That moved helped get valuable extra points as Wetzel finished second behind teammate Travis Troutman, who won the 400 in a time of 52.2, and Becker and teammate Sam Wolde finished one-two in the 800 with Becker winning it in a time of 2:11.6.
Chris Hershberger added a victory in the 1600 (4:49.6); Zach Lefever claimed the 3200 with a time of 10:58.5; and the Mounts earned victories in all three relays to complete a dominant effort.
“The distance guys carried us,” Keller said.
But there were plenty of other performances which helped in the team to victory.
Mark Njenga was a triple winner in the jumps, copping the high jump (5-8), long jump (20-3¼) and triple jump (38-8¼) events. Jimmy Hickey added a win in the shot put (40-3) while first-year sprinter Charlie Warden ran to victory in the 200 (24.0).
“His addition has been big,” Keller said of Warden. “The guys was a decent baseball player but couldn’t play this year because of an injury. So rather than do nothing he decided to run this winter and it carried right over into the spring. He’s really helped us.”
On the girls’ side Monday, it was business as usual for Ephrata, which improved to 2-0 on the year.
Seemingly in the middle of everything was senior star Kelly Liebl, who was part of four victories on the day.
A State medalist and District champion in the 100 last year, Liebl has yet to run in that event this season due to the emergence of freshman sprinter Jennie Young. Instead, Liebl captured wins in the 200 (25.9), 400 (59.8), long jump (14-10) and ran anchor on the victorious 4X100 relay (51.2).
According to Keller, with Young in the stable, he can now pick and choose where and when to run Liebl to maximize points.
“With Jennie here, I got some leverage,” Keller said. “I can run three girls and sweep the 100 against most teams and Kelly doesn’t have to be one of them. It’s nice to have the flexibility, and then to have a hammer like Kelly…she is so smooth when she runs and the kid is just a joy to coach. She just shows up and does what she’s suppose to do, works hard and goes about her business. When you carry the stigma, the clout that she carries with her, that means something. Kids look up to her. It’s a good thing.”
While Liebl was the workhorse, a total of 12 different athletes won at least one individual event for Ephrata.
Junior Samantha Weaver was the only other multiple winner individually as she claimed both the high hurdles (17.5) and 300 hurdles (50.2). Other individual winners included: Jennie Young in the 100 (12.7); Jordan Carvell in the 1600 (5:37.7); Haley Schaller in the 800 (2:32.6); Erica Voigt in the triple jump (28-8); Kenzie Horst in the shot put (26-0¼); Lisa Kramer in the discus (72-10); and Taylor Reider in the javelin (86-4). Katelyn Young and Cassie Vaitl also tied for the pole vault as each vaulted 7-6.
Ephrata closed out the win with victories in all three relays.
Up next, Ephrata will head to Palmyra Thursday for a non-league meet before returning home next Tuesday to face Garden Spot. Both meets will begin at 4 p.m.
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Cocalico was also in action Monday afternoon at home where the teams split a boys/girls meet with Manheim Central.
The Cocalico girls got three wins from junior Megan Gingrich to help pave the way to a 92.5-52.5 victory over the Barons.
Gingrich earned victories in the high hurdles (17.7), 300 hurdles (50.9) and triple jump (32-10¼). Freshman distance runner Jamie Zamrin and junior throwing star Emily Stauffer added two wins each to top the Lady Eagles’ performances. Zamrin won both the 1600 (5:41) and 800 (2:43.5) while Stauffer was a winner in the shot put (43-11½) and discus (113-5) events.
Stephanie Wahl (100, 12.8); Lexi Palm (200, 27.9); Katie Grobengieser (3200, 13:29.1); and Jenna Lawville (javelin, 115-10) also won single events for the Lady Eagles, who improved to 2-0 on the year.
On the boys’ side, Demetri Whitsett and Arion Dominique both were triple winners for Cocalico (0-2), but it was not enough as the Barons prevailed, 88-61.
Whitsett won the high hurdles (17.5), 300 hurdles (47.3) and high jump (5-4) while Dominique’s wins came in the 100 (11.6), 200 (24.3) and triple jump (39-11).
Kenny Wallace added a victory in the 3200 (11:25.1).
Up next, Cocalico hits the road to face Elco Thursday, and will also travel to Solanco next Tuesday afternoon.

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