Kreider, Zamrin earn top five finishes

By on November 1, 2017

Both runners punch tickets to States

Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin heads down the backstretch during Saturday’s District Championships at Big Spring. Photo by Mike Shull

Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin heads down the backstretch during Saturday’s District Championships at Big Spring. Photo by Mike Shull

Both Jamie Zamrin and Evan Kreider were on a mission this past weekend at the District Three Cross Country Championships at Big Spring.

Zamrin, the defending champion from Cocalico, was fighting off sickness that had plagued her all week and was just hoping she had enough energy to fight through the sniffles and do enough to qualify for States. Kreider, who missed last year’s post-season with an injury, wanted to back up his outstanding third-place finish at leagues and prove he belonged among the best runners in the District.

Mission accomplished on both accounts.

Zamrin persevered, although not exactly what she wanted, but the senior finished with a time of 19:11 to claim fifth place overall in the girls race. Kreider, building on that top three finish at L-Ls, did one better, posting a time of 16:11 to finish second only behind Mechanicsburg senior Morgan Cupp’s winning time of 16:04.

Both not only made the podium both punched their respective tickets to States, which will be held Saturday at the Parkview Course in Hershey.

Going into the race, Zamrin felt the pressure to win as the defending champ. soon she realized she had to adjust her goals.

“I’d say it was like a great bit of pressure,” she said following the race. “I think I definitely put more pressure on myself to defend the title and I was pretty nervous about it. Then today, I was just trying to let it go and just think about, ‘Just try your best and let everything else go,’ since I was sick.”

Given her condition— she had a head cold and was running a fever earlier in the week— the fact that she was a sign of the competitor she is said coach Ron Derr.

“I was very, very proud of Jamie,” Derr said. “Jamie’s had such a career and I could tell coming in she didn’t have her A-plus game going today, so today was a bit of a battle for her. She told me afterward she had to re-evaluate her goals in mid-race, that she knew trying to defend and win again wasn’t going to be an option. So she wanted to make sure to get on and live to race again another week, so I’m proud of her for fighting through of not having her best day going for her and still giving herself another chance next week to accomplish some good things.”

Zamrin was among the leaders after the first mile split but fell 30 seconds off the pace set by eventual winner Abby Yourkavitch after mile two. She was able to close strong after the dreaded, “Kill Hill,” to eventually grab her fifth-place medal.

“I was just hoping to hang on to getting top-two girls and just hoping to hang on as long as I could and just kill the last 800 meters, which is what I did. I just hung on for a lot of the race and then I just sped up in the last 800,” she said.”

Nearing the final turn in the District AAA boys race, Cocalico’s Evan Kreider puts forth complete effort to maintain separation from the trailing pack. Photo by Mike Shull

Yourkavitch posted a winning time of 18:23 while Dallastown sophomore Emily Schuler was nine seconds behind (18:32) in second place. Hershey’s Andie Demko (18:39), Governor Mifflin’s Andrea Miller (19:09) and Zamrin made up the top five.

All things considered, Zamrin was satisfied with the results.

“I felt pretty rough, honestly,” she said. “It was a very mentally tough race and I was pretty sick going into it, but I felt all right and I was just trying to push through.

“I’m happy with it. I still have States next week, so it was just kind of a get through this race, try my hardest and see where it ends up, so I’m happy with it. I’m happy with the effort .It’s not the greatest I could have done, so I was kinda upset with it, but I’m happy to at least give the effort today.”

In the boys’ race, Kreider, a junior, was right on the heels of Cupp through the first mile and as they headed up “Kill Hill.” However, Cupp took off at that point, and Kreider decided to try to fend off the rest of the field for second, which he accomplished.

“I felt good,” he said afterward. “It played into my hands a little bit because of how slow it went out. We didn’t break five (minutes) for the first mile, which really plays into my hands. So I felt well and the hills are always brutal, but you have to deal with them.

“I definitely wanted to win today.” My fitness is there that I’m in contention for most races I run. I knew Cupp was good, so I’m very happy with second, though.

Kreider’s time of 16:11 was six seconds faster than third place finisher Brandan Knepper of Mechanicsburg (16:17). Carlisle’s Jack Wisner placed fourth with a time of 16:20, while Andrew Foster of Ephrata rounded out the top five with a time of 16:20.

“Honestly, I was a little bit surprised with my time,” Kreider said. “It didn’t necessarily feel fast while we were running, but I actually ran this time at the Big Spring Invite and it was like 85 degrees, so I would have thought with the conditions…it is a little windy, but I thought it could have been a little faster.”

Now, Kreider will get a chance to head back to States — he made it is freshman season — with a lot of momentum in his sails.

“I really wanted to do well (at Districts), and the goal was I wanted to hold a peak for Districts and States. But nothing competes to racing up at Hershey. I definitely feel like I have some momentum now. I think I’ll be even fresher for states, and hopefully I can get a top-five finish.”

As a team, the Cocalico boys competed and finished a respectable 12th out of 38 squads. In addition to Kreider’s runner-up finish, the rest of the team’s results included: Dan Main, 67th, 17:27); Dylan Becker, 89th, 17:45); Max McCormack, 98th, 17:49); and Evan Trowbridge (109th, 17:56).

NOTE: Bruce Morgan contributed to this story.

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