Lady Mounts remain perfect, knock off L-S

By on April 12, 2017

Ephrata track coach John Keller figured he’d need all the points he could get Monday in the home opener vs. L-S, so he decided to take the reins off talented junior sprinter Jennie Young.

The move turned out to be the right one as Young sprinted to a pair of individual wins, and helped two Ephrata relays to first-place finishes as the Lady Mounts improved to 3-0 on the season with a 96-53 victory over the Pioneers.

“Jennie is a gamer and you know you are going to get her best each day,” Keller said of Young. “I was impressed with her (in the Hempfield Invitational) on Saturday. That was a loaded field and she performed well over there. I had her in four events for the first time this season (today). I think it is important to keep the mileage low on her unless I feel we need it, but obviously she is the glue that holds this sprint group together, so I was happy with her…especially that 4X4 leadoff there at the end of the meet.”

The team win lifted the Lady Mounts into a three-way tie for first place with fellow unbeatens Elizabethtown and Manheim Central.

While Young had her way, winning the 100 (12.6) and 200 (27.1), running third leg (with Faith Hershberger, Kyra Horst and Tamyra Martin) on the winning 4X1 and lead-off (with Sydney Morgan, Lena Zakharov and Kayley Eshleman) on the victorious 4X4 relay, Keller felt his team gained the edge to this one in the distances.

In the 1600, senior Haley Schaller (5:28.8) and freshman Mary Campbell (5:30.1) finished one-two in a three-person battle with L-S star Jasmine McClintock. Schaller took control on the first turn of the final lap while Campbell out-kicked and passed McClintock down the stretch to earn the second position.

Then in the 800, Ephrata’s Morgan kept McClintock out of the winner’s circle when she took first place with a time of 2:26.9, almost seven seconds faster than the L-S star, who came in at 2:33.8.

“We were able to neutralize and pretty much take away their best track athlete in McClintock,” Keller stated. “Haley broke her in the 1600 to win that race, then our young freshman Mary Campbell never gave up and came from behind to give us a one-two in that event. I just think that took the wind out of their sails, as she is a pretty decent athlete. Sydney Morgan came back later on to take her in the 800, so I thought taking care of her on the track was a key for us.”

Other track event winners on the day for the Lady Mounts were: Nadine Eichenlaub, who captured the 3200 with a time of 12:06.9; Horst, who won the high hurdles with a winning time of 16.7; and the 4X8 relay (Schaller, Eichenlaub, Campbell and Morgan), which posted a time of 10:34.7.

In the field L-S star thrower Kristen Herr dominated the throwing events, claiming wins in the shot putt, discus and javelin. Ephrata did, however, capture three field victories. They included: Hershberger in the long jump (15-5½), Olamide Fatusin in the triple jump (31-5¼) and Sarah Megivern in the pole vault (8-6).

The L-S girls fell to 1-2 on the season with the loss.

On the boys’ side, the Mounts came up just shy of earning their first win of the year, falling 79-71 to the Pioneers.

Ephrata dominated the distances and also captured three field events to highlight the Mounts’ top performances.

Freshman Tyler Shue had a nice day, winning the 800 (2:04.6) while also running anchor on a pair of relays that captured firsts. In the 4X4, Shue teamed with Zach Lefever, AJ Morales and Ben Kamide for a win in a time of 3:37.3. And in the 4X8, Shue and teammates Seth Bollinger, Phil Wenger and Tanyon Loose took first with a time of 9:18.2.

Other individual track winners included: Lefever in the 1600 (4:40.3); Morales in the 400 (53.5) and Andrew Foster in the 3200 (10:43.6).

“Our boys fell (just) shy of a good team win,” Keller noted. “I do see us growing as a team though, and there are plenty of good things happening within our team. Our distance boys have been dominating and have gotten off to a very nice start to the season. We are just short in a few areas, mainly hurdles and sprints, and that really takes its toll. And I will tell you, it is nothing against the boys we have. My sprinter boys work hard and are improving each and every day, but track & field is fast, and we are just not quite there yet.”

As stated above, three Ephrata athletes came up with wins in the field. Andrew Wagner won the shot put with a heave of 39-11. In the discus, Jordan Zahm took first with a throw of 120-10. And in the pole vault, Dawsen Miller reached a height of 12-6 to place first.

Another performance of note came from junior jumper Elie Basenga, who earned three second place finishes in the high jump (5-10), long jump (19-5) and triple jump (40-9½).

“Elie has come a long way on our boys team,” Keller said. “He is brand new to the sport and is fitting in very well. His events, the long jump, triple jump and high jump are all technical events, Elie is enthusiastic and wants nothing more than to help this boys’ team win a track meet. He certainly has picked up the three events he is competing in and doing well, so I will be interested to see how the next four to six weeks pan out for him. He has been a huge addition to the team.”

In addition to Monday’s meet, Ephrata also competed in the Black Knight Invitational Saturday at Hempfield. As a team, Ephrata collected a total of 26 PRs and a pair of first-place finishes despite competing on a very windy day.

Shue set a PR and captured first place in the boys 800 meter run with a winning time of 2:01.38.

The other gold-medal performance came in the boys 4X8 relay as the team of Shue, Morales, Foster and Lefever posted a winning time of 8:20.34.

Other place winners from Ephrata included: Young, 5th in the girls 100 (12.76) and 4th in the 200 (26.54); Morgan, 4th in the girls 800 (2:24.91); Morales, 3rd in the boys 800 (2:02.01); Campbell, 6th in the girls 1600 (5:32.39); Lefever, 8th in the boys 1600 (4:36.04); Schaller, 7th in the girls 3200 (11:54.21 PR); Foster, 2nd in the boys 3200 (10:04.98 PR); Horst, 6th in the 100 hurdles (16.14 PR); Natalie Zimmerman, 7th in the girls high jump (4-8); Megivern, 3rd in the girls pole vault (9-0); Lexie Clayton, 7th in the discus (98-6 PR); and Kandice Liebl, 3rd in the javelin (110-5).

Up next, Ephrata will host Palmyra Thursday (4 p.m.) in a non-league meet, and will also be at home next Tuesday vs. Garden Spot.

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