Off and running… Witmer wins four as Ephrata girls cruise past L-S

By on March 27, 2013

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor, Staff Writer

Ephrata's Mary Witmer (front) clears the hurdle, well ahead of the rest of the field on her way to one of her four wins on the day Friday in the Lady Mounts' 102-48 team victory over Lampeter-Strasburg. (Photo by Stan Hall)

While Friday’s cold and wind were not optimal conditions for track and field, the Ephrata girls cleared their first major hurdle of the season nevertheless.

Sparked by their trio of Mary Witmer, Crystal Hartman and Kelly Liebl, who combined for a total of nine individual wins on the day, the Lady Mounts powered past Lampeter-Strasburg, 102-48, in the Section Two showdown for both schools.

Witmer claimed four victories on the day, claiming wins in the 400 (61.0), 100 hurdles (14.9), 300 hurdles (48.4) and triple jump (35- 1/4). Hartman took the shot put (31-1 1/4), discus (99-11) and javelin (117-6) while Liebl added wins in both the 100 (12.5) and long jump (15-2 1/2) to lead the defending Section Two champs to their first victory of 2013.

"I am very happy with the outcome," Ephrata Coach John Keller said. "Our girls know what is at stake and we cannot take anyone lightly."

As for his talented trio, Keller offered, "You have to feel good having Witmer, Liebl and Hartman on your side. They can score a lot of points between them. Admittedly our girls team is very talented, but we do have some holes that need filled. We have the potential to be a great team, but that will only come with hard work, dedication and staying healthy."

All told, Ephrata won 15 of the 18 events contested.

Other individual winners on the day for the Lady Mounts included: sophomore Andrea Castillo in the 800 (2:41.3); freshman Jordan Carvell in the 1600 (5:55.0); junior Carly Zvitkovitz in the 3200 (13:58.1); and senior Virginia Njenga in the high jump (4-8).

The Lady Mounts also added a pair of relay wins, claiming both the 1600 and 3200 relays. In the 1600, the team of Castillo, Vanessa Hurst, Carvell and Nicole Wilkerson captured first place in a time of 4:32.7. And the 3200 squad of Sarah Haddon, Erica Voigt, Jordan Crills and Emily Blackshire was victorious in a time of 11:13.5.

With a stable full of talented athletes from last year’s championship squad returning to the mix, Keller said he knows full well teams will be giving their best efforts against his girls each and every meet.

"I have always dealt with a season one meet at a time, and the fact that some coaches may have picked us to win the section will not change that," he said. "Our league is too competitive and you cannot overlook anybody in my opinion."

On the boy’s side Friday, L-S proved to be too strong on this day as the Pioneers posted a 90-60 victory over Ephrata in the opener.

The Mounts did get four wins on the day as Sam Wolde led the way with victories in both the 1600 (4:53.3) and 3200 (10:40.2). Freshman Ryan Borchert added a win in the discus (105-7), and the Mounts 400 relay team of Max Schrom, Brian Kramer, Alex Nguyen and Mark Njenga captured first place with a time of 48.1.

Ephrata was scheduled to be in action Tuesday at home vs. Garden Spot. However, that meet has been postponed until a later date.

Cocalico got its season underway Friday as well, earning a split at Manheim Central.

The Cocalico girls gave a big effort in dominating the Barons in a 94-55 victory. In boys’ action, the host Barons were victorious by a 94-56 decision.

On the girl’s side, senior Ashley Strenko was in mid-season form for the Lady Eagles, claiming four wins on the day to lead the way. Strenko captured wins in the high hurdles (16.1), long jump (15-8), triple jump (32-2 1/4) and high jump (5-0) events.

Rebecca Grube added a pair of wins for Cocalico, claiming both the javelin (88-4) and discus (99-10), while freshman sensation Emily Stauffer had quite a debut in her first varsity meet.

Stauffer, who recently captured the State gold in the winter indoor season, heaved the shot 42-0 1/4 to easily win that event.

Other individual winners for the Lady Eagles included: Emily Johnson in the 100 (13.5); Carrie Sensenig in the 200 (27.5); Marissa Gingrich in the 800 (2:35.6); Janelle High in the 300 hurdles (52.2); and Halle High-Benson in the pole vault (9-0).

The Lady Eagles rounded out the day with a pair of relays wins as well. The 400 relay team of Sensenig, Cassandra Bean, Johnson and Gina Glass took first place with a time of 54.1. And in the 1600 relay, the Cocalico squad of Sensenig, Shannon Hoeveler, Marissa Gingrich and High was victorious in a time of 4:25.2.

On the boys’ side, senior Cordell Stauffer led the way for Cocalico with a pair of wins. Stauffer took home the title in the high hurdles with a time of 16.6, and also was victorious in the 300 hurdles in a time of 44.6.

Other individual winners for the Eagles included: Alec Whitsett in the 100 (11.6); and Shea Evans in the high jump (6-0).

The Eagle 400 relay team earned the final win of the day as the foursome of Spencer Moser, Whitsett, Tyler Buckwalter and Jhett Janis claimed first place with a time of 46.1.

Cocalico was scheduled to make its home debut Tuesday afternoon vs Solanco. However, that meet was postponed until Wednesday at 4 p.m. due to inclement weather. More TRACK, page B-5

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