Silver Birds

By on May 13, 2015

 Stauffer, Wahl lead Cocalico girls to second-place team finish

Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer is focused as she gets set to unleash the shot during Saturday’s L-L League Meet. Stauffer captured gold in both the shot put and discus to lead Cocalico to a second-place finish in the team standings. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Cocalico’s Emily Stauffer is focused as she gets set to unleash the shot during Saturday’s L-L League Meet. Stauffer captured gold in both the shot put and discus to lead Cocalico to a second-place finish in the team standings. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

The Cocalico girls track team rose to new heights this past weekend at the Lancaster-Lebanon Track & Field Championships held at Hempfield.

With all the great athletes and teams that represented the Lady Eagles in the past, none had ever finished as high as second place in the team standings.

Well, that all changed Saturday as the Lady Eagles, behind four-gold medal performances and a slew of other big efforts, placed second overall with 64 points behind overall champion Hempfield (105). Ephrata finished 10 points behind Cocalico in third with 54 points.

“That is the highest finish we have ever had for a girls team at the league meet so I was proud as could be,” Cocalico Coach Ron Derr said Monday. “It was quite a feeling to hear the final team standings announced and to hear we finished second….we are blessed to have some extraordinary young ladies who did some tremendous things this weekend. Sunday night I was typing up an announcement to be read at school acknowledging the accomplishments of the ladies and I didn’t realize until that time that all of our points came from first or second places. Four firsts and three seconds, so when we placed we placed very high.”

Junior thrower Emily Stauffer led the way, winning gold medals in both the shot put (43-10) and discus (121-4). Freshman thrower Mackenzie Hainley won her first L-L gold medal in the javelin, setting the school record in the process with a throw of 127-1. She finished ahead of runner-up Jenna Lawville (120-5), also of Cocalico.

On the track, Stephanie Wahl broke her own school record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.39 to capture gold. Wahl also won a silver in the long jump (16-3).

And freshman Jamie Zamrin snapped a longtime school mark in the 1600 with a second-place finish, posting a new record time of 5:07.99. Her run broke the 1988 time of 5:10 set by Vicki Boyer.

“Within the great performances we set three new Cocalico school records,” Derr said. “We were very proud of the efforts of all our competitors this weekend. Obviously we had many with the big performances who earned top places at the meet. But we also saw many personal and season bests set by many of the athletes this past weekend.”

Friday night in the discus, Stauffer won her first gold in that event with her throw of 121-4, edging Hempfield’s Alecia Rohrer, who took second with a fling of 118-9.

In Saturday’s shot put, Stauffer won easily over second place Shanna Sweigart (40-0¼) and Rohrer (36-4½).

In the javelin, Cocalico completed the throws trifecta with the one-two finish by Hainley and Lawville.

“It’s not often as a school you have the opportunity to win all three of the throws at the league meet,” Derr said. “It’s hard to know what more to say about Emily Stauffer…she is a once-in-a-lifetime type of athlete to come through a program. She also does a fantastic job of motivating her teammates. Mackenzie Hainley has a much quiter nature but is also a competitor who just keeps continuing to learn and grow. There is a lot of pressure being the (top) seed, especially as a freshman. She did a great job of maintaining her poise and place. It is a special thing to see your athletes placing one and two on the podium at the meet and I was very proud of Jenna for having her longest career throw at such a big meet and time. I do need to again give a lot of credit to our throwing Coach Scot Krall for his tremendous work with our throwers. He puts in a tremendous amount of time and this weekend everyone could see the fruits of his and the kids’ labors.”

Wahl, who has broken her own school record in the 100 hurdles several times this year, did it again on the biggest stage to date to claim her second gold medal in that event. She finished just ahead of Garden Spot’s Nesta Petit Ton, who took second with a time of 15.75.

“Stephanie is such a competitor and I truly believe she really enjoys the larger scale meets,” Derr said. “She has that special ability to be able to really channel the nervous and anxious energy you get from all the adrenaline into her events. It was especially nice to see her be able to solidly defend her league title in the hurdles after the rough beginning to the season with Steph dealing with the injuries.”

Wahl followed up her performance with her silver-medal performance in the long jump. Destinee Holloman of Cedar Crest was just a little better, edging Wahl with a late jump of 16-6.

On the boys’ side, Cocalico did not have any place winners at this weekend’s competition.

Up next, the runners will gear up for the District Three Meet which will be held this Friday and Saturday at Shippensburg University.

The following is a list of the Cocalico athletes who have qualified for Districts, along with their events: Emily Stauffer- shot put (47-5.5) & discus (121-4); Megan Gingrich- 300 hurdles (48.24); Mackenzie Hainley- javelin (127-1); Jenna Lawville- javelin (120-5); Steph Wahl- 100 hurdles (15.39), 100-meter dash (12.74) & long jump (17-11.75); Jamie Zamrin- 1,600-meter run (5:07.99); and Abdul Saad- shot put (49-3).

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