Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Mounts Surge Past Cocalico


A pair of losses by virtue of the PIAA's tie-breaking protocol instituted this season knocked the Ephrata girls out of Lancaster-Lebanon League title contention.

Monday, the Mountaineers allowed no room for doubt in their regular-season finale, spoiling Cocalico's bid for a perfect record with a 92-48 decision in Denver.

The loss dropped the Eagles (6-1) into a tie with Manheim Central — a 100-50 winner over Garden Spot — for the Section Two title.

"These girls knew, coming in, that we had left some things undone," Ephrata coach John Keller said, "and I think they wanted to prove to themselves that we're a good track team."

The Ephrata boys completed the sweep with an 83-67 victory.

Morgan's momentous mile

Sophomore Sydney Morgan helped swing the momentum in the Mountaineers' (5-2) favor, out-kicking Cocalico's Jamie Zamrin in the final 200 meters of the 1,600-meter run to grab a win and set a personal-best time at 5:14.1.

"I stayed latched on to her," Morgan said of Zamrin, the L-L League's cross-country champion, "and at the end, I just went for it."

Toward the end of the back stretch on the final lap, Morgan opened her stride with a form more familiar to a sprinter than a miler.

"When I broke the 800-meter record at the Solanco meet," she said, "I had used that form where I was up on my toes, pumping my arms. I was just like, 'Why not try it at the end of the race.'"

Cocalico seniors shine

Cocalico's senior trio fired back. Emily Stauffer won shot put with a season-best mark of 48-5.5 and added a win in discus (127-1), Megan Gingrich set a school record with a win in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at 47.2 and won triple jump (33-6), and Steph Wahl, fighting through leg soreness, finished second in long jump (15-11) and triple jump (33-2).

"They've been huge pillars to this program," Cocalico coach Ron Derr said of the seniors.

Liebl adds season-best leap

But the pillars could not hold back Ephrata's surge Monday. Ephrata's Kenzie Horst authored a throw of 33-0 in shot put to move into second place. Jennie Young picked up wins in the 200-meter dash (27.0) and ran legs of the winning 4x100-meter relay (49.9) and 4x400-meter relay (4:14.3). Kay Liebl edged Young in an Ephrata sweep of the 100-meter dash at 12.6 and hit a personal-best mark of 17-7 to win long jump.

"Since it was the last dual meet of the season," Liebl said, "I definitely had my adrenaline going."

The adrenaline had been going for Ephrata through a season of injury and illness and heartbreak, as the Mountaineers mourned the loss of teammate Zach Shellhammer, the parent of a classmate in Scott Holochuck, and Roger Ream, the father of Ephrata assistant coach Todd Ream.

"I'm proud of the kids," Keller said. "They went through a lot this year."