Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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Philadelphia Bow for Senior Runners


PHILADELPHIA — For six years, McCaskey’s Nathan Henderson and Ephrata’s Zach Lefever logged countless miles together, as friends and as foes, competitive and cordial, while their running careers blossomed in Lancaster County.

Friday, the L-L League senior runners shared the stage and the prestige of the Penn Relays, where they finished fourth (Henderson) and fifth (Lefever) in the high school boys 3,000-meter run as the sun set on a warm afternoon at Franklin Field.

Lampeter- Strasburg’s Josh Eidemiller and Manheim Township’s Ben Viau competed in field events, as the latter took 13th in the high school boys javelin championships and the latter finished 14th in the high school boys discus championship.

“It’s good going into a race,” said Lefever, “where both of us are in it. I can use (Henderson) because I know he’s fast, and I know he’ll put himself in a position to do well.”

Henderson and Lefever bounced around the middle of the 26-competitor field through the race’s first 2,000 meters.

“I was getting pushed around,” Henderson said. “It was hard. I kept having to go around so I wouldn’t get spiked.”

In the final 1,000 meters, Connor Lane of Cardinal Gibbons in Raleigh, North Carolina, pulled ahead to win at 8:24.01. Poolesville, Maryland’s Ryan Lockett, who jostled with Lane for the lead late, took second at 8:24.43. Henderson challenged Rohann Aslaw for third place with a late kick, but the senior from Richard Montgomery in Rockville, Maryland, held on to third at 8:25.29.

“I knew I didn’t have him,” said Henderson, whose fourth-place time of 8:25.34 trailed the 8:24.08 he posted for a third-place finish in 2016. “I just wanted to make it close.”

After falling behind Henderson and the lead pack, Lefever overtook Ahnmed Hassan from Oakton in Vienna, Virginia, to finish fifth at 8:31.12.

“I wanted to catch him,” Lefever said, “because I knew I have good speed, and he went out really fast. I just kept thinking to myself, ‘He’s dying. He’s dying.’ And I got him.”