On a bone-chilling day at the end of March, the most a track and field coach can ask is for their athletes to give their best and get as many points as possible.
Though there were few peak performances, the Biglerville boys gutted out a 75-74 victory with some clutch performances down the stretch at Littlestown to complete a sweep. The Biglerville girls cruised to an 82-50 win.
“I’m proud of the guys and their grit,” Canner head coach Alex Ramos said. “They hung tough and kept fighting. It didn’t look good, but we pulled it out in the end.”
Most of the day’s biggest performances came from squads other than Biglerville’s boys. Littlestown’s Dante Elliot won the triple jump (43-4), the long jump (20-4) and the high jump (6-0). His teammate, Derek Herr, won the 110 hurdles (15.9), the 100 dash (11.5) and the 300 hurdles (45.3). On the girls’ side, Biglerville’s Faith Redding breezed through the 100 (13.0) and the 200 (27.7) and teammate Delani Smith won the 110 hurdles (19.2) and the long jump (15-10).
But with three events to go, all eyes turned back toward the Biglerville boys. All that remained was the 3200 run, 4x400 relay and the discu,s and Littlestown needed only four of the 23 possible points to nail down the victory.
Though none of the 3200 runners broke 12 minutes, Biglerville’s Chris Guillen, Kalani Crum and Isaac Sierra-Soto swept the race. Kalen Sharrah got the big points in the discus with a toss of 129-7 and Trey Adams tacked on the deciding point with a third place.
Though Sam Hurda had not not been part of the 4x400 relay when they arrived, his win in the open race (57.7) was enough to convince Ramos to alter the squad. A pair of Littlestown’s runners were forced out of the race with injuries and Hurda helped fuel a squad of Lazaro Salazar, Aldo Garcia and Carter Tatara across the finish line several seconds before Littlestown, finishing in 3:57.4.
The result was more exciting than expected, but the minute-to-minute shuffle is par for the course early in the season.
“You find out where everybody fits and sometimes you get some surprises,” Ramos said. “Hurda’s going to continue running the 400, that’s for sure.”
A few happy returns pushed the Canners to the win. Adams, a senior, had not thrown for the Canners since his sophomore year. Caleb Randoll, another senior, moved to Florida before his junior track season but returned to Biglerville in the fall.
Randoll was on the move during the meet and didn’t have time to warm up before the javelin. After taking second in the 110 hurdles (20.3), he hurried down to throw and winged a 143-7 in two attempts to pull out a victory.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming into the throws today,” Randoll said. “I ran down there and gave it my all and it turned out well. We’ve got a pretty good group of boys.”
Sharrah was satisfied with his throw in the discus to win, but was more impressed with his second-place shot put toss of 38 feet, 5 inches that placed him second behind Littlestown’s Dylan Morey (40-6.5).
“Trey PR’ed too, so we had a great meet today,” Sharrah said. “We have a great team and couldn’t ask for anything else.”
TAKE TO THE AIR
It took until the final meet of the year for Littlestown’s Elliot to break 40 feet in his freshman campaign as a triple jumper, good enough for 10th in the YAIAA championships.
In his first series of his sophomore campaign, Elliot made himself a medalist contender.
“I put a lot of work in during the offseason, but I didn’t think a 43 would come out of the triple today,” he said. “I love jumping and all I do is jump here.”
Elliot improved by a yard in the triple jump, roughly two feet in the long jump and six inches in the high jump, the one that impressed him the most. A slight breeze may have given him an extra inch or two, but strength training and form work have helped him to break through this season, he said.
“Last year I looked through the rankings and thought I could be way higher than I was,” he said.
Littlestown coach Corey Bittle said Elliot’s increased speed has also been a factor. He hopes to enter him in some of the mid-distance races moving forward to help him build his conditioning.
Elliot is one of three basketball players working in the jumps for the Bolts. Senior Dan Gazmen also leaped six feet in the high jump, taking second. Jayden Weishaar was second in the triple jump and third in the long jump and high jump.
“We have to do a good job of monitoring that and making sure it’s an enthusiasm and competitiveness,” Bittle said. “Those guys are super competitive and they’re great friends, so hopefully that helps.”
No rookie to the jumps, Amber Segessenman also put on a show, taking the triple jump with a 31-10 and second in the long jump with a 15-3. She also won the 300 hurdles (52.7). The Littlestown senior hit best marks in each event. She said there’s a good working relationship with the male jumpers.
“We push each other and try to give each other feedback as much as we can,” she said.
Delani Smith sees herself first and foremost as a field hockey player, but if she had to describe herself as a track athlete entering the season, she would have said she’s a hurdler.
One meet in, she’s thinking she might be changing her tune. It would be nuts not to after popping off a near 16-foot jump on her first attempted series. By comparison, a 15-10 jump would have tied her for 12th in the YAIAA entering the postseason last year.
“I was really surprised, but I felt pretty good,” she said. “I was well rested after I’d finished my three other events.
Field hockey took all of Smith’s focus last spring. After a little pleading from Ramos this winter, Smith decided to return to the track. It didn’t take as much convincing to get her to try the jumps.
“Hurdling, jumping, pole vault are kind of my things,” she said. “I like having an obstacle in front of me. I just need to keep attacking the pit, stay confident and keep my form.”
Adam Michael can be reached at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at @GoodOldTwoNames
3200 relay: 1. Biglerville (Isaac Sierra-Soto, Tyler Shannon, Connor Burke, Carter Tartara) 10:17; 110 hurdles: Derek Herr (L) 15.3, 2. Caleb Randoll (B) 20.3, 3. Tristan Metzger (B) 22.7; 1600: 1. Zach Eader (L) 5:26, 2. Yingling (L) 5:30, 3. Sierra-Soto (B) 5:33; 400 relay: 1. Littlestown (Wyatt Kramer, Brayden Staub, Herr, Dustyn Barker) 47.7; 400 run: 1. Sam Hurda (B) 57.7; 2. Lane Davis (L) 58.6; 3. Garcia (B) 59.6; 300 hurdles: 1. Herr (L) 45.3; 2. Randoll (B) 52.9; 3. Metzger (B) 56.6; 800: 1 Burke (B) 2:24.0; 2. Yingling (L) 2:26.0; 3. Shannon (B) 2:27.2; 200 dash: 1. Staub (L) 24.7; 2. Lazaro Salazar (B) 25.5; 3. Hurda (B) 25.7; 3200 run: 1. Chris Guillen (B) 12:12.3; 2. Kalani Crum (B) 12:13.6; 3. Sierra-Soto (B) 12:19; 1600 relay: 1. Biglerville (Hurda, Salazar, Garcia, Tatara) 3:57.4; Javelin: 1. Randoll (B) 143-7, 2. Derek Tosten (B) 140-11, 3. Heath Reynolds (L) 132-11; Shot put: 1. Dylan Morey (L) 42.-11; 2. Kalen Sharrah (B) 40-6.5; 3. Tre Adams (B) 38-5; Discus: 1. Sharrah (B) 129-7; 2. Morey (L) 97-9, 3. Adams (B) 95-8; Triple jump: 1. Dante Elliot (L) 43-4, 2. Jayden Weishaar (L) 39-8, 3. Griffie (B) 36-4; Long jump: 1. Elliot (L) 20-4, 2. Tosten (B) 18-3; 3. Weishaar (L) 18-2; High jump: 1. Elliot (L) 6-0, 2. Dan Gazmen (L) 6-0, 3. Weishaar (L) 5-8; Pole vault: 1. Tartara (B) 8-0, 2. Zullick (B) 8-0.
3200 relay: 1. Biglerville (Wampler, Miller, Carson, Chandler Fee) 15:19; 100 hurdleS: 1. Delani Smith (B) 19-2, 2. Erika King (B) 19.3; 3. Hailey Steele (B) 22.4; 100: 1. Faith Redding (B) 13.0; 2. Stevens (L) 13.6; 3. Hannah Wheeler (L) 13.9; 1600: 1. Sydney Trostel (B) 6:38.0; 2. Bridgid Rutkowski (B) 6:44.0; 3. S. Yingling (L) 7:07; 400 relay: 1. Biglerville (Smith, Yasmin Calderon, Miller, Redding) 56.0; 400: 1. Watson (L) 1:09.5; 2. Erika Padilla (L) 1:10.2; 3. Danielle Manzo (B) 1:19.7; 300 hurdles: 1. Amber Segessenman (L) 52.7; 2. King (B) 54.3; 3. Steele (B) 1:05.3; 800: 1. D. Clouser (B) 2:54.0; 2. Rutkowski (B) 3:03; 3. Briaunna Kress (L) 3:08.9; 200: 1. Redding (B) 27.7; 2. Stevens (L) 29.4; Keili Mendoza (B) 31.7; 3200: 1. Trostel (B) 14:18; 2. Yingling (L) 15:54; Kaylee Clay (L) 15:57; 1600 relay: 1. Wheeler, Segessenman, Stevens, Lindsey Renner) 4:46.2; Javelin: 1. Kenzie White (B) 102-0; 2. Peyton Gullickson (L) 80-1; 3. Jess Dunbar (L) 72-9; Shot put: 1. Kelsey Abrams (L) 25-6; 2. R. Schearer (L) 24-1; 3. Morgan Martin (B) 23-9; Discus: 1. Gabby Gutierrez (B) 65-6; 2. Martin (B) 61-0; 3. White 57-8; Triple jump: 1. Segessenman (L) 31-10; 2. Abi Glassmann (B) 30-8; 3. Renner (L) 28-1; Long jump: 1. Smith (B) 15-10; 2. Segessenman (B) 15-3; 3. Renner (L) 14-4.