Buckskins take two from Crest CV boys win 25th straight dual meet Buckskins take two from Crest BY PETE KAUFFMAN, Sports Writer
They've been kind of like social members for years, only getting invited to the big end-of-the-year festivities.
This season, the Conestoga Valley track and field teams are full-blown members of the club that is Section One in the L-L League.
And those Buckskins announced their arrival with a bang on a winter-like Tuesday afternoon, sweeping Cedar Crest in the season openers for both schools.
The CV boys ran their dual-meet winning streak to 25 in a row, according to head coach Rick Periandi, by nudging the Falcons 79-71.
The CV girls won for the first time in a long time, according to new head coach Denis Quirk, nipping Crest 76-74.
The girls' score was initially announced in the Falcons' favor, but Quirk, a physics teacher at CV who said he is pretty good with numbers, had the scorekeeper check the point total. His tally was correct, and the outcome was reversed.
It was just that kind of day in wind-blown Witmer, as the balance never swung strongly in either team's favor.
"We knew it was going to be tight,'' said CV senior Elias Bogale, who won the 400 (52.4), 800 (2:04.9) and anchored the victorious 1,600 relay (3:35.9).
"I think this is a big statement for CV,'' said Buckskins senior Seth Hoy, whose surprise victory in the 1,600 (4:41.1) turned out to be one of the pivotal moments in the boys' meet.
"Their miler (Hoy) coming through for them, and Bogale, that was significant,'' Crest coach Rob Bare said. "I thought we had a chance, right 'til the end, but they had four or five big studs that hurt us.''
CV certainly has had the horses the past couple of seasons, winning three Section Two crowns in a row and coming off the 2012 L-L League Championship Meet title, their second since 2005.
"It was a nail-biter, but we were prepared for it,'' said Periandi. "This is how it's going to be in Section One -- every meet, every team is going to be big, deep. You've got to capitalize when you can.''
The Buckskins got off to a somewhat rugged start, as the Falcons won the 3,200 relay, then Denzel Pierre (11.3) took first in the 100 ahead of both Anthony Brown (11.4) and reigning L-L League meet champion Ethan Schmalhofer (11.7)
Schmalhofer, though, bounced back to take the 200 in 23.2, just ahead of Pierre (23.3). He also teamed with Brandon Hernandez, Chance Post and Anthony Brown to win the 400 relay (44.2), and ran with Bogale, Post and Michael Cardina on the winning 1,600 relay (3:35.9).
"I saw the 100, and realized we're going to need to pull some points out of the mile and the other distance events,'' Hoy said.
Crest actually had the better of the distance events, outscoring CV 22-10, with the Bucks' points coming from the wins from Bogale and Hoy.
Still, seeing Hoy win the mile was a big boost, according to Bogale.
"Watching Seth Hoy hold on and win like that, that pumped me up,'' he said. "I think that was the turning point of the meet.''
The Falcons, though, were not finished, and they appeared to throw three deadly daggers to the collective CV heart when they swept the javelin, the final throwing event.
But after accounting for Crest's nine points in the jav, CV's Brown (5-10) and Vin Maldonaldo (5-4) answered by going 1-2 in the meet-ending high jump to finally secure the win.
The initiation process for CV doesn't get any easier, with a visit to perennial power McCaskey (Tuesday) followed by a home meet against section favorite Hempfield (April 8) on the agenda.