Ephrata has a lot of depth and talent on both of its track and field squads this year. That was readily apparent when the Mountaineers hosted neighborhood rival Cocalico on Monday.
On the girls side, Ephrata has a terrific combination of senior leadership and a stock of underclassmen, many of which excelled during the Mounts’ 94-55 Section Two victory.
“It’s not just the freshmen, but sophomores. We’ve got green kids, but they really complement each other well,” Ephrata coach Matt White said. “That tutorial from the seniors is really trickling down to these freshmen. They’ve done a tremendous job of wanting to get better every week.”
The Mountaineer boys dominated their side of the meet, posting a 113-36 win.
In all, freshmen accounted for five of Ephrata’s wins during the girls meet, two each from Jianna Long in the sprints and Madison Kimmel in the middle distance. Fellow frosh Camille Cochran took honors in the pole vault with a vault of 8 feet.
Long also impressively anchored the 400-meter relay that won in a blazing 51.5, in addition to her 100 (12.1) and 200 (25.8) dash runs. Kimmel took the 1,600 (5:37.3) and 800 (2:29.2).
“The 100 felt best because it’s short and I can sprint the whole thing easily. I like that it’s warmer outside and the wind was at my back,” Long said. “It’s important for me to just go out and race against any team. Cocalico is a big deal. I also play soccer and basketball. so, it is a big rivalry.”
“We had a sprint-friendly wind at our backs, but she’s the real deal,” White said of Long. “She’s a great kid to coach. She’s the type of kid if you make a correction and say something once, she has it. She is really dialed in, and we are really looking forward to her future. We are glad she is on our side.”
Ephrata senior co-captain Alyssa Fedorshak, a three-sport standout herself, is impressed with the youngsters’ performance, but added there is more to it. The cupboard remains full, no matter who graduates.
“Not just that, but also the attitude and ambition these freshmen have that really makes them special on the team,” she said. “Coming here wanting and desiring to compete is the main thing. It gives me hope to keep this section title for years. The past three years we had the section title, so I’m not worried about this year or hopefully next year.”
Junior thrower Kamryn Andes also grabbed a pair of firsts, in the javelin (94-feet-10 inches) and discus (90-6) to add to the Mounts’ point totals.
In boys, Kyle Emrey won both hurdle races, (15.8 and 41.7) and Feyon Patterson won the sprints (11.4, 23.2) to lead the way for Ephrata. Sam McCracken won the high jump (5-8) and javelin (125-1).
In all, the Mountaineer boys won 16 of the 18 events and took second in nine others, including sweeping the 200 dash, high jump and long jump.
“On a whole, I was really, really happy with where we performed,” Cocalico coach Ron Derr said. “We geared much more around the individual performances today. Their team is very, very good and has a little too much depth. There was nowhere we could see any holes and didn’t see any possible avenue for victory team-wise.”