Lampeter-Strasburg had an advantage in the distance events heading into Monday’s showdown at Manheim Central.
However, with a chance to clinch at least a tie for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two title, the entire Pioneers boys team came through.
Dominating the distance events as expected, Lampeter-Strasburg saw Teagan Weaver win both sprints as well as the long jump and many second and third finishes in an 81-69 victory.
With the win, the Pioneers are 6-0 and can win the section outright with a win in next Monday’s home meet against Cocalico.
Weaver said he felt the pressure of a big meet but saved the best for last as on his sixth and final long jump he leapt 20-feet, 1.75 inches to surpass Central’s Zach Witmer.
“Going down the runway I knew I had a really good approach, and on takeoff knew I was getting the height I needed,” Weaver said. “We really respect Central for who they are. We knew it was going to come down to maybe a relay or a jumping event. We knew it was going to be really close.”
Manheim Central’s girls remained unbeaten with an 89-61 victory on Monday. The Barons head to also unblemished Ephrata next Monday with the section championship on the line.
The Central boys (5-1) pulled ahead on the track after sweeping the 110-meter high hurdles. The lead was three after the 100 dash, before the Pioneers swept the 1,600 behind Ben Devine (4:57.3).
Led by Colin Whitaker’s wins in the 800 (2:10.2) and 3,200 (10:32.5), Lampeter-Strasburg took the top three spots in both. Whitaker also was on the victorious 3,200 relay that opened the meet strong for L-S.
“Complete props to the distance boys, but all across the team,” L-S coach Calvin Esh said. “We count on Teagan Weaver to be Teagan Weaver in a meet where every point was necessary.
“The depth in our distance squad, I don’t remember having that before. Coming in, we knew (Central was) going to be good in the throws, and in the disc, we took second and third, second in the shot and second and third in the javelin.”
After the Pioneers’ Arik Harnish made up a deficit on the third leg of the 1,600, anchor Luka Vranich brought it home for a 56-31 lead in the track events. The senior Harnish remembered losing to Central by a point in 2019 and did not want that to happen again.
“I had a feeling it was going to come down to that, so I was just giving it all I had,” he said. “I was feeling good, I figured we had it. Luka is solid.”
Witmer (triple jump, high jump) and Landon Watson (shot put, discus) won two events each for the Barons boys.
“All the credit goes to L-S today. Their distance runners showed a lot of heart and they have a very talented group,” Central coach Ryan Kennedy said. “I thought our kids showed an equal amount of courage and determination today. We spread ourselves pretty thin, putting kids in more events than we have all season. I was really proud how they stepped up.”
Sophomore Maddy Knier won the long jump, high jump and discus to pace the Central girls, who won 89-61. The Barons also got two wins each from Malea Stoner (100 and 300 hurdles), Lyndi Wall (100, 200) and Julie Lindberg (1,600, 3,200).
Maggie Swarr was first in the javelin and shot put, helping the Pioneers keep the girls meet close.
“It pushed our girls to some of their best performances of the year,” Kennedy added. “I was happy to see our girls get pushed. It was nice to have that challenge today to help prepare us for next week.”