As she rounded the final turn in the 400-meter dash Thursday afternoon in Denver, Cocalico's Kaia Martz locked in on Elco's Desiree Balthaser who owned a slight lead going into the home stretch.

"I always try to set my mind," Martz said, "on sprinting at the end. I try to go full out, but I make sure I'm able to sprint at the end so if someone's a little bit in front of me, I'll have a little bit of catch with her."

Martz kicked in with her sprint, passing Balthaser with about 85 meters to go. She held off a charge from Balthaser to finish first at 1:02.8, helping the Eagles toward an 85-65 nonleague dual-meet victory.

"I knew she was right beside me," Martz said of Balthaser, who took second place at 1:03.7, "which made me want to go faster."

Freshmen and sophomores accounted for 62 of the Eagles' 75 points in individual events.

"They're learning," said Ron Derr, Cocalico's coach. "We've struggled to win meets in recent years, so winning two early season meets is a real nice way to start. We've had contributions from so many people."

Eagles soar in sprints and jumps

Martz, a sophomore, accounted for three individual wins for the Eagles (2-1), including victories in the 100 (12.6 seconds) and 200  (26.4). She also anchored Cocalico's winning 4x100 relay (51.7), taking the baton from Jordyn Santer and preserving the early lead built by Santer, Saige Musser and Maddie Mattos.

"We don't get to practice a lot," Martz said, "because (Santer) is a jumper. For us to get the exchange off, it has to be pretty good. I was glad we could get it off, and I just did my thing and ran."

Olivia Sensenig pitched in for Cocalico on the track and in the field, winning the 100 high hurdles (16.4) before sweeping the long jump (16-7.75) and triple jump (33-8).

"She has just been a monster for us in the jumps," Derr said of Sensenig, a sophomore, "and really scoring points."

In the vertical events, Cocalico's Lydia Burton earned a high jump victory (4-8) and Ella Stoltzfus cleared 7-0 to win the pole vault.

Shuey's throws spark Raiders

Elco's Natalie Swingholm charged to a win in the 300 hurdles (49.7) and Ryelle Shuey led the charge for the Raiders (2-1) in the field events with winning throws in the javelin (109-1) and shot put (38-0), topping her own school record in the latter.

"I just kind of felt it in my form," she said, "and with how I ended my glide. It all clicked. When it released from my hadnds, I was like, 'Oh wow.' I knew it could go a decent distance."

The Raiders also picked up points in the distance events, opening the day with a 4x800 relay win (11:28.2). Abigail Sargent won the 3,200 (14:20.9) and Abbie Keath won the 1,600 (6:05.5) in a photo finish with Cocalico's Nina Borisik.

"We came out here and said we were going to attack the meet," said Bob Miller, Elco's coach. "The emotion that they showed, there was a genuine care to have their best performances and just compete. I'm pretty proud of them."

Borisik answered in the 800-meter run, pulling ahead of a pair of Elco runners to win at 2:51.1.

"At the last 100 meters," she said, "I just went all out."

Cocalico boys claim victory

The Cocalico boys completed the sweep with an 84-66 victory. Evan Kreider led the Eagles (2-1) with wins in the 800 (2:15.4) and 1,600 (5:01.8) while Joe Zimmerman won the triple jump (40-4) and 300 hurdles (31.2). Braden Bohannon won the 100 (11.6) and 200 (23.4) for the Raiders (2-1).

The meet also featured some of the Lancaster-Lebanon League's top throws of the season, as Cocalico's Brock Gingrich won the shot put with a mark of 53-7.75, complemented by Josh Hoover's victory in the discus (141-7). Elco's Brenden Nauman hit 172-0 to win the javelin.