BY JEFF FALK
LANDISVLLE – Rob Bare is rarely speechless, but the question caused him to pause and contemplate. It was a question about two of his favorite topics, Cedar Crest track and field and positivity.
‘So which performance was most impressive?’
On a clear Friday evening at Hempfield High School, Bare’s Falcon thinclads gave him a lot to think about and a lot to choose from, during an abbreviated opening day of the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships. The Falcons got a handful of impressive performances in preliminary track events, as well as outstanding efforts from junior Hannah Woelfling in the discus, freshman Gwyneth Young in the 3200-meter run and senior Tanner Miller in the javelin.
Woelfing won her specialty with a solid 127-1. Young was a satisfying third in an impressive two-mile field. And Miller set a personal-best in finishing third in the ‘spear heave’.
The Falcons will look to build on those performances when they and four other Lebanon County squads return to Hempfield High School on Saturday morning for the completion of the league meet.
“That’s a tough one, but I’d have to say Tanner throwing 184-even is monsterous,” said Bare, the Facons’ head coach, through his pause. “That’s going to win most meets in most years. Tanner got his career-best, but he had been struggling. It was great to see him bounce back.
“The good news for Tanner was that you focus on one person, and one person only, and that’s yourself,” continued Bare. “He did a great job of focusing on himself.”
What made Miller’s performance even more spectacular was that he did it in the face of Alexander Scheivert of Penn Manor’s whopping 209-9, the eventual winning throw earned earlier in the competition. Miller’s top toss was almost three feet farther than his seed heave.
“We had a really good day,” said Bare. “Most of our kids competed with Falcon pride. We had two career-bests and we ran great in the preliminaries. We told our athletes to come here and run trials like they’re finals.”
Woelfing’s winning throw was eight feet off her seasonal best, but five inches greater than runner-up Kristen Herr of Lampeter-Strasburg. Woelfing’s winner came on her second attempt in the preliminaries.
“It’s crazy. It’s really awesome,” said Woelfling, who also competed in the triple jump, and has the shot put and long jump ahead of her on Saturday. “You’ve always got to go one at a time. If you’re not doing good in one event, you can concentrate on another. But the discus is my favorite event. They (her four events) got separated nicely (between the two days), so I can focus on each event.”
“Hannah’s a three-sport athlete,” said Bare. “She concentrates on track for 12 weeks, and she’s in her tenth week. I love where she’s at. She’s just a great kid to coach.”
Woelfling had fouled before she popped her winning throw. She also measured efforts in the 121s, the 120s and the 117s, on later attempts.
Like any good thrower, the key for Woelfling is consitency.
“It’s nice to have the consistency,” said Woelfling. “I’m happy, but not satisfied. I want to PR (personal-record) again. The competitive spirit is always there.
“I know some of the girls out there (in District Three),” Woelfing continued. “I look forward to competing with them. But this season has already exceeded my expectations.”
“When kids start putting together good series, something is going to pop,” said Bare. “That’s why consistency is so important. Consistency is the key.”
Young laid down a 10:57.91 in the 3200-meter run, some six seconds faster than the old Lancaster-Lebanon League record. Trouble was Cocalico’s Jamie Zamrin and Warwick’s Kate Dickow finished ahead of her.
Zamrin was clocked going a blistering 10:51.76.
“I’ve been working on that,” said Young of her seemingly effortless, free-flowing style of running. “In middle school, I had horribe form. I’m glad it looks better. But the idea is to provide better results.
“I would like to work in terms of getting first (in Saturday’s 1600-meter run, where she’s the top seed),” added Young. “But third is really good. I’m only a freshman.”
“Gwyneth Young ran the 3200 faster than any girl at the league meet had ever run before,” said Bare. “But so did the girls ahead of her.”
Young spent most of the race in second place, tracking Zamrin’s shoulder. But she could never catch Zamrin, and Dickow got her with a strong kick at the end.
“It was awesome,” said Young. “I never felt such tough competition. It gives me an idea of what districts are going to be like, and maybe states. I thought I stayed with them (Zamrin and Dickow). I wanted to stay with the leaders and try to get as close to them as I could.”
“She went out in 5:29,” said Bare of Young. “And she ran the second 1600-meters in 5:28. That’s perfect.”
Meanwhile, Lebanon freshman Evan Blymier finished fifth in the boys’ 3200-meter race. Annville-Cleona sophomore Mackenzie Drane came in fourth in the discus.
Elco freshman Kaylisa Montijo was sixth in the triple jump, as was Northern Lebanon senior Christian Trader in the long jump.
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