‘Hitting their stride’

By on April 11, 2018

Lady Warriors improve to 3-0 in Section One

Warwick junior Leah Graybill (second from left) crosses the finish line with top honors in the 100-meter dash in 12.1 seconds during the Lady Warriors’ win against Hempfield last Friday. (Photo by Travis Boyd)

Warwick track and field coach Alex Daecher believes that sophomore Lily Palacio-Lewis still has yet to reach her full potential this year.

The reigning L-L 100 and 200 champion is, after all, still coming back from an injury.

“She will be awesome again once she gets her legs back,” Daecher said.

That is scary news for the rest of the league.

Even without Palacio-Lewis at full strength, the Lady Warriors built a big 73-13 advantage in the track events on Monday and improved to 3-0 with a 105-44 win over Conestoga Valley in a Section One meet in Witmer.

Their average margin of victory in those three meets is 39.1 points.

“Our girls team is doing awesome right now,” Daecher said. “We have some very talented athletes and they are hitting their stride right now. They are competing at a high level and really pushing themselves hard. The coaches are very proud of them.”

Warwick’s coaches were equally proud of the boys (1-2), who rebounded from a tough 76-75 tiebreaker loss to Hempfield last Friday by defeating the Buckskins 89-61 for their first win of the season.

“After losing to Hempfield, the boys team was a bit down,” Daecher said. “This win was a great way to bounce back. I think the boys have a good chance to win any other meet for the rest of the year.”

The Warwick girls are certainly hoping for the same.

Leah Graybill did her part Monday against CV, taking home four first-place finishes, including the 100 (11.9), 200 (25.2), 400 (59.3) and 4×400 relay (4:07.6) with Meghan Quinn, Cassidy Kline and Jaylyn Wagner.

“She is right on cue (with where we expected her to be),” Daecher said. “Leah is a great kid who works hard and pushes herself every day at practice and at meets. I expect her to keep improving every week and I know she will perform at her best at the end of the year.”

Warwick swept the top three finishes in the 100 &tstr; with Palacio-Lewis (12.6) and Quinn (12.7) finishing 2-3 &tstr; and High Hurdles, behind Kline (16.3), Ashtyn Price (17.5) and Emily Skidmore (19.4).

That was one of three golds for Kline, who also took the 800 in 2:24.6.

“Cassidy is a really talented athlete that can be successful in many events,” Daecher said. “She’s very versatile. She can run short distances, middle distance, hurdle and jump. She could probably be a good thrower too if she set her mind to it. I am very proud of Cassidy and I think this is going to be an awesome year for her.”

Distance runner Anna Martin added a pair of firsts in the 1,600 (5:40.5) and 3,200 (13:45), and the Warwick girls swept the relays, as Williamson, Kate Dickow, Wagner, and Deirdre White took the 4×800 in 10:49.9 and then Lewis, Williamson, Kline and Wagner won the 4×400 in 4:07.6.

In the field events, Trinity Bitting-Ellis won the high jump (4-10), Abigail Vance claimed top honors in the javelin (99-1) and Katy Kramer placed first in the pole vault (7-0).

Turning to the boys, hurdler Brenden Gates and thrower Nick Coomer each claimed a pair of individual golds to lead the way.

Gates was first in the High Hurdles in 15.3 seconds and 300 Hurdles in 41.5 seconds to help give the Warriors a 50-37 edge on the track. He also competed with Ryan Fegley, Christian Hess and Carter Forney on the winning 4×100 (46.0) and then he joined Connor Shields, Mark Langat and David Bach on the first-place 4×400 (3:43.6). Coomer, meanwhile, took the shot put (47-6 1/2) and discus (123-9), as the Warriors outscored CV 39-24 in the field events.

“Brenden is a great kid &tstr; hard worker, very coachable, team captain,” Daecher said. “He has really been working hard to be a top-notch hurdler. He is really starting to shine in that event and I think he is going to finish the season off strong. Nick is a big, strong kid which makes him a good thrower. The fact that his feet are so quick makes him really a good thrower. He still has further to throw this year and will be winning more points for us.”

Shields added a win in the 1,600 (4:32.8), Noah Martin took the 800 (2:08.6) and both runners teamed up with Parker Keares and Bach on the first-place 4×800 relay (9:11.3).

In the field events, Tanner Haines won the triple jump (40-3) and Nathan Good finished first in the pole vault (9-0), leading a Warrior sweep in that event with Drew Weiler (8-0) and Asher Christner (8-0) placing 2-3.

*****

Last Friday, Leah Graybill swept the individual sprints and added a fourth gold with the 4×400 relay, leading the Warwick girls in a 91-58 Section One victory over Hempfield in Lititz.

The Black Knight boys salvaged a split, pulling out a 76-75 win on a tiebreaker. The two teams finished in a 75-all tie, but Hempfield came out ahead thanks to their 10 first-place finishes, compared to Warwick’s eight.

On the girls side, Graybill dominated in the 100 (12.1), 200 (25.3) and 400 (58.7), in addition to joining Lily Palacio-Lewis, Jess Williamson and Meghan Quinn on the first-place 4×400 (4:13.6).

In the distance events, Kate Dickow took the 3,200 (11:18.8) and teamed up with Jess Williamson, Jaylyn Wagner, and Emily Williamson on the winning 4×800 relay (10:22.8).

The Lady Warriors also captured top honors in the 4×100 relay behind Emily Williamson, Palacio-Lewis, Quinn and Payton Sauder (50.1).

Leading the way for Warwick in the field events were Abigail Vance in the javelin (105-3), Mathilda Zartman in the long jump (15-5), and Trinity Bitting-Ellis in the high jump (4-10).

Turning to the boys, Brenden Gates, Ryan Fegley, Connor Shields, and Nick Coomer all won two individual events to lead the Warriors.

Coomer was victorious in the shot put (49-1 1/2) and discus (136-2), while Matthew Ensinger placed runner-up in both events, with throws of 38 4 1/4 and 108-4, respectively, helping the Warriors build a 33-30 advantage in the field events.

On the track, Gates took the High Hurdles (15.6) and 300 Hurdles (40.3), Fegley won the 100 (11.6) and 200 (23.5), and Shields placed first in the 1,600 (4:27.3) and 800 (2:01.5).

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