Three silvers lead Warriors’ medal haul at L-L Meet

By on May 17, 2017
While sprinting up the runway in the L-L League Meet’s javelin competition last Friday, Warwick senior Eric Garner prepares to uncork a throw of 190 feet, 8 inches, which earned him the silver medal. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

While sprinting up the runway in the L-L League Meet’s javelin competition last Friday, Warwick senior Eric Garner prepares to uncork a throw of 190 feet, 8 inches, which earned him the silver medal. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

If Eric Garner had the Lancaster-Lebanon League javelin competition to do over again, he probably wouldn’t have watched film of himself between throws.

“I’m not a big fan of (that),” the Warwick senior said. “I think overall, you’ve just got to go out there and do what you know how to do.”

A University of Nebraska recruit, Garner has often shown what he’s capable of doing. And with his throw of 190 feet, 8 inches at Hempfield High School under gloomy skies, he took home the L-L’s silver medal last Friday in Landisville.

Garner, who owns a personal-best throw of 208-2 from East Stroudsburg’s JavFest last summer, was second only to Penn Manor’s Alex Scheivert, who uncorked a heave of 198-4 to earn top honors.

“It felt like a good throw,” Garner said of his 190-8 effort, “but I’ve been trying to work on a new run up, so it’s giving me a little bit of hassle. But it’s definitely nothing I can’t work on for Districts and States. It’s coming.”

Caleb Christner also came home with a silver-medal finish while competing in Monday’s weather-delayed pole vault competition at McCaskey, clearing the bar at 13-6 while tying former Warwick star Doug Pearson for the school record.

Plus, John Wilson finished in a tie for the silver medal at a height of 6-2 in the high jump.

In all, the Warriors collected 10 medals, helping them notch an eighth-place finish in the team standings with 41 points, just ahead of Section One rival Cedar Crest (40).

Eight of those points came from Garner, who hit 190-8 on his opening throw of the trials. His next two were in the neighborhood — at 182-5 and 189-3 — but Scheivert took the top seed into the finals with his throw of 198-4.

“The 198 was a mark that I definitely know was attainable,” Garner said. “It just today wasn’t the day and that’s OK … Any day I come out and throw above 190, it’s a good day for me.”

In the final round, Garner reached 186-11 on his first throw, then took fouls on his next two.

Following a shoulder injury suffered during wrestling season, he estimated that he is back to anywhere between 90 and 100 percent.

“It’s doing well now,” Garner said. “A lot of lifting, a lot of therapy and rehab, but overall it’s pretty good. It’s not perfect, but it’s getting close.”

Warwick head coach Alex Daecher, after watching video of Monday’s pole vault competition, thought that Christner was pretty close to perfect.

“It was as close to perfect as I have ever seen in a pole vaulter,” Daecher recalled.

Seeded third at 13-0 behind Manheim Central’s Ryan Carter (13-7) and Hempfield’s Ethan Dionne (13-2), Christner saved his best for the L-Ls.

It took a school-record vault of 14-0 from Carter to beat Christner for the gold.

“It seemed like (Caleb) just put everything together. It is quite impressive,” Daecher said.

No less impressive was Wilson’s effort of 6-2 in the high jump, equaling the mark set by Elizabethtown’s Derek Heisey, Solanco’s Rob McHugh, and Lebanon’s Juan Maldonado for the silver medal. Ephrata’s Elie Basenga took the gold by clearing the bar at 6-5.

“He did great,” Daecher said of Wilson, who also competes on the Warriors’ 4×800 relay. John’s just an all-around good kid. He just does what he’s told and he’s just one of those hard-working blue collar guys. I think that’s the best way to describe him.”

Elsewhere, senior Drayk Cassamajor and sophomore Connor Shields each won two medals in the 800 and 1,600.

Battling the wind and rain on Saturday, Shields took bronze in the 800 in 4:24.99 and Cassamajor picked up a seventh-place medal in 4:29.74. Manheim Township’s Evan Dorenkamp appeared to win the bronze, but he was DQ’d, bumping the next runners up a spot.

“Evan was in front of me, so I wanted to get third, but not like that,” Shields said. “My time was alright. I wanted to be around like 4:20ish, but I guess I didn’t run too bad.”

Cassamajor added, “I’m not upset with my time because it matched my PR, but I just wanted to run a little bit faster.”

Later, Cassamajor ran to a sixth-place finish in the 800 in 1:59.83, followed closely by Shields in seventh place in a time of 2:00.07.

Turning to the sprints, sophomore Ryan Fegley picked up a pair of medals, placing sixth in the 200 in 23.44 seconds and then joining sophomores Charles Lumene, Preston Simmons and Patrick Tocci on the eighth-place 4×100 in 45.17 seconds.

Junior Brendan Gates chipped in with a sixth-place medal in the 300 Hurdles in 41.11 seconds.

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