Warriors snap winless drought
Lucas’ 18 points lead the way
On paper, the odds appeared to be stacked against the Warwick boys track and field team last Friday in its season opener.
The Warriors had just one win in the past two seasons, going 0-6 in 2013, while ConestogaValley hadn’t lost a home meet in five years.
Warwick, however, didn’t get the memo.
Led by junior David Lucas, who accounted for 18 points with three firsts and a runner-up finish, the Warriors (1-0) broke into the win column with a hard-fought 78-72 win over the Bucks in Witmer.
“It was pretty exciting,” Warwick first-year coach Alex Daecher said. “It was huge for the program. I think it finally gave the kids a little bit of confidence, and nicely enough, it came early in the season so I think just the sheer fact they believe in themselves a little bit now will hopefully go a long way.”
ConestogaValley salvaged a split in the Section One meet by notching a 107-43 decision over Warwick (0-1) in girls action.
Lucas, though, was certainly a big factor in the Warwick boys earning their first win since knocking off Elizabethtown 78-72 on the final day of the regular season in 2012.
Showing his unique versatility, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound athlete took first place in the shot put (42-4!-W) and discus (161-4) in the field events, then turned around and broke the tape in 23.9 seconds in the 200, along with claiming silver in the 100 in 11.6, just behind the Buckskins’ Chance Post (11.5).
“He really came to play,” Daecher said. “That’s very, very rare (to win in both the throwing events and sprints). David’s a big, strong kid who can run. He’s a good athlete. What can you say? It’s impressive. He’s got a bright future ahead of him.”
Ditto for junior Alex McCord, who captured top honors in the high jump (6-3) and finished second in the long jump (20-5). With Lucas and McCord leading the way, along with a gold by Eric Garner in the javelin (147-2), the Warriors were within one point of CV, 32-31, in the field events.
“He started off jumping when CV’s kids were ending jumping,” Daecher said. “So he came in and just started jumping at 6-0. I looked at him jumping thinking, ‘My God, I don’t know if I can dunk a basketball at six feet let alone jump over a bar’ … As a freshman throwing 147, (Eric)’s got a bright future ahead of him too.”
On the track, Warwick outscored the Bucks 47-40 thanks to taking two of three relays and a big 22-5 edge in the distance events. The foursome of Martin, Seth Spykstra, Garner and Will Howland combined to win the 4×800 in 8:58.3, while Hamzah Dawood, Daniel Gates, Antonio Rodriguez and Ian Harpel took the 4×100 in 45.5 seconds.
Spykstra added gold in the 3,200 (10:21.3), Michael Urban was victorious in the 1,600 (4:43) and placed second in the 800 (2:08.0), and Martin took the 800 in 2:06.3 to give the Warriors a sweep of the distance events.
“Our distance kids did real well,” Daecher said.
On the girls side, Sam Shields won the 800 (2:35.0) and helped the Lady Warriors’ 4×800 relay take top honors in 11:02.2, joining Martin, Maddie Class, and Amanda Graber.
Graber added a silver in the 3,200 (12:49.0), while Erika Echternach accounted for Warwick’s other win on the track, taking the 1,600 in 5:42.4.
In the field events, the Warwick girls were led by Sheridan McNeill, who won the high jump (4-11), and Madison Miller, a first-place finisher in the long jump (14-1!-R). Tahira Gilbert chipped in with a pair of silvers in the shot put (27-8#-R) and discus (74-7).
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 721-4451.