Bollinger, Hoag, Sheppard claim L-L golds for MC

By on May 18, 2016
Manheim Central senior Tyler Hoag prepares to release a school record throw of 57 feet, 10 3/4 inches for the gold medal in the shot put last Saturday at the L-L Meet. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Manheim Central senior Tyler Hoag prepares to release a school record throw of 57 feet, 10 3/4 inches for the gold medal in the shot put last Saturday at the L-L Meet. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

As their Section Two titles will attest, the Manheim Central boys and girls track and field teams were a force during the dual-meet season.

Based on the results of last weekend’s Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships, however, they also have quite a few prime-time individuals.

Senior Tyler Hoag shattered his own school record while winning gold in the shot put with a throw of 57 feet, 10 3/4 inches, in addition to earning silver in the discus (155-6) and a fourth-place medal in the javelin (180-5).

Sophomore Billie Jo Bollinger, going head-to-head against Garden Spot’s Nesta Petit-Ton, took the L-L title in the 100 High Hurdles (15.10) and bronze in the 300 Hurdles (45.72).

Manheim Central’s third L-L crown came from sophomore Carley Sheppard, who cleared the bar at 10 feet, 6 inches for top honors in the pole vault.

Just for good measure, Baron junior Ian Lauver also broke a school record, bettering his own mark in the 3,200 while placing seventh in 9:45.51.

When all was said and done, Manheim Central combined for 15 League medals, as the boys took seventh in the team standings with 49 points, and the girls placed 10th with 39 points.

“It’s pretty much our individual post-season,” MC coach Russ White said, “so we were happy we could even come away with a couple of first places and everyone had a good time. We had a lot of personal records set, so we were happy for that.”

Many of Manheim Central’s will continue their season for at least one more week when they compete in the District Three Triple-A Championships, to be held this Friday and Saturday, May 20-21 at Shippensburg University.

“We have 13 kids who have qualified for the District meet, boys and girls added together, so we feel really good about that,” White said. “It’s an elite group and it’s an honor to qualify for the District Meet. It’s the most that we’ve had at Manheim Central as far as anybody can remember.”

Hoag is certainly no stranger to Districts as a four-time qualifier. His throw of 57-10 3/4 in the shot put, breaking his own standard of 57-10, has earned him the top seed in that event. He was more than two feet ahead of runner-up Cain Resch (55-4 1/2), of McCaskey.

“That’s always exciting when you can get a gold medal in the League Meet … Tyler is Tyler. I think Tyler competes against himself and against what he did the last time,” White remarked. “I don’t think it matters as much to him who he’s throwing against. He’s going to throw his best no matter what the situation is.”

Individually among the boys, Central’s only other athlete who placed in multiple events was Cole Sunderland, who took silver in the 800 (1:57.09) and fourth in the 1,600 (4:24.79). He also placed eighth with the 4×400 relay, joining Dylan Nelson, Drew Eshleman and Brock Hochstetler to finish with a time of 3:34.24.

“Tyler and Cole are really our best big meet performers,” White said. “Our strength this year has been as a dual meet team where we have a lot of depth and a lot real good performers. But when you get to a big meet, it’s kind of a different arena, and Tyler and Cole can compete in that big arena.”

Bollinger is a top performer on the big stage as well. In her ongoing rivalry with Petit-ton, she won gold in the High Hurdles in 15.10 seconds just in front the GS senior, who claimed the silver (15.22). Then in the 300 Hurdles, Petit-ton was first in 44.72, followed closely by Hempfield’s Kara Benedict (45.51) and Bollinger (45.72).

“I think (Billie Jo and Nesta) are the top two hurdlers in the League,” White remarked. “It beared out again in the High Hurdles. It’s just a few tenths that really separates some of these girls. You can look in a race and it’s hard to say what went right and what went wrong because the race is run so well by all of them, and they’re only separated by a stride or a stride and a half. So it doesn’t take much to switch the order around.”

Bollinger also teamed up with Codi Bollinger, Anna Burkhart, and and Kiera Wells to earn a sixth-place medal in the 4×100 relay in 51.85 seconds.

Asked if it’s easy to forget that BJ Bollinger is still just a sophomore, White said, “Yeah, really. She doesn’t act like a sophomore. She seems like she’s been there awhile. It is easy to forget. She carries herself so well and she’s such a mature young lady and she looks forward to challenges and competition. It brings out the best in her when she goes against people who are seeded a little bit higher than her.”

In the pole vault, Sheppard’s ability to clear 10-6 clean was the difference in her winning the gold over Hempfield’s Carena Nottoli and Manheim Township’s Courtney German, who had a jump-off for the silver and bronze medals at 10-6.

“There’s about four or five girls that are seeded about the same,” White said. “(Carley’s) height was 10-6, that was matched by a couple other girls, so it came down to misses. Carley’s going to go higher than that this week (at Districts). I think 10-6 is something that she’s been clearing for awhile now, so it’s not a new height for her. I think she’s very comfortable clearing it and she’s coming so close to going over 11-0 or even 11-3.”

Adams, an All-State kicker on the Barons’ football team, showed his versatility by taking a sixth-place medal in the javelin (167-8), in addition to finishing eighth in the discus (133-3) and joining teammates Jay Barreto, Eshleman, and Hochstetler on the eighth-place 4×100 relay (45.41).

“(Derek)’s a lot more than a kicker. Derek Adams is really a complete athlete and he’s fast and he’s very athletic,” White said.. “He has a springy leg, but he has a springy arm. And so he throws the discus well, he throws the javelin well, and he’s just an all around good athlete. He can long jump almost 20 feet too. He’s really a complete athlete.”

Lauver is a pretty good athlete in his own right, dropping three seconds off of his previous school record time (9:48.64) &tstr; set against Garden Spot on May 9 — in the 3,200, placing seventh in 9:45.1. Unfortunately, he finished less than a second behind Manheim Township’s Ian Miller (9:44.89) for the sixth and final L-L medal.

McCaskey’s Nathan Henderson (9:28.12) edged Ephrata’s Zach Lefever (9:30.97) for the gold.

“It’s such an incredible field of runners from the Lancaster-Lebanon League in the 3,200,” White said. “I mean, you’re going to see this weekend a lot of those same people from our League up near the top of the District. So (Ian)’s really competing against an elite field, a very elite field, of competitors. And Ian welcomes that too. He finished seventh, just out of the medals, but he was very happy with his time and he’s ecstatic that he qualified for Districts.”

Rounding out the Barons’ medal-winners on the boys side was Dylan Nelson, who took sixth in the 300 Hurdles in 40.58 seconds, while Hochstetler was seventh in the 200 in 22.97 seconds.

Turning to the girls, Wells earned a pair of seventh-place finishes in the 200 (26.95) and 100 High Hurdles (16.08), while Stephanie Garner earned a fifth-place medal in the shot put (35-2 3/4) and the 4×800 relay consisting of Taylor Wiederrecht, Kayla Herr, Marianne Fitzkee, and Charis Dinger took seventh place in 10:14.45.

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