Flying high: Warriors make it 3-0

By on April 2, 2014

When Alex Daecher took over as the Warwick track and field team’s coach in the off-season, he said that one of his goals was to create a better winning environment.

With the Warrior boys improving to 3-0 on Monday with an 81-69 win over Penn Manor in Lititz, they are certainly on the right track.

“I think the first win against CV was a surprise, but now the kids and coaches are expecting to win,” Daecher said. “Our kids have worked really hard this season and it is showing. Each week distance, heights and times are improving. I believe my coaching staff has high expectations for our kids and the coaches are pushing them to get better every minute of every practice. The kids are very coachable and are pushing themselves.”

Despite the Comets holding a 10-8 edge in first-place finishes, Warwick made up for it by dominating in seconds and thirds.

“I feel we have fighters on our team,” Daecher said. “They are not willing to give up if it doesn’t work out for them that day. They know as a ‘team,’ we need those second and third-place points to win meets. Now that they are 3-0, they are really starting to grasp the ‘team’ aspect of track.”

On the girls side, PM managed a split by walking away with an 87-63 victory.

Walking away with two individual wins apiece for the WHS boys were Michael Hoffman in the High Hurdles (17.6) and 300 Hurdles (44.5), along with Alex McCord in the long jump (20-2) and high jump (6-4). McCord also chipped in with silvers in the pole vault (7-0) and javelin (119-10), giving him a team-high 16 points in the meet.

He and David Lucas were key factors in Warwick building a 37-26 edge in the field events. Lucas came through with gold in the discus (170-2), along with runner-up finishes in the shot put (44-2!-R), 200 (23.4) and 100 (11.7). Shettel added a pair of seconds in the triple jump (38-3!-W) and high jump (5-6).

“Hoffman was huge getting first in both hurdle races,” Daecher said. “Last week, he stumbled in the 300 hurdles, but he is a tough kid and bounced back and got two firsts. Alex McCord showing up with 16 points just proves what a great athlete he is. He is a positive kid who is so happy for the team’s success. He threw javelin last and we told him we needed points to finish Penn Manor off and he threw great into the wind. David has just become Mr. Consistency. He breaks the school discus record every week. His shot has improved and he is running fantastic. He is a guaranteed 15-plus points in every meet.”

Ian Harpel had a big day on the track, breaking the tape in the 400 (53.4) and anchoring the 4×400 relay to a win in 3:33.1 Rounding out the relay were Banner Samuelson, Daniel Gates and Eric Garner.

Urban added a win in the 1,600 (4:51.2) and a second in the 800 (2:07.4).

Turning back to the girls, Sheridan McNeill accounted for a pair of golds for the Lady Warriors, winning the high jump (5-1) and joining Sam Shields, Destiny Butler and Amanda Graber on the first-place 4×400 relay (4:29.7).

Butler added a silver in the 300 Hurdles (55.7), while Shields placed second in the 1,600 (5:40.7).

Other individual winners for the Warwick girls were Erika Echternach in the 3,200 (12:57.3) and Lindsey Lefever in the long jump (15-8).

Last Thursday, Lucas had his second straight 18-point performance to help lead Warwick in a 93-57 Section One win over Manheim Twp. in Neffsville.

The junior star took the 100 (11.3), 200 (23.4) and discus (167-8), along with a silver in the shot put (44-5#-R), as the Warriors improved to 2-0.

Seth Spykstra was a double winner in the 1,600 (4:47.0) and 800 (2:07.7) to lead the distance runners and play a key role in Warwick’s 55-32 advantage in the track events. The red and black also held a 38-25 edge in the field, headed by Alex McCord, who claimed gold in the long jump (19-7) and high jump (6-5), to go along with his silver in the javelin (130-0).

Other individual winners for the Warwick boys included Hoffman in the 100 (16.1), Urban in the 3,200 (10:01.6), Jordan Garner in the javelin (139-11) and Noah Shettel in the triple jump (37-9#-R). The Warriors’ 4×800 and 4×100 added wins in 8:35.5 and 45.2 seconds, respectively.

On the girls side, Warwick suffered a 118-32 loss to ManheimTownship.

The Lady Warriors picked up three individual wins in the field events behind Tahira Gilbert in the shot put (28-3!-W), Sheridan McNeill in the high jump (4-8) and Linn Bjanes in the pole vault (7-6). On the track, Rachel Mueller added a first-place finish in the 1,600 in 5:37.4.

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record. He welcomes your questions and can be reached at or at 721-4451.

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