Good Knight

By on March 25, 2015
Warwick’s Alex McCord (left) maintains his form as he completes his victory in the high hurdles in a time of 16.8 seconds. McCord also won the javelin, long jump, and high jump in the opening meet of the season. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Warwick’s Alex McCord (left) maintains his form as he completes his victory in the high hurdles in a time of 16.8 seconds. McCord also won the javelin, long jump, and high jump in the opening meet of the season. (Photo by Mike Shull)

Last season was no doubt one of frustration for Warwick’s Alex McCord.

After competing in a number of high jump events in the off-season leading up to his junior track and field campaign, he found himself battling injury.

But if Monday’s meet at Hempfield is any indication, McCord is back.

In a big way.

The WHS senior took first place in four events &tstr; the high jump (6-5), long jump (19-3), javelin (162-5) and 110 High Hurdles (16.8) &tstr; to lead the Warriors in a 79-71 victory over the Black Knights in their season opener in Landisville.

“(Alex) seems to be in good health and he seems to be fresh,” Warwick coach Alex Daecher said.

The Hempfield girls salvaged a split by defeating Warwick 108-42.

Overall, McCord and David Lucas combined to score 38 of the Warriors’ 79 points. Lucas won gold in the discus with a school-record throw of 190 feet, 6 inches and shot put (48-4), competed on the first-place 4×100 relay with senior Hamzah Dawood and juniors Daniel Gates and Ian Harpel, and earned silver in the 100 (11.2).

“Alex and David were the big point-winners, but our kids (as a team) did really great,” Daecher said.

It all added up to the Warriors’ second straight win over Hempfield. A year ago, Warwick knocked off the Black Knights, 78-72.

“That’s pretty big,” Daecher said. “We still don’t know if we’d ever beaten Hempfield (prior to last season) and now we’ve beat them two years in a row. That’s a fairly huge deal for us. I remember last year when we won our first meet in I don’t know how many years, the kids were ecstatic. Now there’s that expectation to win, which wasn’t there in the past. It’s like the kids are looking to next week, saying, ‘OK, we can enjoy this for a night and then we’ve got to get back to work.’ We’re a little more business-like about it than we’ve been in the past.”

McCord was certainly all business.

“He got voted team captain, he’s a stand-up kid &tstr; he’s just a competitor,” Daecher said.

At meet’s end, McCord was in the finals in three events, including the javelin, in which he held a slim edge on sophomore teammate Eric Garner, who ended up taking the silver with a throw of 161-1.

“(Alex) went over to do high jump and said, ‘Make sure if Eric beats me, you tell me so I can come over and beat him,’” Daecher said. “He’s an elite athlete, he’s a nice kid and he’s a heck of a competitor.”

In the field events, the Warriors also went 1-2 in the long jump, with McCord edging junior Noah Shettel (19-1), and the shot put, where Lucas clinched a slim advantage over senior Adam Wagaman (48-1.25).

“That should be a nice little battle throughout the season,” Daecher said.

While Lucas was surely glad to win the shot put, it was his discus throw that had people talking.

“He almost hit the fence at Hempfield, that’s how far he threw it,” Daecher said.

The Warriors’ finishes in the field helped them claim a big 47-16 edge over the Black Knights in the those events. Shettel added a win in the triple jump (41-10), while junior Cody Seese took the pole vault (9-0), just in front of Hempfield’s Dionne.

“That was a nice surprise,” Daecher said of Seese’s pole vault victory.

There were other pleasant outcomes as well, such as senior Will Howland (2:13.9) outlegging Hempfield’s Roeder (2:14.6) to the finish in the 800. Howland also added a silver in the 1,600 (5:01.8).

“After looking at what (Hempfield) had done before and what we were doing,” Daecher said, “we were looking at probably losing by about five points or so. And a bunch of kids came through. A big one was Will Howland getting first in the 800 meter &tstr; that was a big swing in points for us.”

Harpel claimed the 400 in 52.7 seconds and Dawood added silver in the 200 in 23.9 seconds.

Turning to the girls, the Lady Warriors were led by junior Samantha Shields, who took gold in the 1,600 (5:43.5), competed with Abby Bomberger, Deirdre White and Madison Leakway on the first-place 4×400 relay (4:24) and won silver in the 800 (2:32.19).

Senior Amanda Graber finished first in the 3,200 (12:30.3) and runner-up in the 1,600 (5:45.28), while Adrienne McGarrigle earned top honors in the long jump (14-11) and bronze in the 200 (28.1).

“The girls did well,” Daecher said. “I think the Hempfield girls are just so strong that we just couldn’t get enough points to stay with them there.”

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