Harpel’s gold leads WHS boys at Leagues

By on May 18, 2016
Warwick senior Ian Harpel crosses the finish line in 50.34 seconds in the L-L’s 400-meter finals last Saturday at Hempfield. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick senior Ian Harpel crosses the finish line in 50.34 seconds in the L-L’s 400-meter finals last Saturday at Hempfield. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

When Ian Harpel was assigned to lane three for the 400-meter finals at last Saturday’s Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships, it was a positive omen for the Warwick senior.

“I was in one of my favorite lanes, so that definitely gave me a confidence boost,” he said.

Lane five, however, wasn’t quite as lucky for Columbia senior Javon McIntyre, who finished in an apparent first-place time of 49.5 seconds, but was disqualified after stepping out of his lane.

With that development, Harpel bumped up to the gold-medal spot with his time of 50.34 seconds, giving him the L-L 400-meter crown for a second straight year at Hempfield High School.

“I like to think I’m the two-time winner, but … I guess I won by default,” Harpel remarked. “I felt really bad for (McIntyre). I talked to him and he was really disappointed.”

That was one of three medals on the day for Harpel, who also took bronze with the 4×400 relay (Noah Shettel, Drayk Cassamajor, Daniel Gates) in 3:30.35 and fifth in the 100 (11.23).

But there were plenty of additional highlights for the Warriors on this day as well, as junior Eric Garner earned a PR while claiming silver in the javelin (185-10), while senior Noah Shettel picked up a second bronze in the triple jump (43- 1/2) and senior Cody Seese took third in the pole vault (13-0), among others, as the Warriors finished sixth as a team with 67 points. McCaskey (88) won the title.

Garner’s second-place throw of 185-10, on his last attempt in the finals, easily shattered his previous-best of 181-0. He was seeded sixth entering L-L’s.

“I think (the key) was really just to be able to be relaxed when I was coming up to throw and not really thinking about everything that I was going to do,” Garner remarked. “It was my last throw and I really wanted to move up in the rankings, so I just stayed relaxed.”

Garner isn’t the only one peaking for Warwick.

Believing that he crested too early last year, Harpel and his coaches have scaled back his training this spring with an eye toward improved post-season results down the road.

“I peaked at Districts last year, so I’m trying to peak at States this year,” he said. “I’m definitely on track for that and I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

Harpel certainly had no complaints about the time he ran in the 400 last Saturday.

“I’ve been consistently running that for the past couple of meets, so hopefully I can PR at Districts,” said Harpel, whose time of 11.23 in the 100 was just off of his best of 11.19, set in Friday’s prelims. “I was just thinking, ‘Go out hard and stick with the competition and then the last hundred meters, just stride and shorten your steps and go for it as hard as you can.’”

“(Ian) looked great,” Daecher said. “He’s just a natural. About a month ago, he really hit his stride, and he looks really sharp right now. He’s going to do well at Districts.”

Gates gave the Warriors a second medalist in the 400 when he took fourth place in 51.32 seconds.

Turning to Garner, he was hobbled a little bit by a sore back last year, but he is healthy this spring and it’s showing in his results. At the L-L’s last year, he was fourth in the javelin at 168-2.

“Now that I feel a lot better, I feel a lot better throwing,” Garner said.

“Eric’s a really great kid and really works hard,” Daecher said. “He’s one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching. I have to give credit to Cocalico throwing coach Scott Krall, who has been helping him out on some off-days. He’s a bit of a javelin guru.”

Through his first five throws last Friday, Garner’s best was a distance of 177 feet, which placed him fifth heading into his final attempt. By adding eight feet on his last throw, he passed Solanco’s Noah McCardell (180-10), Manheim Central’s Tyler Hoag (180-5), and Cedar Crest’s Evan Horn (173-9) for the silver medal. McCaskey’s Cain Resch won the gold with a throw of 196-0.

“I’m feeling great,” Garner said. “When I looked up and saw it flying, I saw it just going straight out and I thought it was a good throw.”

Shettel seemed to be on track for a gold medal in the triple jump, tied for the spot spot when calls started for the 4×400 relay. That perhaps affected him on his final two attempts.

“I think he maybe rushed through those a little bit,” Daecher said. “I think if he’d have taken his time at the triple jump, he might have kept his first-place spot. But it’s alright. The League Meet was really just for bragging rights when it’s all said and done. At Districts, you have to place to go to States.”

The Warriors also got other big efforts in the field events, including a bronze from Seese in the pole vault (13-0), a fifth-place tie by Johnathan Wilson in the high jump (5-10) with CV’s Joe Cardina.

Additional place-finishers for Warwick were Drayk Cassamajor, who took fourth in the 800 in 1:57.55, and the 4×800 relay foursome of Matt Polonus, Alex Ciampaglia, Christian Hess and Gage St. Pierre, who finished eighth in 8:39.17.

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