Monday, January 22, 2018
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Spartans Sweep Mounts

ImageIt was a little over a year ago, when late in the season, Garden Spot beat the Ephrata Girls Track team for their only loss. The 53-97 loss denied the Mounts the section title. With the Garden Spot girls coming in with a record of 4-0-1 versus the Lady Mounts whose record stood at 5-0, it was something Ephrata looked forward to for a year. On the boys side, things looked up a little as Jordan Yarbrough and C.J. Wilson returned to the Mounts lineup, even if their events were still limited by nagging injuries.

With the Lancaster-Lebanon League Section Two lead up for grabs, the Garden Spot and Ephrata girls' teams each had many strengths and few weaknesses entering Monday afternoon's critical meet.

Whereas the Spartans rely on getting points in the sprints and throwing events, the Mountaineers are stronger in the relays and in the middle-distance and distance events.

With it being nip and tuck the entire afternoon, Garden Spot traveled to Ephrata and managed to pull out a tightly-contested 81-69 win thanks to the efforts of sensational freshman sprinter and hurdler Liz Martin and the rest of her teammates, while the Spartan boys also were victorious, 93-57.

Martin has quickly emerged as one of the elite sprinters and hurdlers in the L-L, and is opening up some eyes with her performances for the Spartans (5-0-1 L-L, 6-0-1 overall).

She won the 100- and 200-meter dashes with respective times of 12.5 and 26.2, and also took first in the 300 intermediate hurdles in 48.9 Monday, and finished second in the 100 high hurdles (15.6) to sophomore teammate Breanna Caldwell (15.3).

All told, Martin scored 18 of her team's 81 points, and received more than a few hugs and congratulations from her teammates while celebrating the victory.

"I was a little nervous but I tried to focus and run my best," said Martin.

"I was just really, really pumped for this meet ... We were really excited to see what we could do against Ephrata and I think that we all did our best and pushed ourselves a lot."

With only the Manheim Township Relays on Saturday and the last section meet of the season Monday versus Conestoga Valley remaining before the L-L Championships on May 11-12, Martin is focused on finishing strong.

"I'm hoping to place (in the L-L meet), but sometimes I have bad days like all other people, so we'll just see how well that day goes," Martin emphasized.

Besides the impact Martin had, the Spartans also took advantage in the shot put and discus as they swept both events.

Sophomore Kate Defernelmont's tosses of 33-9 in the shot put and 125-2 in the discus were good enough for a pair of first places.

"I knew that we were going to struggle with the throws," said Ephrata coach John Keller.

"We did go 1-2 in the javelin, but I felt that we could score 55 to 60 points on the track, and we only came up with 51."

Although Ephrata did in fact outscore Garden Spot 51-36 in track events, the Spartans dominated the field events, 45-18.

The Mountaineers (5-1 L-L, 7-1) swept the 400, 1,600 and 3,200 relays, and sophomore Dana Haas was the fastest in the 800 (2:27.1) and 1,600 (5:41.9).

Junior Brynn Lyons also picked up ten more points for the Mountaineers by winning the 400 (1:02.2) and the javelin throw (114-5).

"Our kids did their best and we left some points out there," added Keller.

"It's disappointing, very disappointing, but I told the girls they should keep their heads high because we lost to a good team."

In the boys' meet, senior sprinter and University of Delaware recruit Ross Shober paced Spot (4-2 L-L, 5-2).

Shober won the 100 in 10.6, anchored the winning 400 relay team in 46.5 and was tops in the long jump with a leap of 21-9a-x.

Ephrata (2-4 L-L, 3-5) was led by senior Cordell Oberholtzer, who won the 800 (2:09.2) and 1,600 (4:47.5).