High School Track – EPC League Championship Meet

From a proud father and community supporter!

FROM JEFF SIVERNALE:

High School Track – EPC League Championship Meet
I recall many memories of my youthful days lounging about the track at a high school stadium and one might think most prominent among them was an occasional personal best. However, I must admit my fondest memories have more to do with the camaraderie enjoyed with my friends and much of that was the duration between events. Highest among them is laying on the comfortable high jump pad with hot sun beating down while the sky was sporting a jersey of blazing blue and brilliant white clouds. The conversation was often repeating the highlights of the latest event or more likely the mishaps or defining moments that are often retained 30 years later – and dare I say repeated at every reunion to great laughter among friends and likely annoyance among our respective spouses. However, my perspective has since changed as I now watch from the stands with my focus squarely on the excitement of each event and of course none more so than those contested by my daughter. I could go on at great lengths about her accomplishments and potential, but suffice it to say I am proud of all the competitors from all the high schools the last couple days as I witnessed their defining moments competing in their respective league championships. The meet was specifically for the EPC and Colonial leagues and our local schools are in the EPC.

My daughter is at Stroudsburg so therein lies my familiarity, however, I witnessed some wonderful camaraderie, incredible rallies and even some defining moments from a number of high schools. Although my daughter Taryn did well in the high jump placing 4th, she landed surprisingly behind one competitor who surpassed her PR by an amazing 3”. My daughter was very excited for her (more than I was if we’re being honest – I love that kid). I recall how severely Stroudsburg bested Allen during the season so I wrote them off, however, when I witnessed their small cadre of teammates infectious rally around a few standouts, especially the final event boys 4×400, I began to root for them as well since our race horse wasn’t in contention. As much as I was hoping for Teddy Mosteller to reign supreme we all knew there were some heavy obstacles in his way from PV. I heard his goal was to go all out and I’m wondering if that’s exactly what he did and unfortunately spent all reserves before the last lap where the infamous Seth Levine from PV, who paced the entire lead, turned up the heat and dropped all other contenders. He was followed by two of his teammates to sweep the podium. I heard the raucous cheering from the jump pit as I understand Shaq (Shaquill Mitchell) was just pushed back to 2nd place by 1 inch in the triple jump with only his third jump to go. He looked to the surrounding audience for encouragement and they responded, apparently infusing his third jump with such emotion that Shaq launched off the board to exceed his previous jump by two feet and surpass his own school record set earlier this season with similar crowd support. I witnessed some of the boys high jumping and thought they must be early on with a low bar because one rather tall boy sailed over it in almost a seated position (I’m sure Dick Fosbury would have “flopped” on the ground if he’d seen that), however, upon further inspection the bar had to be 6’ – I believe the kid went on to hit 6’-7” (what could he do with proper form?!?!).

Obviously to run faster one has to increase stride length or turnover rate (or both) and to watch the cadence of those in the 100 and 200 is utterly astounding. I can’t understand how one can move their legs that fast. Now compare that to the distance runners where strategy is more involved. One such boy in the 800 ran a 55 second split to find himself way out in the lead. The exciting part as he was dying (11 seconds slower in the next split) and the field was encroaching was whether he would be able to hold them off. The crowd rose, some to cheer the leader and more to propel one of their trailing comrades to “catch him”. The field inched closer and closer as the leader was visibly drained, running on a wish or a prayer at that time. When he finally crossed the finish line he was elated to know he was first.

Many might know the Stroudsburg Girls track team has dominated their competition this year and is undefeated. And it isn’t just one individual or even a subgroup either. So many have contributed from the jumpers and throwers to the sprinters and distance runners. They have incredible depth as indicated by a few 1-2 finishes and successful relay teams. It was thrilling to watch Amy Conboy and Michelle Joyce (both Mounties) pace each other in the girls 3200 until the leaders were whittled down to just three and Amy kept fueling the fire as she steadily pulled away with Michelle coming in 2nd. The following day Amy repeated such determination by again fueling that incredible engine that kept chugging away during the 1600. Again it was another of her teammates right behind her. This time it was Allana Powlette and she dug deep to pass a few competitors in the stretch to make her mark. It was also amazing to see Stroudsburg’s Ayanna Burrell launch into the stratosphere with her triple jump. Although I can’t understand the concept, suffice it to say, there is tremendous technique and speed to land over 39 feet from the board on some odd combination of steps. Her best jump was nearly 4 feet ahead of the next competitor. Another Mountie girl, bedazzled in bright blue leg wrap for an injury rather than for style, competed in numerous speed events with great success and it was thrilling to watch her as she anchored the 4×400 relay, which was the girls final event. They started with a lead and never wavered. I hope her leg is 100% for the Districts next week. The Mountie girls amassed the most points (43 more than the next team) and the Mountie boys had the 4th highest total. Pleasant Valley boys were 3rd, only 2 points behind Parkland. in a fairly tight podium scoring.

Congratulations to all and bring on Districts.

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    Rod Hasker

    I love to run…and cycle…and swim! I love to meet people and share my experiences as well as learn about your experiences. I believe in fitness being an important route to a happy and healthy life. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ... Read Full
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