With the 2020 high school girls track and field season on pause — Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the closing of schools through April 6 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak — here are some things to watch in the Lancaster-Lebanon League should the season resume.
Defending champs and new faces
The Warwick girls conquered the L-L League last spring, capturing the team title at the league meet for the second straight year after picking up their second straight Section One crown. Meanwhile, Ephrata earned the Section Two title for the seventh time in eight years and Elco went unbeaten to win Section Three.
Both Warwick and Ephrata have new coaches. Bobby Rhoads has taken the reins of the Warriors boys and girls programs and Matt White has taken over the Mountaineers boys and girls programs. The new crop of head coaches also includes Jennifer McDowell at Solanco, Bryce Sadler at Donegal and Courtney Thomas on the girls side at Conestoga Valley.
Sprints, again, power Warwick
Section and league titles were just the start for Warwick last spring, as the Warriors collected Class 3A championships at the District Three and PIAA meets. Despite graduating key seniors Leah Graybill (Shippensburg), Kate Dickow (Richmond) and Emily Williamson (Elizabethtown), Warwick retained Meghan Quinn and Lily Palacio-Lewis, who finished the indoor season with a one-two finish in the 60-meter dash at the March 1 state championships. Along with Cassidy Kline (sprints), Juliette Delmotte (jumps), Emily Skidmore (sprints/hurdles) and Anna Martin (distance), they form an experienced core in the Warriors' title defense.
Warwick's athletes also make up part of a deep corps of L-L League sprinters that includes McCaskey's Kaila Canty, Deja Nortey, Zoey Stennett and Stenid Manning, Hempfield's Cahsia Page and Megan Grube, Conestoga Valley's Jordyn Hock and Dana Wentz, Cocalico's Kaia Martz, Ephrata's Ania Johnson and Solanco's Katie Urbine.
Horn's high hopes
Manheim Township senior Sydney Horn won state indoor and outdoor pole vault titles as a junior. She soared over the winter to another state championship and a personal-record height of 13 feet, 6 inches, just shy of the state record of 13-9.25. Horn's sister, Mackenzie — now at High Point — set meet records in wins at leagues, districts and states as a senior in 2018 and cleared an L-L League-best height of 13-7.25. Sydney looks to take down records on a repeat tour before joining her sister at High Point. Elco's Carissa Bender, Solanco's Urbine and Cedar Crest's Molly Heintzelman also cleared 10 feet during the indoor season.
With the 2020 high school boys track and field season on pause — Gov. Tom Wolf ordered the c…
Sydney Horn is also one of the returnees from last year's 100-meter hurdles final at the league meet alongside Cocalico's Olivia Sensenig, Warwick's Skidmore, Ephrata's Talia Sheaffer and the Blue Streaks' Sade Weaver-Walls.
Distance runners gear up for more
Four returning L-L League girls qualified for individual events at the state meet last spring, including the Elizabethtown duo of Katie Locker and Madeline Quinn. Locker, a senior, finished fifth in the 800 last year while Quinn, a junior, finished 20th in the 3,200. They also contributed to a fourth-place finish in the state's 4x800 final, along with Sierra Kapcsos, a returning sophomore, and Cat Shontz, who is now at Temple.
Ephrata senior Mary Campell finished fifth in the state's 1,600 final, and Cedar Crest's Gwyneth Young finished fourth in the 3,200. She went on to win the L-L cross country title in the fall and qualified for the 12-person 3,000-meter run at the indoor state meet.
The league graduated its shot put champion in Elco's Ryelle Shuey (soccer, Lehigh), its discus champion in Cedar Crest's Hannah Woelfling (Millersville) and its javelin champion in Lampeter-Strasburg's Kristen Herr (William & Mary). But senior shot put state qualifier Ahni-yah Parker of McCaskey and a pair of juniors, Penn Manor's Jalyn Clow — a state discus qualifier — and Elizabethtown's Carly Sedun, look to lead in the weight throws. Sedun's teammate, junior Olivia Anson, is one of the top returning javelin throwers.
Warwick's Delmotte, coming off indoor and outdoor state-qualifying performances, and Cocalico's Olivia Sensenig, McCaskey's Allura Blake and Manheim Township's Kyra Rishell lead the L-L's returning athletes in the horizontal jumps. Blake, Lampeter-Strasburg's Lillian Hoke and Alexis Moran, and Lebanon's Giahny Correa are among the league's top high jump contenders.