HANOVER — Julia Kendrick received a well-deserved celebratory dousing with water from some of her teammates following Red Lion's dual track and field meet against South Western.
The senior won three races and finished second in a fourth to help the Lady Lions edge the Mustangs, 76-74, in a matchup of last year's York-Adams Division I co-champions.
South Western captured the boys' meet, 93-57.
Kendrick crossed the line first in the 400, 800 and 1,600 runs, and then completed her 6,000-meter day with a runner-up finish in the 3,200 run. Before Thursday, she never competed in the 3,200 during a dual meet.
"Coach (Jason Smith) asked me, 'can you run the two mile (3200)?'" Kendrick said. "I said 'I've never run the two mile before, but I can try.' I'm exhausted, and my calves are killing me, but it was worth every second of it. I would do it again if I had to."
Kendrick earned 18 points (three first-place finishes and one second-place finish) in her 15 exhausting laps around the South Western track. Her performances were crucial on a day that the Lady Lions were without their two best sprinters, Angelica Gonzalez and Jess Lewis, who are both injured.
"We knew it (the meet) would be close," Kendrick said. "I couldn't be prouder of my teammates. Johnnie (Tamney), who is usualy jumping all over the place and winning, came through in the 200 (Tamney placed first in the 200 and high jump and second in the long jump). Jayla (Godfrey) in the hurdles, and Meredith Kunce stepped up and got a third. That was huge."
Godfrey recorded the best performance in the long jump and took second in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump, and Kunce was third in the 200 dash. Kendrick and Tamney are seniors, and another senior, Hailey Gunnet placed second in the shot put and javelin.
"Our seniors were 1-1-1 against them (South Western)," Smith said. "So, this was the rubber match. I'm really happy for our seniors."
Smith compared the meet to "an intense chess match."
"He (South Western coach Bruce Lee) was moving (Lynne) Mooradian around a couple of places, and I knew we had to take advantage of the events she wasn't in."
Smith said he felt that the Red Lion's only shot to win the meet was to put Kendrick in the 3,200, the next-to-last event on the track.
"Julia did great, and that shows the kind of athlete she is. She'll run whatever event you ask her to run. If I told her to run the 100, she would run the 100," Smith said.
Mooradian, South Western's junior star, won the 300 hurdles and triple jump, along with anchoring two winning relay teams (the 400 and 1,600).
The Mustangs' Maddie Swanner bested the fields in the 100 hurdles and 100 dash.
Boys' meet: Brady Thayer led the defending champion South Western boys to victory by sweeping the 110 and 300 hurdles and adding a third first-place finish in the long jump.
"I love Brady, I consider him one of my go-to guys," said Lee, who also coaches the boys' team. "We lost some special kids from last year, but we got some sophomores and juniors out and they're contributing right away. We have a long road to go yet, but I'm happy we're still undefeated."
Ethan Gatchell led Red Lion by securing a trio of firsts in the 400, 800 and 1,600 runs. The Lions' Quincy Palmer sprinted to victories in the 100 and 200.
OTHER BOYS' TRACK AND FIELD
York Suburban 94.5, Susquehannock 55.5: At Suburban, the Trojans captured first in nine of the 11 track events. Individually for Suburban, Brady Wilt won the 1,600 and 3,200, Bodhi Wilson won the 200 and 400 and Nelson Pineda won the 110 and 300 hurdles. For the Warriors, Tyler Buckley won the triple jump and long jump.
OTHER GIRLS' TRACK AND FIELD
York Suburban 117, Susquehannock 32: At Suburban, the Trojans captured first in 15 of the 18 events. Individually for Suburban, Maddie James won the triple jump, long jump and high jump. Grace Pindzola won the 100 and 300 hurdles, while Olivia Gettle won the 1,600 and 3,200. For the Warriors, Sara Minacci won the 100 and 200.
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at email@example.com.