DALLASTOWN — Taylor Forrester was carrying more than a baton in the final relay of the Central York-Dallastown girls' track and field meet on Thursday.
The Wildcats' junior had the fate of her team in her hands.
The Wildcats needed to win the 1,600 relay to capture the York-Adams Division I meet against Central.
When Forrester took off on the anchor leg, the Central runner was already into the first turn.
The Dallastown junior, though, refused to be denied.
She made up the ground, took the lead and won a duel down the homestretch as athletes from both teams lined the infield cheering for their teammates.
The Wildcats captured the relay and the meet, 77-69. Dallastown's boys made it a sweep by defeating the Panthers, 98-52.
The stirring finish concluded an exhausting and unforgettable day for Forrester.
She earned individual first-place finishes in the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump, along with anchoring the relay.
"I was only planning on doing the two hurdles, but my coach threw me in the long jump," Forrester said. "When it came to the four by 400 (relay), I looked at my coach, and I was almost crying because I wanted to win it for my team. It was incredible to have my teammates cheering me on, and I really finished strong."
Forrester then gave a shout out to the teammates.
"We had Lilly in the field picking up points (Lilly Cook swept the javelin, shot put and discus), and that helped us so much. I was just so impressed with my whole team, and what they did today," she said.
Dallastown head coach Mike Schuler felt that Forrester's effort was a teaching moment for the young athletes on the team.
"We're really young, and what Taylor did gave them the right image. She was tired, her legs were hurting, but she went after it. We put the meet in her hands, and she performed," he said.
Isaiah Ward (100 and 200), Justin Atwood (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles) and Bryce Gable (1,600 and 3,200) earned two first-place finishes apiece for the Dallastown boys' team, which grabbed 14 of the 18 events. Ward also ran a leg on the winning 400 relay team.
OTHER BOYS' TRACK
Susquehannock 85, Kennard-Dale 64: At Glen Rock, Susquehannock's Joey McDonnell dominated the long-distance events, taking home first in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs. Chris Moore won the 100 and 300 hurdles and also took first in the triple jump for K-D.
Gettysburg 109, Northeastern 41: At Manchester, Dan Filler led the Warriors by capturing victories in the 1,600, 800, and 3,200 runs.
Red Lion 113, York High 35: At Red Lion, Paul Jones and Nick Taylor each won two events in the field for the Lions. Jones won the long and triple jumps, while Taylor took home victories in the shot put and discus. Khalid Dorsey won the 100 and Dayure Stewart won the 200 for York High.
York Tech 77.5, Bermudian Springs 71.5: At Spry, Bry’quan Sweeney helped the Spartans edge their guests by winning the 200 and being a part of the victorious 1,600 relay team. David Porter won the 400 for Tech and ran on the winning 1,600 and 3,200 relays.
York Suburban 112, Dover 38: At York Suburban, the Trojans had little trouble getting past the Eagles. Nelson Pineda dominated the hurdles for Suburban, winning both the 110 and 300 hurdles, while Ralph Casper won both the discus and shot put events. Dover captured two of the three relay events.
OTHER GIRLS' TRACK
Red Lion 112, York High 20: Jayla Godfrey won three events for Red Lion, capturing the 100 hurdles, 400 and the triple jump. Shania Grimes won the 200 and T.J. Gaines won the 100 for York High.
Susquehannock 116, Kennard-Dale 33: At Glen Rock, the Warriors swept the three relays. Susquehannock also won every field event, including wins in the discus and javelin by Kate Burgess, while Nia Bennett took first in the long jump and high jump. Maddie Ferner was K-D’s big performer, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 runs.
Gettysburg 104, Northeastern 45: At Manchester, Genesis Mercedes led the Warriors with individual victories in the 100, 400 and high jump. For the Bobcats, Hannah Schell won the 100 and 300 hurdles.
York Tech 96.5, Bermudian Springs 53.5: At Spry, Katie MacDougall had a big day in leading her team to victory. MacDougall captured the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races and was a part of the winning 3,200 relay. D’Shanna Edwards captured the javelin, shot put and discus.
York Suburban 94, Dover 56: At Suburban, Maddie James won both the triple jump and long jump for Suburban, while Olivia Gettle took home first in the 800 and was also part of the victorious 3,200 relay and 1,600 relay. Dover’s Peyton Mulder won the 100 and 300 hurdles and was also part of the winning 400 relay.
Reach Dick Van'Olinda at email@example.com.