HANOVER — The weather for Wednesday afternoon’s York-Adams League Division I girls' track and field showdown between South Western and Spring Grove could have been better.
The meet that was originally scheduled for Tuesday was contested under mostly dreary and cold conditions on Wednesday.
In a battle of unbeaten teams, the Rockets ended up a bit short in their charge for the school’s first division title since 1998. The Mustangs, a program that has won numerous division titles under Coach Bruce Lee, prevailed over Spring Grove, 81-69.
South Western made it a clean sweep by easily claiming the boys’ meet, 94-51.
“I think we still did really good,” Rocket Madison Miller said. “This was pretty big for us. Both teams coming in undefeated, so there was a lot of pressure coming in.”
Miller, however, would have enjoyed a bit more sun and a bit more warmth for a meet of such importance. There were calls for thunderstorms on Tuesday that never materialized. Turns out that the weather would have been nearly perfect on Tuesday, had the meet been held as scheduled.
“Even though it wasn’t the best weather, I think we still tried hard,” Miller said. “(The cold) is nice when you’re running, but when you’re warming up it’s just cold and hard to get warmed up.”
Miller apparently didn’t have trouble warming up. She did everything she could to help a youthful Spring Grove side make a run at ending an 18-year title drought. The freshman won both the 100 and 200 dashes, earning her team 10 points.
Both wins were a bit unexpected for Miller. She anticipated running the 100 against South Western standout Lynne Mooradian. Mooradian, however, participated in the triple jump instead.
Her victory in the 200 dash was by the closest of margins against South Western’s Sammy Trone.
“I thought I was going to run against Lynne,” Miller said. “So I was surprised by that.”
The difference between the two sides was razor thin throughout. It would have taken just three swaps of first-second or second-third places to flip the final result in Coach Eric Baumgardner’s favor.
“We’ll get there,” said Baumgardner, who is in his first year coaching the Rockets track and field teams. “It’s just a matter of time. I hate losing, but there’s a lot to be learned from it. There’s a million places where you could look and say, ‘we could have probably won there.'”
Mooradian shines: Mooradian proved her exceptional worth to the South Western girls’ team on the afternoon. The Mustang senior won all four events in which she participated (110 hurdles, triple jump, 300 hurdles, 400 relay) to secure 20 team points.
As impressive as Mooradian’s big day was, Baumgardner knows that South Western is much more than just Mooradian.
“Lynne is probably one of the best female track athletes to ever come through the county,” he said. “But one girl doesn’t win you a track meet. And they (South Western) are a championship-caliber team. They have a lot of kids that are able to push beyond even where they think they can go. And we’re not at that point yet.”
South Western wrapped up the division title at 6-0. It was the 23rd time the South Western girls' program has earned at least a share of a division crown since 1981. Spring Grove fell to 4-1.
Boys' meet: On the boys’ side, the Mustangs swept several events en route to an easy victory.
Dhane Schmelyun (300 hurdles) and Josh Zeroth (shot put) led a pair of those sweeps. Zeroth set a personal record in the shot put with a throw of 49 feet, 9.25 inches.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.