Juniata boys beat East Juniata; Tiger girls win

COCOLAMUS – For the second time this season, two rivals, East Juniata and Juniata, met on the track to compete in a Tri-Valley League meet. Like in most rivalry contests, the two brought out the very best in each other, causing a split in results.

“It was really nice today. I think we came out and we fought really hard. We knew that Juniata ran Greenwood last night so we thought we would have an opportunity there,” East Juniata assistant coach Cory Benner said. “They are very well coached and organized and ready to come at us, like always. We are really happy with the split.”

On the girls side, East Juniata avenged a close finish from the first meeting, taking the Indians 84-57, while the Juniata boys battled their way to an 86-55 win.

Coming off a tough meet against Greenwood the night before, Juniata coach Kim Hart said her team battled well despite injuries and illness going through her squad. Hart also knew her team was guaranteed to miss nine points it earned in the first meeting because East Juniata does not pole vault – and a rules change implemented this year stops visiting teams from collecting the points if the event is not contested.

“As far as the girls go, Janelle Swartz was not here today … and we don’t get the pole vault points. Those two things combined are pretty big factors. I don’t want to make excuses but that’s talent on our team that is not able to contribute,” Hart said. “On the good side of it we had to make some switches and I put Hallie Shertzer in at shot put and she won it. It was the first time she ever threw it in a meet. We put Jenn Houtz in the discus and she placed. Those types of things are big when you have to scramble and try to make amends for something you control. It was very admirable on their parts to be willing to do it, let alone to do a good job.”

Juniata’s Neil Bodley led the Indians to the victory, posting three first-place finishes in individual competition. Bodley took top honors in the 100-yard dash (12.0 seconds), 200-yard dash (24.1) and the discus (125 feet, 10 inches).

East Juniata’s score was paced by David Brantley’s four first-place finishes. Brantley notched first-place finishes in the 110-meter hurdles (15.6), 300-meter hurdles (43.6), long jump (18-0 1/4) and the triple jump (40-1).

Juniata took two of three from East Juniata in the relay events. The Indians won the 4×800-meter relay (10:03.0) and 4×100-meter relay (47.4). East Juniata took care of the 4×400-meter relay, posting a finishing time of 4:46.4.

In the end, Hart was very proud of the make up of her team and the endless team effort all of her players take when participating.

“Today you just had to take what would come. You don’t like to have two hard meets back-to-back, you just do it. You do what comes along,” Hart said. “It’s really gratifying to coach people that do not think of themselves at all when pretty much this is an individual sport. I really can’t think of one boy or girl on our team that thinks of themselves first.”

The East Juniata girls relay team took two of three from the Indians, winning the 4×100 by less than two seconds. The 4×400 relay was just as close as the Tigers won again by less than two seconds.

Amber Knouse and Megan Hart led the Tigers’ attack, finishing with two first-place finishes on the day. Knouse finshed tops in the 100-meter (13.2) and the 200 (28.2). Hart finished in the top spot in the 100-meter hurdles (17.2) and long jump (14-4.25).

Leading the way for Juniata was Carly Burns. Burns finished her day with two first-place finishes and a second.

Both teams will be sending entrants Saturday the Shippensburg Invitational.