MC boys squeak by Panthers
LEWISTOWN – All season for Mifflin County boys track and field there have been two constants, Darien Knudsen and George Donahey.
The Huskies’ final home meet of the 2014 season, a season-ending 75-74 win by the boys over Central Dauphin East,was no different.
“That’s kind of a given going into a meet,” Mifflin County coach Scott Gantz said. “George has been performing real well for us all year. He’s getting to the point now where he’s postseason ready.
“Darien on the other hand, he struggled a little bit earlier in the year,” Gantz said. “He’s wasn’t really feeling 100 percent but he’s starting to feel better for us. He’s one of those kids where we can put him anywhere from the 400 to the 3,200 and expect big point from him. They’re performing real well.”
For the girls team, the bright spot in a 81-69 win over the Panthers was a sweep of the long jump.
Molly Dunmire won the long jump with a 14 foot, 10-inch leap mark, while Anna Aurand (14-8) added a second-place and Rebecca Evanitsky took third (14-6).
“Anna’s doing well,” Gantz said. “Rebecca is coming along. They’re grinders. They come to practice every day and they work hard. Their performance in the field is starting to show that the hard work is paying off.”
Knudsen won the mile by less than a second over teammate Trenton Yoder, coming in at 4:46.2 while Yoder finished in 4:46.7.
When he came through at 800 meters, Knudsen had about two steps on Yoder, who’s 4:46 was a personal best in the event and kept that pace for the next 700-plus meters.
“It was a little more of a tempo run for me,” Knudsen said of his first-place finish. “The goal was to keep the pace around 4:46 and we were on pace for the first 800. It was just a fun run for me and a good, fast race for Trenton.”
The final 100, Knudsen had a few steps on Yoder and looked back toward his teammate.
“I was encouraging him,” Knudsen said. “I really wanted him to run fast. I wanted him to run fast to get a good seed in the for Mid-Penns coming up.”
The Husky junior also took the 800-meter run in 2:05.9.
Donahey won the pole vault, clearing 14 feet after easily getting over the bar at 12 and 13 feet.
After missing 14-3 the first try, Donahey deliberated with coach Tamara Sechler about a plan of action to clear the mark.
He realized that he probably needed and didn’t have a longer pole. Still, he tried the jump again – but wasn’t able to clear the bar.
“The goal was to get 15-feet,” Donahey said. “It was looking real good today, I had a lot of good attempts, I just didn’t have that next pole I needed to get that extra height.”
Before his third attempt, he moved his standard back about eight inches to give himself more room.
His final try wasn’t successful, but Donahey still had a first-place mark at 14 even.
“On my last attempt, I usually go harder,” Donahey said. “It’s my last jump, so I have to step it up even more than I usually can. I usually back up more in case I run under.”
The Huskies’ record holder in the pole vault still has his eyes on the 15-foot mark.
“I guess I’ll have to get that Saturday,” Donahey said.
Donahey also added a second-place finish in the long jump, leaping 19-4.
Caleb Smith won the shot put by three and a half feet, throwing 44-6.
“We were really happy with Caleb Smith tonight,” Gantz said. “He set a school record in the shot put. (We’re) just really happy for him. He’s worked extremely hard this year.”
Zach Long led the way to a decisive javelin sweep, throwing 175 feet to win the event by almost 35 feet.
“This meet came down to seconds and thirds again,” Gantz said. “I’ve said it time and time again. It’s something that we preach every week and today (the boys meet) came down to one point. Who’s to say where that point came from, but that one point made the difference.”
The Huskies will compete in the Mid-Penn Conference championships on Saturday at Chambersburg.