Huskies split Mid-Penn meet with Rams
Boys sweep five events, win 12 over CD
LEWISTOWN — It wasn’t that big a deal that the Mifflin County boys won their Commonwealth Division track and field meet over Central Dauphin Thursday.
What is a big deal is what the win represents.
The Huskies got points not only from the people you’d expect, but from a few who stepped in and stepped up. The victory keeps the boys above the .500 mark with just two dual meets left on the schedule. That’s why they won 100-49 over the Rams.
The girls? They surely tried, and the effort kept them afloat for half the meet before Central Dauphin broke away for a 91-59 win.
“It was a big win. It was a good night. We won 12 of 18 events and we swept five,” Mifflin County boys coach Scot Sechler said. “It was a great effort.”
Some of the wins were from people you expect to deliver points. Andrew Bennett captured two throwing events (and teammate Davis Wagner the third). Malik Sechler had a pair of jumps and the 100-meter dash. Seth Phillips (800) and Chayce Macknair (1,600) each brought the points in distance.
“Malik had a big night, he won three events. Andrew Bennett, Chayce Macknair — the names you hear over and over. Seth Phillips. We have a lot of seniors, and they do a great job with the younger kids as well,” Sechler said.
But it was also the next generation that aided the Huskies, which Sechler said was sometimes as pleasing to the athletes as it was to the coaches.
“This was a meet where we were able to get some younger kids some experience, a chance to compete as well,” he said. Freshman Zach Bickhart anchored the 4×100, Kyler Snook went over the bar in the pole vault — and won it.
“That was only the second time he’s ever pole vaulted in a meet,” Sechler said.
It wasn’t just winners. Logan Renninger joined Bennett and Isaiah Reed to sweep the shot put.
“Renninger earned some team points, and he was tickled to death,” Sechler said. “He’s been plugging away.”
“This week was a tough week for the boys,” said Scott Gantz, the Huskies’ girls coach. “We had some kids that were out in key areas. Without even him having to ask, he had kids step up and say, ‘I’m going to fill in here.’ Kids that have never even done that before.
“They’re thinking about the team — putting the team ahead of themselves. The boys this year are doing a great job of that.”
The Mifflin County girls stayed strong early in the meet, winning four of the first seven events scored. But a drought opened up after that, and only twice before it ended did the Huskies claim the five first-place points.
Skylar Ciccolini, who claimed the school record in the javelin at the last meet, won it again. The field was better to the girls, who won the pole vault (Emily Bielski) and with her first win and a PR in the shot put, Layla Shimp. Chelsea Scott won the 100 hurdles.
“I was pleased with some of my young girl throwers tonight,” Gantz said. “My discus throwers are finally coming around. It’s getting better.”
This is the first time this season the Huskies have run two meets two days apart, and Gantz admitted that was a factor.
“And I think it’s probably more of a mental thing than it is physical. I don’t think they really understand how to come back from that first meet,” he said.
And there was no effort greater than in the 4×100 relay, when a stunning anchor run gave the win to a quartet who trailed the three prior legs.
“That’s just a small picture of what we get out of these girls. They’re not going to quit on us,” Gantz said. “They hung in the whole race. The handoffs were better … and that’s the big part.”
As the mile runners rounded the track — Mifflin County’s Lauren Kuykendall won it — Gantz was encouraging the trailing runners to go for the points.
“We were scrapping for everything we could get,” he said. “At mid-meet we were right there with them and then it just got away from us.”
The girls fall to 1-4. Mifflin County travels to Cumberland Valley Tuesday.