BY JEFF FALK
LANDISVILLE – Gabe Lewis is a spoke.
He’s a very fast spoke, one with the power to make the wheel go faster. But he needs the other spokes to help generate his power, just as much as the other spokes need him.
On a sticky Saturday at Hempfield High School, during the second and final day of the 49th annual Lancaster-Lebanon Track and Field Championships, Lewis starred both individually and as parts of successful Cedar Crest relay teams. The Falcon’s junior sprinter struck gold in the 100-meter dash, copped a bronze medal in the 200-meter dash and helped a couple of Falcon foursomes to collaborative gold and silver medals.
But as impressive as Lewis’ personal performance was, so were the Falcons’ performance in the relays. Perennially strong in the team events, the Cedar Crest boys finished first in the 3200-meter and 400-meter relays, and put forth a silver-medal showing in the 1600-meter relay.
Over the program’s long and storied history, the Falcons have now won a whopping 24 relay championships at the Lancaster-Lebanon league meet. Yesterday’s performance by Lewis and the Falcon relays helped propel Cedar Crest to a third-place finish in the boys’ team standings, behind champion McCaskey and runner-up Manheim Township.
But all that Falcon speed on the track wasn’t the only thing going for Lebanon County competitors at the L-L Championships. The county brought home a boatload of shiny medals, including silvers from four other events and bronze medals from five other events.
“We love the relays,” said Cedar Crest head coach Rob Bare. “We push it all the time. It’s all about the team. It’s more important to be the best competitor for the team than the best competitor on the team. They willed it. They wanted it.
“I feel great about how we did overall,” added Bare. “There’s a lot that can happen here.”
“Some people say it’s genetics, and to an extent, that’s right,” said Lewis, when asked from where his speed originates. “But you can always get faster, no matter who you are. With sprinting, it’s the work you do the week before that helps you the day of the race. You’ve got to strategically plan it.
“When I sprint, I match my competition,” continued Lewis. “When I have great competition, it’s going to pull me through. It’s very delicate, what you do.”
In the 200-meter dash, ‘Lightning’ Lewis finished behind winner Darren Cammauf of Manheim Township and runner-up Teagan Weaver of Lampeter-Strasburg, in 22.91. He concluded his day by anchoring a Falcon quartet that also included Kyle Rauchut, Nick Garman and Ethan Heisey to a silver-medal showing in the 1600-meter relay.
Earlier, Lewis had also anchored Cedar Crest’s victorious 400-meter relay team that also consisted of Rauchut, Garman and Joe Santiago. But the highlight of his performance came in the 100-meter dash, where he got off to a fast start and then held off Weaver and the rest of the finals’ field, by .02 of a second, in 11:05.
It was Cedar Crest’s first victory in the boys’ 100-meter dash at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships since Denzel Pierre in 2014.
“Coming in, I felt good, but not a hundred percent,” said Lewis, who has laid down 10.8 in the 100. “I had a really good start. The middle is always best part. I leaned at the end, because it was close.
“It feels great,” Lewis added. “Last year was my first year in track, and I didn’t even qualify. Now, I’m a year older, and I did a lot of work in the off-season.”
“The biggest thing about Gabe is that he’s one of the most coachable athletes I’ve ever had,” said Bare. “He’s so respectful. I’ve been in his face once or twice, and he’s responded.”
The Falcon boys started their competition on Saturday by winning the 3200-meter relay competition, as the team of Rauchut, Luke Hinegardner, Caleb Peters and Ryan Wolfe posted an 8:04.59.
On the girls’ side, Cedar Crest captured three more relay medals, including in the 1600-meter relay, where Lily Young, Juliana Donley, Alaina Miller and Emilee Walborn ran as the runner-up to McCaskey. In the 3200-meter relay, the Falcon foursome of Grace Tadajweski, Alyssa Stiver, Donley and Lizze Lowe came in third.
“Our kids know the importance of relays,” said Bare. “As individuals, we can do good things, but together we can do great things.”
Also claiming a silver medal yesterday was Annville-Cleona senior Braetan Peters, in the 1600-meter run. It was Peters’ second silver of the meet, after she finished second in the 3200-meter run on Friday.
Not unlike Peters, Lebanon freshman Liliana Harrison collected her second Lancaster-Lebanon League silver medal on Saturday, this one in the shot put.
But Elco junior Colin Daub’s runner-up showing in the discus had a different feel. The top seed in the event, Daub finished second by an inch to McCaskey’s John Stewart.
Cedar Crest senior Gavin Popejoy was the bronze medal winner in the boys’ shot put, as was Elco junior Sam Nelson in the girls’ javelin. Chase Watson, a senior out of Annville-Cleona, came in third in the 400-meter dash, and so did Cedar Crest junior Lily Young in the 200-meter dash.
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Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships
Past Team Champions
Year Girls Boys
2021 McCaskey McCaskey
2020 COVID – No Meet COVID – No Meet
2019 Warwick Warwick
2018 Warwick Manheim Township
2017 Warwick Penn Manor
2016 Manheim Township McCaskey
2015 Hempfield McCaskey
2014 Hempfield Cedar Crest
2013 Ephrata Hempfield
2012 Hempfield Conestoga Valley
2011 Elizabethtown Hempfield
2010 Hempfield Hempfield
2009 Hempfield Hempfield
2008 Garden Spot Hempfield
2007 Hempfield McCaskey
2006 Hempfield McCaskey
2005 Garden Spot/Hempfield Conestoga Valley
2004 Hempfield Cedar Crest
2003 Hempfield Cedar Crest
2002 Hempfield Hempfield
2001 Hempfield McCaskey
2000 Hempfield Cocalico
1999 Warwick Cocalico
1998 McCaskey Cedar Crest
1997 Manheim Township McCaskey
1996 Solanco McCaskey
1995 Solanco Garden Spot
1994 Solanco Garden Spot
1993 Hempfield McCaskey
1992 McCaskey McCaskey
1991 Solanco McCaskey
1990 Hempfield McCaskey
1989 McCaskey McCaskey
1988 Solanco McCaskey
1987 Solanco McCaskey
1986 Hempfield Hempfield
1985 Hempfield McCaskey
1984 Annville-Cleona McCaskey
1983 Lampeter Strasburg McCaskey
1982 Penn Manor McCaskey
1981 McCaskey McCaskey
1980 McCaskey McCaskey
1979 Hempfield Solanco
1978 Hempfield McCaskey
1977 Penn Manor McCaskey
1976 Hempfield McCaksey
1975 Hempfield Solanco
1974 No Team Title McCaskey
1973 No Team Title McCaskey
Total Team Titles:
Hempfield 21 McCaskey 26
Solanco 6 Hempfield 7
McCaskey 6 Cedar Crest 4
Warwick 4 Cocalico 2
Garden Spot 2 C.V. 2
Man. Township 2 Garden Spot 2
Penn Manor 2 Solanco 2
Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships
Individual Meet Records
|100 M Dash||Girl||Brooke Gillford||MT||11.8||1997|
|200 M Dash||Girl||Leah Graybill||WAR||24.6||2019|
|400 M Dash||Girl||Leah Graybill||WAR||56.15||2019|
|800 M Run||Girl||Meredith Newman||MT||02:14.0||2014|
|1600 M Run||Girl||Katie Locker||Etown||04:59.6||2019|
|3200 M Run||Girl||Kate Dickow||WAR||10:37.9||2019|
|100M HH||Girl||Jane Livingston||CV||13.6||2019|
|110 M HH||Boy||Chance Post||CV||14.02||2014|
|300 M IH||Girl||Mary Witmer||Ephrata||42.3||2013|
|4 x100 Relay||Girl||Leah Graybill, Emily Williamson, Meghan Quinn, Lily Palacio-Lewis||WAR||47.34||2019|
|Boy||Kelvin Reyes, Tobias Robinson, Michael Fox, Peter Habegger||CC||42.2||2004|
|4 x 400 Relay||Girl||Lily Palacio-Lewis, Emily Williamson, Meghan Quinn, Cassidy Kline||WAR||03:57.1||2018|
|Boy||Jamel Henry, Dejon Manning, Anthony Deleon, Leonel DelRosario||JPM||03:21.2||2018|
|4 x 800 Relay||Girl||Kaitlyn Oliver, Kristine Gutshall, Alli Mannion, Alyssa Grube||WAR||9:29.09||2009|
|Boy||Shafer, Wagner, Webb, Thiry||COC||07:50.6||2000|
|Shot Put||Girl||Emily Stauffer||COC||48’3 1/2″||2016|
|Boy||Kyle Felpel||Coc||60′ 1 1/2″||2012|
|Discus||Girl||Eliese Mitchell||GS||159′ 10″||1999|
|Boy||Kyle Long||Hemp.||193′ 9″||2012|
|Javelin||Girl||Marilyn Senz||GS||146′ 1″||1980|
|Boy||Troy Burkholder||COC||220′ 11″||1995|
|Boy||Thomas Jordan (IAAF)||CC||213 ‘6″||2003|
|Long Jump||Girl||Leslie Hummer||AC||18′ 10″||1987|
|Boy||Ezra Mellinger||LS||23′ 11″||2019|
|Triple Jump||Girl||Stephanie Laudien||Hemp||38’7″||2014|
|Boy||Kyle Murr||PM||47′ 10 1/4″||2021|
|High Jump||Girl||Angie Messner||GS||5′ 10″||2009|
|Boy||Dana Hollinger||CC||7′ 0″||1981|
|Pole Vault||Girl||Mackenzie Horn||MT||13’0″||2018|