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Gunderson’s Golden Leap Highlights Locale’s Stellar Opening Day at L-L Track and Field Meet



LANDISVILLE – The goal is always to go as high as you can.

Higher than yesterday. But not as high as tomorrow.

Friday the 13th was a good day for Noah Gunderson.

Under changeable skies at Hempfield High School, during an abbreviated opening day at the 49th annual contesting of the Lancaster-Lebanon Track and Field Championships, Gunderson leaped 6-2 to strike gold in the high jump. The top-seed, Gunderson, a junior out of Annville-Cleona, edged McCaskey senior Jewleus Benner, to claim the title.

While it was a great day for Gunderson, it was also a very good day for Lebanon County competitors as a whole. In addition to Gunderson’s gold, the locale also copped a trio of silver medals, as well as a handful of other shiny metallic awards.

Lebanon freshman Liliana Harrison, Cedar Crest senior Emily Oriel and Annville-Cleona senior Braetan Peters all earned well-deserved runner-up honors.

This year’s Lancaster-Lebanon Track and Field Championships will resume tomorrow morning and conclude Saturday afternoon.

“I just wanted to jump the best I could,” said Gunderson. “I wanted to go as high as I could. I didn’t win the way I wanted to. But 6-2 and a gold medal, I’ll take it.

“I was really nervous all day,” added Gunderson. “I couldn’t focus. I was just ready to compete.”

In some ways, Gunderson’s performance was simply a continuation of last season’s successful sophomore postseason, when he burst on to the scholastic track and field scene. But in another way, it was the start of a new and different one.

In 2021 as a tenth-grader, Gunderson finished second at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships, second at the District Three Class AA meet and copped a surprising eighth-place medal at the state championships. Two weeks ago, Gunderson had captured the high jump championship at the Lebanon County meet.

“It’s (the L-L Track and Field Championships) really important to me,” said Gunderson, who has cleared 6-5. “I’m happy to compete. To come out with a win, I’m really happy.

“My goal is to win districts and win states, and if I can’t do it this year, win it next year,” continued Gunderson. “I just want to continue to win. Just keep getting better and keep competing.”

Entering the 3200-meter competition seeded fourth, Peters battled eventual winner Miliana Breuninger most of the way, before settling for silver. Peters made up ground in the middle of the race, then gave way to Breuninger’s closing kick.

Another veteran of the postseason wars, Peters was third in the 3200-meter run at the District Three Track and Field Championships last year and fourth in the 1600-meter run.

“Coming in, I knew what the times were,” said Peters. “When the race started, I went out with the number-one girl (Breuninger). We caught each other around the halfway point and I ran with her for awhile, but she pulled away. She was a huge help, having someone to run with and push me.

“I definitely look forward to the league meet,” Peters added. “I think this was a great way to prepare for districts. Early in the season, I wanted to reach the 11:30 mark. I was able to accomplish that, and now I have (personal record of) 11:25. I just want to keep improving and see how low I can take it.”

In the girls’ pole vault, Oriel finished second to Lancaster-Lebanon League champion Katie Urbine of Solanco. Oriel, who also finished second to Urbine last season as a junior, topped 11-0, three inches below the height she cleared in winning the Lebanon County championship on April 30.

Falcon teammate Molly Heintzelman copped the bronze medal in the competition.

“I’m happy to finish second because it’s my last (league) meet,” said Oriel. “I knew Katie was going to do really, really good. I just wanted to do my best.

“I did gymnastics for 12 years,” Oriel added. “Then someone said, ‘If you do pole vault, you’ll be really good at it.’ I tried it and I liked it, so I just kept doing it.”

Harrison was seeded third in the discus and popped a 113-11 to garner the silver medal. Warwick junior Ella Lucas took home top honors in the event with a 129-1.

Elco senior Cole Thomas earned a bronze medal in the javelin, with a throw of 158-4. Lebanon’s Caleb Hershey ran fourth in the 3200-meters, in a new school record time of 9:33.51.

Lebanon County went four, five and six in the girls’ triple jump, with Elco freshman Mckenna Haas, Heintzelman and Cedar Crest junior Alyssa Vandett.


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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:

 Girls:                                                Boys:

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
Boy Jaren Hayes CC 10.3 2001
200 M Dash Girl Leah Graybill WAR 24.6 2019
Girl Shannon Norris WAR 24.8 2002
Boy Jaren Hayes CC 21.4 2001
400 M Dash Girl Leah Graybill WAR 56.15 2019
Boy Eric Hiller ET 48.5 1999
800 M Run Girl Meredith Newman MT 02:14.0 2014
Boy Jared Weaver CV 01:52.9 2006
1600 M Run Girl Katie Locker Etown 04:59.6 2019
Boy Nathan Henderson JPM 04:11.7 2017
3200 M Run Girl Kate Dickow WAR 10:37.9 2019
Boy Nathan Henderson JPM 09:03.1 2017
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
Boy Chance Post CV 37.43 2014
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
Girl Kristen Herr(IAAF) LS 142’1″ 2017
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
Boy Jon Andrews GS 15’0″ 2006




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