The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

May 2, 2012

Daily Sports Roundup: Lewisburg girls gracious in defeat

Because Tuesday was such a monumental day in Valley sports with the Selinsgrove girls track and field team ending Lewisburg’s nearly 18-year win streak, we’re going to change up today’s format with a bunch of stuff pulled off Harold Raker’s recorder and notebook.

Gracious in Defeat: Selinsgrove girls track and field coach Dave Lauer was doing an interview after his Seals had knocked off the Lewisburg Green Dragons to not only end the visitors’ 18-year, 147-meet win streak, but to win the Heartland Athletic Conference Division I championship. It was interrupted by members of the Lewisburg team, who approached Lauer to offer congratulations.

In addition longtime Lewisburg assistant coach Aimee Baylor, who competed for the Green Dragons and whose daughter, Blake-Ann, is a freshman on the team, gave Lauer a congratulatory hug.

Asked about it later, Lewisburg head coach Jonathan Clark said he told his team going into the meet that they should be gracious in victory or gracious in defeat.

He told them that how they reacted after either a win or a loss would be important and that “eyes are watching you.”

Handling a Loss: Clark has not had much experience dealing with a loss. He was a much younger man the last time it happened, and, most of his girls had not even been born when the Green Dragons last lost, on May 6, 1994, to Selinsgrove.

The girls were sorry for their coach that they had not been able to continue the streak.

But Clark told them in the team’s post-meet get-together, “Don’t feel sorry for me. I am the coach of one of the most successful programs around.”

He also told them it is not the end of the season. Several of them will compete this weekend in the HAC freshman-sophomore meet, plus the following weekend is the HAC meet, followed in another week by the District 4 championships, and for those who qualify, the state meet in Shippensburg.

He said it only means that they go back to work today and train and work to get better. “That’s what we do,” he said.

Bouncing Back: Lewisburg boys coach Mark Sundberg said that going into what would be a HAC-I title-clinching victory at Selinsgrove, he knew that, unless his team faltered, it would have no trouble scoring more than 75 points to beat Selinsgrove.

But he also reminded them and himself that he had the same thought going into the HAC season opener at Shikellamy. The Dragons lost that day, but rallied to win the title, polishing it off with back-to-back wins over Williamsport and Selinsgrove.

“Yes, I thought the same thing about Shikellamy, and we faltered,” he said.

Looking Ahead: The Seals’ Dave Lauer seemed to take a different tact than most coaches when it came to getting ready for Lewisburg. The coach admitted that ever since the Seals beat Danville in the season opener, they immediately began focusing on the finale with Lewisburg.

“We did take it one meet at a time, but every meet, we did something to help prepare for Lewisburg,” Lauer said.

Sprinter-hurdler Marissa Heddings, a sophomore, said the Seals prepared by working harder every week and focusing not only on their opponent of the day but in improving for the Lewisburg meet.

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