The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 13, 2014

Farmer, Vella wins mile at SU Invitational

SELINSGROVE — If Jenna Farmer sticks to her plan for the rest of the outdoor track season, Lewisburg will be in good hands.

Farmer used a late charge to win the girls’ 1600-meter run at the Susquehanna Invitational on Saturday.

“I just ran based on my competition and saw what I had left (for the final stretch),” Farmer said. “I really had no idea how it was going to go.”

Luckily for Farmer, she had plenty left in the tank despite the fact that the she normally competes at shorter distances.

Showing an extra gear, Farmer stayed close behind Shikellamy freshman Yoangelys Cedeno for the first three laps before making her move on the backstretch on the final lap. Farmer drew even with Cedeno in the start of the final turn, passed Cedeno and sprinted away, opening a large gap over the final 100 meters.

Farmer crossed the finish line in 5:09.11, rallying to win the event by 10 seconds.

“I knew that in the last lap, I would have (energy) left and that I just had to try and go all out,” Farmer said.

Lewisburg proved to be a force in the middle distances, with Nick Scullin racing to the line in 1:59.23 to take the boys’ 800 and Blake Baylor coming across the line in 2:20.95 to give the Green Dragons a sweep at 800 meters.

Much like Farmer, Baylor dealt with a lead change, holding onto the lead down a tight frontstretch to lunge across the line in first.

Danville’s Tyler Vella prevented Lewisburg from sweeping the 800 and 1600, taking the boys’ 1600 with a time of 4:29.45.

“I just ran with a feel for the first 200 (meters) and just went out and tried to stay out (in front) as much as I possibly could,” Vella said.

Vella stayed in the lead late, winning the event by a second.

Vella, a name familiar to area track fans, came through on the top at the longer distances, and another familiar name crossed the line first in the 200 for the boys as Shikellamy’s Ryan Wary earned a gold medal.

If Wary’s name atop the results for the 200 seems like deja vu, it could be that Wary walked off the same Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium track last season with a District 4 gold medal in the 200 dash.

“I knew I had the top seed coming in and running that fast, I knew I had to focus on my start and I did,” Wary said. “My first 100 was pretty fast and I was able to keep that going and execute.”

Doubling Wary’s gold medal-winning distance, Wary’s Shikellamy teammate, Kurstyn Pfleegor, won the girls’ 400, narrowly missing breaking a minute as she stopped the clock in 1:00.10.

In the race — in which Pfleegor set a personal record at that distance — she held onto the lead before sprinting away from the field in the final 50 meters.

“I’ve been practicing all week on my finish because that’s my weakest part (of a race),” Pfleegor said. “I’ve always been that way since freshman year, so pretty much this year, my coaches decided we need to fix this. We’ve been working on some distance stuff the past week, so that just paid off today.”

Southern Columbia’s Luke Rarig showed the same speed that he flashed during football and basketball season, winning a pair of events.

Rarig qualified for the state meet last year as a sophomore in the 110 hurdles and repeated his success against many of the same schools, winning the 110 hurdles in 15.03. Rarig added a second piece of gold around his neck, taking first in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 11.5 inches.

“It feels pretty good (to get two wins).” Rarig said. “It’s a nice day for the track meet finally.”

While Rarig had one of his wins in the long jump, Milton’s Norman Whaley broke through with a gold medal in the triple jump with a distance of 45 feet, six inches. Whaley trailed Rarig in both of the Southern Columbia junior’s wins, with Whaley finishing third in the 110 hurdles and second in the long jump.

Milton swept the 400 relay events, as the Black Panthers raced to first place in the boys’ relay with a time of 44.47 while the girls won in 52.93. The Black Panthers added a gold in the 1600 relay with a winning time of 3:30.73.

The girls’ javelin had a distinct Valley flavor as Danville’s Shelby Freedman beat her teammate, Kasey Getkin, and Warrior Run’s Steph Shamburg for first.

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