LEWISTOWN - The inaugural Mifflin County sports year has seen many highlights both on and off the field. The 2011-12 season will go down in the history books - and not just because it was the first year.
Most of the sports teams have started and finished their seasons. For the spring sports, all but one has been blessed with its home debut. That is the Huskies track and field team.
Under coach Scott Gantz, Mifflin County has long anticipated the debut of the Huskies on the track and in the field. That debut fared well Tuesday as both Mifflin County squads swept Central Mountain and Huntingdon. The Husky boys beat Central Mountain 105-45 and Huntingdon 134-16, while the girls were winners over the Wildcats 100-50 and Bearcats 113-36.
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
Mifflin?County’s Logan Snyder clears the bar during the high jump event at Mifflin?County’s first home track and field meet Tuesday in?Lewistown. Snyder won the event with a leap of 5 feet. The Husky girls beat Huntingdon, 113-36, and Central Mountain 100-50.
"It was nice. There were people everywhere," Gantz said. "It was just like it has been for the past 12 years. It was good to be home to get the kids first home meet."
This meet marked the first of two for the Huskies in their inaugural season. Mifflin County will host State College on May 10. It was nice to not have to hit the road in a bus this time, Gantz said.
"I think here in Mifflin County we have a strong track and field tradition," he said. "Just by looking around the track and seeing that support is nice. The kids do take notice and it inspires them to do better. I think they were pumped and ready to perform tonight."
Mifflin County travels to the Lock Haven Invitational Friday
Heading into the tri-meet Tuesday, the Huskies have had nothing but wins. Both the boys and the girls teams were sitting at 4-0. That streak continued with a dominant performance on the track.
The Huskies lost only two events on the oval between the boys and girls. The tone for the day was set right off the bat with the 4x800 relay. The boys team of Patrick Parker, Jason Perry, Jon Colwell and Zach Moon blazed around the track in 9:15.4. That was a preview of things to come.
The girls 4x800 had the same result. Sam Peters, Makenna Pollock, Kaitlyn Yearick and Marissa Long sent furry to the opponents with a time of 10:47.3.
"We have so many kids in the system that are interchangeable that we can throw kids in any relay and expect the same results," Gantz said. "It's basically a chess match on the track and we adjust accordingly."
That blazing 4x800 relay led to an absolute onslaught of Mifflin County wins. Winning four total events for the Huskies were Nate Baumgardner (110 hurdles and 200 dash), Zach Moon (1,600 run and 3,200 run) and Timmy Beck (400 dash and 200 dash).
"Timmy is one of the hardest workers we have," Gantz said. "He gives it all he has every time he gets on the track. He was really excited with the way it turned out."
To go along with firsts in every individual track event against Huntingdon and 10 out of 11 against Central Mountain for the boys was a sweep in the relay events. The 4x800, 4x100, 4x400 were all the product of Mifflin County winners.
Although the Huskies didn't have the same success in the field, they got the job done. Jake Shepherd won three total events - a first in the high jump in both meets and one long jump win. Harry Lowber picked up a pair of wins on the day by blitzing the competition in the triple jump.
When the Husky girls finally debuted at home, they left no doubt that the newly-formed Class AAAA school would be a force to reckon with.
Led by Whitney Strohecker and Madi Walters, Central Mountain and Huntingdon were no match for the Huskies. Walters had six total wins for Mifflin County and Strohecker added four. Logan Snyder controlled the field events with wins over Central Mountain and Huntingdon in the triple and high jumps.
Central Mountain's Jenna Toner has been the catalyst for the Wildcats all season. However, Walters and Marissa Long had something to say about that.
One of the biggest highlights of the day was Long's win in the 400 dash. Long beat Toner by nearly three seconds. Walters knocked off Toner by a fraction in the 200 dash.
"Marissa is just a beast," Gantz said. "From day one she's been one of the hardest workers we have.
"Madi has had a great season for us. She's really excited because she's performing so well. She took down one of the top performers in the Mountain League today."
Gantz was impressed with Mifflin County's Makayla Rearick on Tuesday. Her shot put throw of 34 feet, 11 inches got her a pair of wins and was just an inch shy of her goal. But that was certainly enough to send her praises from Gantz.
"Steady progress," he said. "She came out with us in indoor with mid-20s and it's just been on the rise since the day she started."
Both the Mifflin County teams improve to 6-0 on the season. Up next is the Lock Haven Invitational Friday at Lock Haven University's Hubert Jack Stadium.