HUMMELSTOWN >> Last year, the Palmyra girls track and field team took away something near and dear to Lower Dauphin's heart when it ended the Falcons' epic 47-meet win streak.

This year, LD returned the favor, taking something of value from the Cougars — the Mid-Penn Keystone Division title.

The Falcons' captured their sixth straight Keystone championship on Thursday, edging Palmyra by a slim 77-73 margin in a high-caliber winner-take-all showdown at Lower Dauphin High School.

Entering the division finale with an unblemished 6-0 record in the Keystone, Palmyra took its best at ending another impressive LD streak behind a pair of wins (1600, 3200) from senior distance standout Miranda Salvo.

But Lower Dauphin (6-0-1) compensated by, among other things, picking up key victories from Joely Helder in the 100 dash, freshman Karina Long in the long jump and Leah Gamber in the shot put to ultimately dash Palmyra's hopes.

"I think the girls were motivated," said LD head coach and former Palmyra sprint star Greg Miller, of avenging last season's loss to Palmyra. "The seniors knew what that sting felt like and they wanted to get a little revenge. I feel good for the seniors but Palmyra's a great team.

"Going against Palmyra, it's my old school and Danny (Palmyra head coach Byrd) is such a close friend, it's kinda bittersweet. They're a good team, they're coached well and their kids are great." The respect between the teams and their head coaches softened the blow a bit for Palmyra, as did the fact that the rivals brought out the best in each other, including in the 1600 where Salvo established a new school record while winning in 5:13.5.

"Great track meet, great team, Lower Dauphin," Byrd said. "Their girls really stepped up. They did a great job. That was a fun track meet, a lot of (personal records) all over the place. That's the way track is supposed to be."

On paper, the meet figured to be close and it certainly was.

Palmyra dominated the distance events led by Salvo and Katie (400) and Jess Dembrowski (800) and also picked up victories in the javelin (Katy McClellan), high jump (Kristen Smoluk), triple jump (Camryn Simpson) and discus (Amber Stamm).

But LD responded with the key wins by Helder, Long and Gamber while also dominating the sprints and hurdles.

"I always get together and score it ahead of time," Miller said. "I scored it five times, and each time it came out 76-74 them. To be honest with you, I didn't think we had enough. We had some girls that really stepped up and made the difference."

Clinging to a 69-67 lead with two events remaining, LD got eight of a possible nine points in the shot put, led by Gamber's win, to clinch the meet prior to the final event — the 1600 relay that Palmyra would win.

"Obviously it would have been nice to win the division," Byrd said. "But we've still had a good year and we've got a lot left (in the postseason.). We figured it was gonna come right down to it and it did."

And in the end, LD simply wasn't willing to fully surrender another prized possession to Palmyra.

"It's really a testament to the kids," Miller said of LD's string of division titles. "They work hard, they come to practice every day and do everything you ask them to. They have the right attitude, it's a great group of kids to coach."

The boys' portion of the meet didn't have a division title at stake but was just as closely contested.

Lower Dauphin pulled out a 73-67 win, with the discus left unfinished due to a lightning storm that appeared late in the meet.

Mitchell Cooper led Palmyra with wins in the 110 high hurdles and the triple jump.

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