LANDISVILLE >> The search for a sporting occasion that Evan Horn can't rise to continues. It's gonna be a long search.

And Erin Winters isn't exactly a shrinking violet, either, when it comes to meeting and overcoming challenges.

The competitive spirit and clutch genes of Cedar Crest's Horn and Lebanon's Winters were on full display on Friday during Day One of the Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field Championships at Hempfield High School.

Horn added to an already considerable athletic legacy by capturing the boys javelin title with an ice-water-in-the veins heave of 181 feet, four inches on his final attempt, jumping from third place to the top of the medal stand.

Winters, meanwhile, continued to soar to incredible heights in competition, clearing a season-best 12 feet, six inches en route to successfully defending her girls pole vault championship.

The gold-medal efforts of Horn and Winters highlighted a strong showing by Lebanon County competitors, as the locals departed Landisville with a total of nine medals in tow.

Horn added a fifth-place medal in the long jump and was joined by teammate Landy Cruz (3rd) and Lebanon's Juan Maldonado (6th) on the medal stand, while Northern Lebanon's Dakota Leonhard secured a sixth-place finish in the boys javelin and fellow Vikings John Randolph and Ryan Morgan were fifth and sixth, respectively, in the high jump.

On the girls' side, Winters' teammate Jeannie Showers was fourth in the pole vault, and Cedar Crest's Shanna Sweigart grabbed a sixth in the discus.

Locally, though, the day belonged to Horn and Winters and their epic displays of grace under pressure.

Hey, it's what they do.

"The biggest thing in sports, I think, is you have to be clutch," said Horn, who's honed those instincts on the basketball court and football field. "You gotta be able to come up big when you have to, especially a moment like that last throw. At the end of workouts, it's like, 'All right, let's get this done, let's do it right.' In everything, I always try to make sure to do the best I can and it definitely helps here."

Horn needed to call upon those qualities after an up-and-down performance on Friday.

He hit 176-10 in the prelims to secure a spot in the finals, but also mixed in subpar efforts of 152-8, 157-5 and 157-2 and found himself in third place behind McCaskey's Cain Resch and Tyler Hoag of Manheim Central heading into that final throw.

"I wanted to throw it farther," he said. "I was hoping to get 190 today, but I'll take 181. I hope to come out next week at (districts) with a better series and a better showing than I had today.

"I think I was trying too hard, and I was upset because I didn't do too well in the long jump."

Winters also believes she has better in her, but was still thrilled with being able to successfully defend her title and with her best effort of the season.

She didn't match last season's winning, league-record vault of 12-8, but that's about all she didn't do on Friday.

"It's awesome to see that all the pieces are finally coming back together," said Winters, who battled both illness and injury prior to and during the early season. "Where I was a couple months ago and where I am now is night and day. It's awesome that I'm back to where I used to be."

Winters officially clinched the repeat when she cleared 12 feet and runner-up Jordan Hess of Penn Manor came up short in her three tries.

But she wasn't done there, moving the bar to 12-6 and finally clearing the height on her third and final attempt.

"It was awesome to clear that," Winters said with a smile. "I'd been working to get over 12 feet for the longest time, and I finally got over that and now I got over 12-6, so I'm really excited."

Competition will resume today at 10 a.m., back at Hempfield, and a number of Lebanon County competitors will be looking to join Horn and Winters as gold medalists.

Among those who qualified for finals out of Friday's trials were Annville-Cleona's Reagan Hess (girls 100, 200 dash), Cedar Crest's Destinee Holloman (girls 100 dash) Lebanon's Jeronimo Rodriguez (boys 200 dash), Cedar Crest's Ivan Baptiste (boys 100 dash) and Northern Lebanon's Nicholas Achenbach, and Elco's Chris Gilbertson and Luke Darkes (110 high hurdles).

In the team standings, the Cedar Crest boys are second behind McCaskey (38) with 18 points, and the Lebanon girls are also second with 14 points, tied with Hempfield and Solanco and five points behind frontrunning Penn Manor.

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