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GIRLS TRACK AND FIELD: Annville-Cleona's Reagan Hess, Palmyra girls shine brightest at Lebanon County meet.

Many tried, but greatness, both individually and collectively, wasn't in the mood to be denied.

At least not during the girls' portion of the Lebanon County Track and Field Championships on Saturday.

The individual brilliance came from Annville-Cleona's sophomore sprint sensation Reagan Hess, who was named the meet's Outstanding Female Athlete for the second year in a row after again winning four events.

And the collective greatness was provided by the Palmyra girls, who reclaimed the team championship behind the stellar efforts of its distinguished core group of middle- and long-distance performers.

In short, it wasn't a day filled with surprises, as further evidenced by the repeat win of Lebanon's Erin Winters in the pole vault and another shot put/discus sweep by Cedar Crest thrower deluxe Shanna Sweigart.

Not that it was easy for the greats. Hess, despite being burdened a bit by both internal and external expectations, captured the 100- (12.6) and 200-meter dashes (25.9), the long jump (17-11 1/2), and ran a sizzling anchor leg on A-C's winning 400-meter relay team that won in 50.5 seconds.

And Palmyra fought off the challenge of runner-up and defending champ Cedar Crest via sweep of the distance events provided by Jess Dembrowski (400), Katie Dembrowski (800), Maria Tukis (1600) and Miranda Salvo (3200).

"It's a great accomplishment to win four events, and a relief," said Hess. "It means my hard work is paying off. It's just a lot to take in. After the meet I'll go home and be like, 'Wow, I actually did this.' It's a blessing, honestly.

"Since my season last year I kinda feel like I have a target on my back. And there's a lot of pressure in general, and this meet adds a lot more. I just want to live up to last year and do the best that I can."

The Palmyra girls' accomplishments were less about pressure to perform and more geared toward competitive fire and team spirit.

A group known for rising to the occasion did so again in its own unique way, with Katy McClellan (javelin) and Camryn Simpson (triple jump), among others, supporting the distance crew with key wins in the field.

"The kids were focused, and they did a great job. They're good at that," Palmyra coach Danny Byrd said with a chuckle. "I think our girls really wanted to come back as strong as they could this year. We're proud of 'em.

"They did it again. They never cease to amaze."

Also displaying the true mark of a champion was Winters, who repeated as pole vault champ despite battling a foot injury and still recovering from illness that sidelined her during the winter season.

Her winning vault of 11 feet, 6 inches, was well below last year's effort of 12-1 but still encouraging nonetheless.

"It's awesome," Winters said. "Yeah, it wasn't the height I wanted, but it's just nice to come out here and compete with the girls. It's not always about the height, it's about improving yourself.

"I came in a little injured, but I did well."

Hess, on the other hand, was absolutely at full strength and appears primed to again make plenty of noise in the postseason.

"I think I did well in the (relay) and the 200, but I think I need to work on the long jump and the 100," Hess said. "But I think I did pretty well. I'm kinda happy that I got out of it what I put in."

Team-wise, Palmyra certainly got out what they put into Saturday's meet, which was a true team effort that couldn't be bettered.

"Hard work pays off, and they've been working really hard," Byrd said. "The senior leadership right down to the freshmen. It's been really great. It was a really good team effort, definitely."

Hard work also paid off handsomely for the rest of the county titleholders, most notably Sweigart, who three-peated as shot (39-4 1/2) and discus (98-10) champ.

Joining Sweigart in the winner's circle were Crest teammates Logan Reedy (high), Taylor Menser (high hurdles) and Brianna Laliberte (300 intermediate hurdles).

Palmyra took the 3200 (Salvo, Sarah Hollen and the Dembrowskis) and 1600 relays (Tukis, Ellie Keck and the Dembrowskis) and Hess was joined on A-C's winning 400 relay by Tori Malloy, Morgan Zimmerman and Veronica Merone.

Final Team Standings

1. Palmyra 214, 2. Cedar Crest 155.5, 3. Annville-Cleona 76, , 4. Lebanon 47.5, 5. Elco 46, 6. Northern Lebanon 15

3,200 relay — 1. Palmyra (Salvo, J. Dembrowski, Hollen, K. Dembrowski) 9:37.7, 2. Cedar Crest, 3. Lebanon, 4. Annville-Cleona, 5. Northern Lebanon; 110 hurdles — 1. Taylor Menser (CC) 16.5, 2. Nolt (E), 3. Keller (E), 4. Hutchinson (P), 5. Ti. Menser (CC), 6. Darkes (NL) ; 100 — 1. Reagan Hess (AC) 2. Simpson (P), 3. Davis (CC), 4. Bomgardner (P), 5. Clark (AC) ; 1,600 — 1. Maria Tukis (P) 5:32.9, 2. Smith (CC), 3. Bixler (P), 4. Shiner (CC), 5. Fields (E), 6. Foster (L) ; 400 relay — 1. Annville-Cleona (Malloy, Zimmerman, Merone, Hess) 50.5, 2. Cedar Crest, 3. Palmyra, 4. Lebanon, 5. Northern Lebanon ; 400 — 1. Jess Dembrowski (P) 2. Keck (P), 3. Burrows (CC), 4. Hartman (L), 5. (tie) Hanle (CC),Long (L); 300 hurdles — 1. Brianna Laliberte (CC) 50.0, 2. Hutchinson (P), 3. Keller (E), 4. Menser (CC), 5. Kreamer (AC), 6. Bonds (P) ; 800 — 1. Katie Dembrowski (P) 2:19.8, 2. Tukis (P), 3. Peters (CC), 4. Conners (AC), 5. Lalibertte (CC), 6. Cooper (L) ; 200 — 1. Hess (AC) 25.9, 2. Zimmerman (AC), 3. Davis (CC), 4. Bomgardner (P), 5. Williams (E), 6. Wolfe (P) ; 3,200 — 1. Miranda Salvo (P) 11:38.2, 2. Smith (CC), 3. Hollen (P), 4. Kiss (CC), 5. Cascotti (AC), 6. Foster (L) ; 1,600 relay — 1. Palmyra (Tukis, J. Dembrowski, Keck, K. Dembrowski) 4:12.5, 2. Cedar Crest, 3. Annville-Cleona, 4. Elco, 5. Lebanon ; Shot put — 1. Shanna Sweigart (CC) 39-4 1/2, 2. Swisher (P), 3. Stamm (P), 4. Ortolaza (L), 5. Dreibelbis (AC), 6. Weddle (CC) ; Discus — 1. Sweigart (CC) 98-10, 2. Swisher (P), 3. Gonzalez (CC), 4. Koser (P), 5. Reese (NL), 6. Dreibelbis (AC) ; Triple jump — 1. Camryn Simpson (P) 34-2, 2. Rogers (E), 3. Winsett (P), 4. Hartman (L), 5. Marone (AC), 6. Keller (E) ; Long jump — 1. Hess (AC) 17-11 1/2, 2. Simpson (P), 3. West (P), 4. Rogers (E), 5. Nolt (E), 6. Wolf (CC) ; High jump — 1. Logan Reedy (CC) 5-1 1/2, 2. Smoluk (P), 3. Goodwin (NL), 4. Schultz (P), 5. Keller (E), 6. Malloy (AC) ; Pole vault — 1. Erin Winters (L) 11-6, 2. Showers (L) 3. Martin (P), 4. Wolf (CC), 5. Deitz (AC), 6. Bidelspach (E) ; Javelin — 1. Katy McClellan (P) 121-6, 2. Hower (CC), 3. West (P), 4. Reedy (CC), 5. Phillips (NL), 6. Truax (L)