L-L Track and Field: Unsung Heroes
When six gold medals are won by kids from your coverage area, as was the case for Lebanon County competitors at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Track and Field meet on Saturday, it's difficult to write about anything else.
And that's as it should be - you win the gold, you deserve proper recognition for it. The only problem is the reporter - in this case, yours truly - ends up overlooking some other attention-worthy performances in his story because of it.
So I'm going to try to remedy that now by highlighting some of the standout performers from Lebanon County that you didn't get to read about in Saturday's story on the L-L meet. Trust me, there were plenty. So many, that I may end up missing some more.
Oh, well. Still gonna give it a shot. And away we go...
Jesse Cruise, Cedar Crest: The Falcons' senior distance runner deluxe wasn't totally overlooked, gaining some of the limelight by anchoring Crest's winning 3200 relay team.
But that's not all he did Saturday. First came an epic silver-medal performance in the 1600 in which he battled McCaskey star Nathan Henderson to the wire, finishing in 4:17.36 and missing out on the gold by .23 seconds.
If that wasn't enough, Cruise later added a fifth-place medal in the 800 meters in 2:00.95.
Damian DiAngelis, Northern Lebanon: DiAngelis was unable to defend his boys pole vault title, but that's about all he didn't do Saturday.
Despite battling a painful calf cramp that limited him late in the competition, DiAngelis soared 13 feet en route to earning a silver medal in the event, which was dominated by county vaulters. Lebanon's Jesse Brownstein won the gold by clearing 13-6, while Cedar teammate Huy Luu was fourth with a top vault of 12-6.
DiAngelis was hopeful he'll be able to bounce back strong at the District Three Championships this weekend.
Emily Peters, Cedar Crest: Like her Crest teammate Cruise, Peters got lost a bit in the gold medal commotion Saturday, turning in a superb silver-medal effort in the 800. Also a field hockey standout for the Falcons, Peters conquered all but winner Meredith Newman of Manheim Township in the 29-runner field, crossing the line in 2:21.32 to help Crest to a second-place finish in the team standings.
Ethan Anspach, Elco: The Raiders haven't typically boasted top-flight sprinters over the years, but they've got one now in Anspach, the reigning county champ in the 100 meter dash.
He didn't strike gold on Saturday, but Anspach did walk - run? - away with a pair of bronze medals in the 100 and 200, solidifying himself as one of the L-L's best.
Matt Vines, Northern Lebanon: A standout football player and wrestler, Vines issued a reminder he's a three-sport stud on Saturday with a strong third-place finish in the discus. His top throw of 152-8 was just five feet behind the winning effort of Ben Viau of Manheim Township.
Destinee Holloman, Cedar Crest: The county's medal hopes in the girls 100 dash seemed in jeopardy when Annville-Cleona's Reagan Hess opted not to compete, but Holloman more than picked up some of the slack, racing to a third-place finish in 12.61 seconds. She later added a fifth-place finish in the long jump.
Ary'Anna Ortolaza, Lebanon: Brownstein and 800 meter champ Derin Klick enjoyed the limelight for the Cedars with their golds on Saturday, but Ortolaza was a bright spot in a tough season for the Lebanon girls, landing on the medal stand with a fourth-place finish in the shot put. Her throw of 35-9 gave the Cedar girls their only points of the meet.