Owen Wing was starting to get tired of seeing the “2” stick.
When runners cross the finish line, they are handed a small Popsicle stick with their finishing place on it. State College teammate Nick Feffer was always getting the “1,” and Wing kept getting the next stick.
“I got kind of tired of that and I wanted to go after it,” Wing said. “We train together, and it’s like a nice competition, a friendly rivalry.”
Friday night at Mansion Park, Wing finally got the best of his teammate as the Little Lion boys and girls swept to decisive Class 3A team victories at the 68th annual West Central Coaches Invitational.
The Lady Little Lions won with 171 points over Hollidaysburg’s 73.75 for second, while the State College boys finished with 154 to beat Altoona’s 123.
Picking up the mild surprise win was Wing in the 1,600-meter run.
“Finally I saw the ‘1’ stick,” Wing said with a glowing grin, beating his fellow senior for the first time, dating all the way back to their freshman season.
Wing said he felt like he had a lot left in the tank for the final lap, even as he trailed Feffer, but passed his teammate in the final 100 meters to win in 4 minutes, 23.31 seconds. Feffer was next in 4:24.48.
“He was always a little bit ahead of me,” Wing said. “I’m always right there, and at the very end he gets me. This is the biggest race I’ve got him in.”
Also surprised, but in a different way, was Jordan Bair. The senior won the shot put at 40 feet, 1/2 inch. It was more than two feet off her school record, but it broke the meet record.
“I was shocked,” Bair said. “I had no idea. I had no idea until they said it on the loudspeaker.”
She was just happy to get the win after dealing with the damp conditions. It didn’t rain much during the meet, but with heavy rains overnight it still didn’t help.
“It was a little lower (distance) than I wanted, but I’m happy with it,” Bair said. “The weather was kind of crappy. (The throwing circle) was a little wet, but the sand drove me nuts the most because of the texture. My shoes are supposed to be flat.”
Lyndsey Reed was nervous when she woke up Friday morning and saw the pouring rain, worrying about possible dangerous conditions for the pole vault.
“Looking at the forecast I was like, ‘Oh no. Uh oh,’” Reed said.
By the time she was vaulting, there were patches of blue sky. It helped Reed hit a personal-best 12-6 for a win, then she made three unsuccessful attempts at 12-10 to break Megan Fry’s school and meet record set two years ago.
“I feel a little disappointed,” Reed said. “But I can’t be too upset because I know it’s there and I have a lot of time to work for things.”
Also breaking a meet record was the 1,600-meter relay team of Jordi Rohrbach, Zoe Wicks, Taylor Givens and Esther Seeland. They cracked the 2-minute mark for the first time as a team this spring and won in 3:59.54.
“We’re really excited about that,” Rohrbach said. “The 4x4 is so much fun, and it’s always good whenever we get a record.”
Rohrbach also won the triple jump at 35-6 1/2, and was second in both the 100 and long jump.
“I’m happy that I won,” Rohrbach said. “But my goal was to get the meet record today.
My (personal record) is pretty close to it, but I was excited to win. I think I’m going to get there.”
Other Lady Little Lion winners included the 3,200-meter relay team of Sophie Bollinger, Catherine Curtin, Kileigh Kane and Emma Simon (9:41.42), Esther Seeland in the 800 (2:18.81) and Givens in the triple jump at 35-6 1/2. That added to runner-up finishes for Givens in the 100 and long jump.
“I have a lot more left,” Givens said. “I don’t practice it much. It’s kind of a side event, but it helps me with all my other events.”
Ben Oesterling, Chase Longenecker, Matt Russell, Joey Feffer combined to win the 4x400 relay in 3:32.30, and Brandon Clark took the triple jump at 45-6 1/2, beating out teammate and runner-up Stanley Hamilton. Also picking up a win was Titus Thompson at 158-10 in the javelin, though he was using a shorter approach down the runway. A longer run, he hopes, gets him into the 180-foot range.
“Hopefully I can throw that at the district meet,” Thompson said. “We’ll see how practice goes the next couple minutes.”
Bellefonte’s day was highlighted by seventh-place finishes for Amber Shirey (3,200) and Alison Spratt (discus) as the girls finished 13th with five points. The Red Raider boys saw third-place finishes for Brett Pope in the 3,200 and James Boland in the discus, and a fourth for Nate Wert in the pole vault.
“It’s kind of fun to be the last guy (as the winner at small meets),” Wert said. “It’s more fun when you have more people, when you have people that are up there with you and higher than you.”