The End Zone Seat: Thinclads Leave Memorable Moments
Covering two major track meets over a three-day span adds up to a lot of loose ends worthy of noting.
From the triumph of the Wyalusing Valley girls’ team at the Northern Tier League Large School meet on Saturday to Elk Lake’s gold rush of medals at the District Two meet Monday, it was a great experience to cover.
It took all year, but Wyalusing Valley, on its final opportunity, kept alive a little known streak.
According to Wyalusing athletic director Brent Trowbridge, the Rams have won at least one league title per school year dating back to the late 1950s.
The girls’ victory was especially sweet since it was so unexpected.
On paper, Wellsboro was certainly favored to win the title. Everything had to go right for Wyalusing to win and that is what happened.
Veterans and rookies alike came through with big efforts for the Lady Rams, while Wellsboro couldn’t overcome adversity.
Who can forget Erika Huffman entering the 3200, a race she had never run in a meet, and finishing in a solid sixth place to deny Wellsboro any points? She also finished second in the 1600, a race she only ran once before Saturday.
Or Jessica Hotaling moving up to run the 800 and finishing second behind Huffman?
The pole vaulters, led by champion Jessica Carr, stepped up to claim three of the six point-scoring spots.
It turned out to be a very special day for the Schulze family.
Elesha Schulze won the high jump, while her older sister Lindsay ran a leg on the winning 400 relay team.
Their father, Jon, an assistant coach now after many years as the head coach, noted afterwards that he and fellow assistant Dave Behrend kept alive their own streak. They have been part, either as an athlete in Jon’s case, or as a coach, of every track championship in school history.
When the Athens boys tied Towanda for the team title in the last event of the day, Beth Schulze, Jon’s wife, who is also Athens’ principal, said, “I’m going to buy a lottery ticket. I can’t lose today.”
The District Two meet got off to a somewhat shaky start.
While the schedule called for the preliminary track events to start at 3:30 p.m., there was a delay because the crew in charge of the computer scoring didn’t arrive until moments before the slated time.
There was also a bit of a problem with the awards ceremonies for the individual event winners.
It seems the medals for the meet hadn’t arrived in time. Each medalist used a substitute medal during the presentations that they left behind for the next group.
There was also quite a long delay for several of the medalists to be recognized following their events.
Elk Lake’s Maria Trowbridge was called to the medal stand for the 3200 before she was recognized for her second-place finish in the 1600, which was held a couple hours earlier.
For all the administrative problems, the meet did run pretty much on time, wrapping up close to 9 p.m., which isn’t bad for a large meet.