Hornet 3200 relay comes up golden
Katrina Durrwachter has been to league track and field championships for all four of high school. And the Emmaus senior had success in all of those meets.
But heading into her final league meet last week there was one small void. She hadn’t come away with a gold medal in any of her three previous trips to leagues.
That changed last week as Durrwachter and teammates Sophie Pickering, Abby Heilenman and Abby Dalton won the 3200-meter relay at the Eastern Pennsylvania Track and Field Championships at East Stroudsburg South High School.
“This is really exciting to cap off senior year with a gold medal,” said Durrwachter, who has competed individually and on relay teams at the past three EPC Championship meets. “It is by far our best time of the season. That was really encouraging. It was a boost of confidence, especially because we were up against some pretty solid teams.”
Emmaus was seeded second in the race but pulled out the win over top-seeded Stroudsburg with at time of 9:36.84, which was just enough to edge the Mountaineers (9:37.35) thanks to a big finish from Dalton, who anchored the race.
“Abby [Dalton] got the baton first, but the one girl sprinted out ahead of her,” said Heilenman. “It was down to the line. Abby Dalton had a phenomenal last kick. It was very exciting.”
Emmaus had lost to Stroudsburg in a dual meet, but the foursome knew that its best race was yet to come. All four runners had posted fast times in individual 800-meter runs and solid split times in relays.
“We saw individual times leading up to it, but that was the first time it all came together,” said Pickering. “We knew the teams we were running against were all really good. But we also know individually we had each run good times. It was just a matter of putting it all together.”
Durrwachter, Dalton and Pickering were part of the 3200-meter relay last season. Heilenman, a sophomore, joined the foursome this year. Dalton and Pickering are both juniors. All three look up the more experienced senior on the team in Durrwachter.
“She’s definitely a leader,” Pickering said of Durrwachter. “Her experience helps us out a lot. She helps calm us down and get us ready before the race and it’s definitely a big help.”
The team will look for a repeat performance at this week’s District 11 Championship Meet. A finish in the top two places would earn the group a trip to the state championship meet Memorial Day Weekend at Shippensburg.
While the relay team was the only Emmaus gold-medal winner at leagues, a few athletes earned top-five places at the meet, which was held last Tuesday-Wednesday, May 9-10.
The girls 400-meter relay team took second place with a time of 50.84 seconds. That team included Alanna Smith, Breyanna Roper, Kenya Ra’oof and Kayla Smith.
Dalton earned a medal for her fourth-place finish in the individual 3200-meter race. She ran the event in 11:29.27.
Senior Del Vierling earned fourth place in the boys 3200 in 8:33.32. He also took sixth place in the 1600 at 4:34.7.
Durrwachter placed fifth in the individual 800-meter run in 2:23.87. Mackenzie Dries finished fifth in the 400-meter dash in 59.3.