Ed Boardman knew exactly the kind of effort he was going to get from the Carlisle track and field team’s standouts Tuesday against State College.
He also knew that just relying on a handful of athletes wouldn’t be enough to get a victory over the Little Lions. In order for that to happen, the Thundering Herd’s head coach needed contributions from throughout the roster.
Carlisle delivered just that, as the Herd got critical points from all over the lineup on its way to a sweep of the Lions in a Mid-Penn Commonwealth meet at Ken Millen Stadium; The girls were 79-71 victors, while the boys were an 83-67 winner. The victories clear the path for both Carlisle squads to claim division titles, as the Herd is now the last unbeaten squad in the Commonwealth.
“Everything on this results page is pretty much a PR (personal record),” Boardman said. “You’ve never seen a dual meet like this before, both on the girls’ and the guys’ sides.”
There was plenty of drama on both sides, but the girls meet had the added bonus of being decided by the final event. Carlisle held a 74-71 lead when the 1600 relay got underway, meaning that whoever claimed the event’s five points would also take the meet — and by extension, likely the division.
The event turned on the third leg, when Carlisle senior Shaylah Dukes cut what had been a 25-meter deficit down to fewer than 10 meters. Covering that remaining distance was no trouble for Carlisle anchor Maddie Kole, who zoomed past State College star Natasha Fedkina 150 meters into their lap and cruised to the win from there.
“Really, what helped us there is that we made Fedkina run 5:15 in the mile,” Boardman said. “My other girls pushed, and made run her fast so she couldn’t just cruise and win the mile. That tired her out more than Maddie, who was able to cruise in the 400.”
Kole and Dukes were both in the thick of things all day for Carlisle — Kole with individual victories in the 400 and 800 and as anchor leg for the winning 3200 relay team and Dukes as winner of the 100, runner-up in the 200, and as the anchor of the winning 400 relay team.
Dukes’ relay efforts in particular helped swing things in Carlisle’s favor. In addition to the 1600 relay, she eliminated a 10-meter deficit over the anchor leg of the 400 relay, giving the Herd a critical five points.
“It’s really good knowing that you can support your team and help your team get that win,” Dukes said. “I know my 4x100 team goes hard and does what they need to do. I just had to do that too.”
The boys meet was decided by the second-to-last event, the 3200. That was good news for Carlisle, which was strong in the distance events throughout the day. Senior standout Zach Brehm had his fingerprints all over the victory as part of the winning 3200 and 1600 relay squads and as the winner of the 1600.
But Brehm had plenty of help: Matt Wisner took first in the 400 and the 800, Joe Deangelo won the 3200, and that trio teamed with Brandin Dyche to grab a tone-setting win in the meet-opening 3200 relay.
“We knew coming into the day that it was going to be really close,” Deangelo said. “We knew if we got 1-2 or 1-3 in the 3200 that it would clinch the win. If I got third and Zach got first, or the other way around, we would have the cushion. We had that mentality that we had to get it done.”
The Herd’s other two-event winner was Deshawn Millington, who took first in both the long jump and the triple jump.