EAST STROUDSBURG - The Lehighton girls' track team didn't quite know where it stood in the Mountain Valley Conference track meet until the last two events were taking place.
Once word spread that the Indians were in first place by 20 points, head coach Randy Frey and his girls started to get excited. Then, once the final standings were read over the loud speaker, all of the girls erupted into cheers and screams.
The Lady Indians captured the program's first MVC track championship Wednesday afternoon by finishing with 115 points. Their closest competitor was Stroudsburg - 18.5 points behind. The ladies scored in nearly every event that they competed in, including two first-place finishes from Vanessa Rimbey and Abby Frey and one from Sarah Keer.
"It feels great," said Frey. "As far as what we wanted to achieve - this whole season has been about personal records. If we focused on that then everything else would take care of itself. And all the girls did set PRs. Everyone has been PR-ing.
"To come out of this in first was just huge. We have great female athletes and for them to do this is wonderful. My hat is off to them. They listened, they did what we asked and they all did well."
Rimbey matched her medal-count from a year ago by finishing with two gold medals and two silver medals. The senior pulled away at the end to win the 100 hurdles and, despite a sub-par performance by her standards, won the high jump with a leap of 4-10. She was the runner-up in both the long jump and the 400-meter relay (with Frey, Jordyn Homyak and Karista Schweizer).
"The weather was kind of funky today," said Rimbey, who was also named the conference's MVP of the regular season. "The track was slippery in the hurdles. I was excited to come to this track, but with these conditions you couldn't have your best performances. But with two golds and two silvers I'm not going to complain."
Frey mirrored Rimbey with two golds and two silvers of her own. Frey won the100-meter dash on the second attempt (due to a starting error) and edged out Rimbey in the long jump by one-and-a-quarter inches. She also came in second in 200-meter dash and the 400-meter relay. For not competing in track-and-field for the last couple of years, Frey did just fine in her return.
"Just the whole starting over and having to re-run (the 100-meter dash) was tough," admitted Frey. "I mean I guess my time is okay considering I had to run it twice. Personally, I thought I had second. I guess I beat her by a head. My coach taught me how to lean and said to use it if I ever needed to. I needed to there.
"I am really excited for our 4x1 team as well. Our first girl got injured and tore her ACL so we had to get one of our soccer players (Homyak) to come race with us. This was the first time we ever ran it and we actually did pretty well. I am really interested to see how our team is going to do (in districts)."
Keer was able to clinch the Lady Indians' only other gold in the javelin. Her toss of 116-1 was nine-and-a-half feet further than the second place finisher.
Pleasant Valley, who came in fourth on the girls' side, had two ladies place first. Amira Jones won the triple jump with a hop, skip and a jump of 36-1 .
Junior Sam Klingel was the other Lady Bear to win gold. The two-time cross country champion won the 3200-meter run by sprinting the last 100 meters and came in with a time of 12:06.34.
"I didn't do so well in the 1600, but that was because I was trying to save a little bit for the 3200," Klingel said. "I was a little tight in the 1600, so I went and sat in the car for a little bit to warm up. It is cold and I wasn't going to stand around and wait.
"I am pleased with my time considering the conditions. I feel like I should be able to improve heading into districts."
On the boys' side, Lehighton came in fourth and Pleasant Valley ended up in sixth. The Bears had the most individual winners of the two teams. Cody Matlock won the 400-meter dash, Evan Makuvek took the 1600-meter run and Curran Kneebone ran away the 3200-meter run.
For the Indians, it was Cory Kresge (long jump) and Guiseppe Caruso (javelin) coming away with gold medals. Also winning gold was the 4x4 relay team of Leon Adams, Nate Black, Levi Haldeman and Jon Rabenold.