MILL HALL -As the Jersey Shore track and field team made the trip to Central Mountain yesterday for a meet, two first-year competitors shined.
Central Mountain freshman Gabby Martin and Jersey Shore senior Amber Kachelries both made their impressions felt yesterday in the a tri-meet with Penns Valley.
The two each took different paths, Martin came up through the junior high program at CM, while Shore's Kachelries decided to give softball a break and compete in track and field. Martin is a phemon in the hurdles, Kachelries makes her mark in the javelin.
Central Mountain’s Gabby Martin competes in the 100 hurdles yesterday in a tri-meet against Penns Valley and Jersey Shore. Martin won the race, along with the 300 hurdles and the triple jump. Below, Shore’s Amber Kachelries releases a school-record throw in the javelin yesterday with a throw of 129 feet, 5 inches. For more photos, see cu.lockhaven.com
While the two are different, they have a lot in common.
They are calm, collected and willing to do what it takes for their teams.
After a teammate pulled out of the 3,200-meter race, Kachelries volunteered to run the race for the Bulldogs.
"One of our teammates got injured," she said. "So I decided to jump in there. We still had one girl running, so I didn't want her running alone."
She actually jumped at the chance to run two miles.
Need a different one?
Martin decided to be a hurdler because of the excitement.
"We had a lot of sprinters on the team," she said. "I thought running hurdles was different. It was an interesting challenge to take on."
Both of the athletes are all smiles before they compete, but once they enter their event, they are ready.
For the young Martin, she bounces around a bit, looks at the competition and settles into the starting blocks.
"It helps you focus," Martin said of getting in the blocks. "I am always a little nervous when I am in the blocks, but as soon as I'm out, I know it is going to be good."
That focus paid off yesterday, as she brought home three first-place finishes (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump). She also collected a second-place finish in the long jump.
"There is a certain edge you have to have to be a hurdler," CM coach Bob Dwyer said. "She has it. We knew she was going to be good because we saw her in middle school. But she has gotten so much better this year. She is a go-getter and works hard in practice."
Before Kachelries competes, she shakes her legs and arms out, steps onto the throwing surface and becomes laser-focused on her goal.
"I take a couple of deep breaths," Kachelries said. "I say a few bible verses and think about what I need to do. From there, I just go."
And go she did, as she threw a Shore school record in the javelin yesterday of 129 feet, 5 inches.
"It felt awesome," she said. "I practiced recently on speeding up my run and I think that helped today. I went as fast as I could and focused on keeping my arm and everything in sync. I didn't think it was that far, but it was surprising."
Read that distance again and remember, this is her first year throwing javelin.
The Baptist Bible bound Kachelries - who will play softball there - decided to compete in track this year and has put her entire heart into it.
Her twin brother, Tyler - the defending District IV javelin champion - has passed more than a few tips her way.
"My brother has helped me so much," she said. "We started to work over the summer after I decided I was going to throw. He had me out there doing drill after drill. Then we would run together and go lift. We worked a lot on my technique and it has helped a lot. The first time I ever really threw a javelin, I threw it like a softball. I just muscled it out there. Today was a lot better."
Amber Kachelries also helped her team a season-best in the 4x100 meter relay.
"Words can't express how happy I am," Shore coach Eric Hess said. "She is such a well-rounded person and great student-athlete. We are so happy she came out for the team. She comes in, works hard and is such a team player. When she volunteered to run the 3,200-meter race, it is just another prime example."
In the meet itself, Central Mountain swept on both the boyss and girls' side.
CM?boys won 81-69 over Shore and 77-73 over Penns Valley. Winning in both meets were Josh Nyman (110 hurdles, 300 hurdlers), Sam McCloy (high jump) and Austen Randecker (triple jump and long jump).
McCloy's jump of 6 feet, 5 inches is a school record. Randecker also picked up a school record in the long jump with a leap of 22 feet, 3 inches.
CM?girls topped Shore 87.5-62.5 and Penns Valley 83-62. Dual winners for the Lady Wildcats include Martin (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and triple jump) and Jena Toner (100, 400, 200 and long jump).