While it certainly is true that eventually all good things must come to an end, the Cedar Crest boys track team’s dominance of the Lebanon County Track and Field Championships always seemed as likely to be ended as Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.
And then the 2021 Palmyra Cougars, loaded with blinding speed and super overall track and field talent, came along and forcefully claimed the championship for themselves.
Led by co-Outstanding Male Track Athletes Xander Topos and sprint stud Anthony Mansfield, who each won four events and were part of the 1600 relay that established a new Lebanon County meet record, Palmyra piled up 144 team points to Cedar Crest’s 112 to snap the Falcons’ string of county titles under head coach Rob Bare at 22. Yes, 22.
“It’s great. It’s such an awesome group of kids and they’ve worked so hard,” Palmyra coach Danny Byrd said. “They pulled together. Coach Bare, what an amazing job he’s done over the years, cranks out great teams every year. We’re really proud. Our kids, they earned it. It’s always nice to compete with a great team like Crest.”
From left, Palmyra’s Xander Topos, Cedar Crest’s Tommy Bildheiser and Palmyra’s Sarah Galvan receive their Most Outstanding Male and Female Athlete awards.
“It feels really good,” Topos said. “We’ve been working hard for it. We have great team chemistry, so I believe we definitely came in here with a winning mindset.”
The Palmyra girls also captured the county title, ending a more modest Cedar Crest streak of 4 straight championships by a 144-120 margin. Most Outstanding Female Athlete went to Palmyra’s Sarah Galvan, who won the 400 dash and ran legs on the winning 1600 and 3200 relay teams.
“I’m just so excited,” Galvan said of the Cougar girls’ victory. “I’m so proud of my team. It was just a big team effort. Every single point really did matter. It’s just really exciting.”
Here are the complete results for both boys and girls Palmyra teams: