Tempro runs to gold in EPC 400
Parkland’s Connor Tempro received news on Wednesday that would drastically alter the stage of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference boys 400-meter dash.
Tempro, who was seeded second in the event, got word that No. 1 seed Nate Fogle had dropped out of competition due to an injury. That was his biggest competition going into the event, with Fogle seeded roughly a second faster. But when he found out Fogle wouldn’t be a threat, there was little doubt in Tempro’s mind as to who would win the 400.
Tempro blazed through the event in 50.76 seconds, a personal record for the Trojan junior, that propelled him to his first of two gold medals at last week’s EPC Track and Field Championships. Shortly after, he ran a leg in the Trojans’ 4x400 relay team that tied East Stroudsburg South for first place.
“Coming into it I was seeded second, and the guy that was seeded above me said he hurt himself yesterday,” Tempro said. “I was just like I’m going to go out there and get it now. I just went for it.
Tempro finished .77 seconds in front of Northampton’s Colton Maxwell and over a second ahead of Emmaus’ Sean McFarland. He said it was extra motivation he got from Fogle’s news that pushed him to the top of the pack.
“I was going to go out there and try to make him work from the beginning,” Tempro said. “Once he wasn’t there, I was going to keep going for it.
“That was the best race I ever ran. There was so much heart in that. I’ve had tough races where I wanted to go out, but I’ve never wanted to go for it as hard as I did today.”
In the 1,600-meter relay, Sam Morgan used a strong last leg to help Parkland secure its top seed with a photo finish with East Stroudsburg South.
For pole vaulter Cole Boychuck, the expectations were high for the Trojan senior as well as he got his postseason underway. When all was said and done, he finished second in the conference with a mark of 13 feet, three inches. The only finisher ahead of him was his good friend Amir Abdelnaby of Stroudsburg.
“That was six inches under my PR, which I jumped in my last two meets,” Boychuck said. “So it wasn’t really the best.”
While it may not have been his best outing of the season, Boychuck set a personal best in 2016 that is over a foot higher than last year’s best mark. The biggest credit to that increase is his dedication and hard work at Vertical Assault.
“We jump together all of the time at Vertical Assault,” Boychuck said. “So I’ve seen him jump a lot before. To see someone in a meet do that, it’s definitely a little bit of a nerves thing.
“I’ve been going there since the end of the season last year. That has really helped.”
Boychuck wants to jump a foot higher at this week’s district meet, a mark that would automatically qualify him for states.
“I should be able to do it,” Boychuck said. “In a couple of the meets I’ve been really close. I think the first time I did it was at Nazareth I was really close. Last week or the week before when we were here [at Whitehall] I was really close. And then practices I’ve been doing really well with bungee chords.”
A number of other Trojan boys medaled last week. Sam Morgan earned silver in the 1,600-meter run, and Daniel Kyvelos’ finished the 3,200-meter run in 9:55.01 for bronze. The 3,200 meter relay squad came in fourth.
On the girls’ side, Parkland’s Morgan Sherwin led a number of impressive showings over the two-day event. She placed second in the high jump event with a mark of five feet, three inches. Easton’s Kate Willshaw also jumped 5-3.
“We both had missed 5-5, but she got first because she cleared 5-3 on her first attempt, and I cleared it on my second attempt,” Sherwin said. “It was a very close finish for the two of us.”
Sherwin broke a school record earlier in the year when she cleared 5-4. That mark stood until the first day of the District 11 Class 3A Championships where she cleared 5-5 and qualified for states.
“I was ranked third going into EPCs, and I knew that a bunch of other girls had similar heights to me,” Sherwin said. “I knew it was going to be a tight competition, so my goal for the meet was to just go out and try and get a new personal record and try and improve my ranking.”
Parkland’s Grace Reed placed third in the 100-meter hurdles in 15.9 seconds, while Jen Panny earned bronze in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 48.58 seconds to round out Parkland’s medal winners.