Login NowClose 
Sign In to perutribune.com           
Forgot Password

Maconaquah second; North Miami fourth at girls' track sectionals

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

RUSSIAVILLE — The first sectional of the spring season sprang to life Tuesday night as girls’ track sectionals took the spotlight around the state.

At the IHSAA Girls’ Track and Field Western Sectional, Maconaquah finished in a tie for second as a team with Northwestern behind repeat champions Pioneer with Peru finishing 11th in the 13-team field.

Further north, North Miami placed fourth at the Rochester Sectional with Culver Military Academy winning the team title.

Maconaquah girls’ head coach Brent Wagoner said the team started a little slow but came on very strong by the end of the meet.

“We’re very proud of the girls today,” Wagoner said. “For the way the meet started, we ran very well.”

Peru head coach John Malone was pleased with what the small Tiger team accomplished.

“Our girls are very upbeat,” Malone said. “We were only seeded to score 17 points and bringing 11 girls, we knew our backs were against the wall.

“We wanted to avoid finishing last because there is a lot of pride in these girls. We had some great performances tonight.”

Maconaquah had two sectional champions Tuesday night as Madison Winegardner won the 3200-Meter Run in 12:24.04 and the 1600-Meter Relay team of Bailey Hays, Ashley Jess, Janet Johnston and Haley Wimmer claimed first in 4:18.81.

Other Braves finishing in the top three, which guaranteed advancement to the sectional, included second-place finishes from Winegardner in the 1600-Meter Run, the 400-Meter Relay team of K’Mia Bontrager, Brittany Lamb, Madison Ray and Raygan Plothow and Plothow later in the long jump, along with third-place finishes from Haley Wimmer in the 800-Meter Run and Natalie Tubb in the pole vault.

Also qualifying for the regional was Sarah Montgomery in the pole vault and the 3200-Meter Relay team of Hays, Wimmer, Winegardner and Bekah Shinn as Montgomery and the relay qualified by being one of the top four times, heights or distances outside the top three from the four sectionals that feed into the regional.

Wagoner said several of the girls put in strong finishes to close the meet on a high note.

“Raygan has been getting better in the long jump over the last few weeks,” Wagoner said. “We know she’s got a 17’ jump in her, we just need to get it out of her.

“Madison Winegardner, that’s the strongest she’s looked this season. She ran so well today. We were seeded No. 1 in the 3200-Meter Relay and finished fourth but most of the same girls ran the 1600-Meter Relay and that was an awesome way to finish the meet.”

Other Maconaquah scorers included fifth-place finishes for Plothow in the 100-Meter Dash and Lamb in the 100-Meter Hurdles and sixth and seventh-place finishes for Jess and Syenna Powell in the 300-Meter Hurdles respectively

Peru’s Jaelin Richardson also advanced to the regional, finishing second in the 800-Meter Run while teammates Jade Spencer and Anna Weeks both missed out as Spencer finished fourth in the 300-Meter Hurdles and Weeks finished fourth in the discus.

The 1600-Meter Relay team of Richardson, Spencer, Jazzmyan Bayless and Lindley Prescott finished fifth while Greta Baker finished sixth in the 100-Meter Hurdles to score team points for the Tigers.

Malone said several of the girls had career nights on the track and in the field.

“Jaelin didn’t run the 1600-Meter Run like she normally would, so she was fresh and attacked the 800-Meter Run,” Malone noted. “She wanted to PR and get into the regional, which she did going against a defending state champion (Pioneer’s Madison Kiser).

“She has another year to go and we’re going to enjoy that. Anna was caught on her last throw but this is a girl who’s had three knee surgeries, in her first year of throwing, who was on the cusp of regionals.

“That says a lot about coach (Mike) Harrell and coach (Adam) Zwiebel for what they’ve done with both girls, which is phenomenal,” Malone added. “I asked Jade whether or not she had gotten (Northwestern’s Madison Prifogle) at the finish line and she said the girl had gotten her, but we’re pleased with Jade at her performance.

“We’re also pleased with Greta for making the finals in the 100-Meter Hurdles. Our 1600-Meter relay team, in the first heat, managed to get fifth with Jaelin and Jade running along with Lindley and Jazzmyan.”

At Rochester, Carlee Lefebvre won the long jump for North Miami with a leap of 17-01.50 while Faith White won the high jump by clearing 5-02.

Lefebvre added a second-place finish in the 300-Meter Hurdles and a third-place finish in the 100-Meter Hurdles, which the senior will not compete in the regional in after scratching out the event next week, with additional third-place finishes coming from Nicky Scher in the 3200-Meter Run, White in the long jump and Adria Hartley in the high jump.

Also advancing to the regional for the Warriors was Emily Wellsand, who finished fourth at shot put and fifth at discus and advances in both events. Madison France advanced as well in the discus with a sixth-place finish as the top seven discus throwers from the Rochester sectional advanced to next week’s regional.

Other scoring finishes for North Miami included a fourth-place finish for the 1600-Meter Relay team of Lefebvre, White, Hartley and Michaela Stiver, a sixth-place finish for Hannah Walldorf in the 100-Meter Dash, seventh-place finishes for Kayla Kraning at shot put and the 400-Meter Relay team of White, Walldorf, Stiver and Adreanna Faine and an eight-place finish for Kristin Jacobs at pole vault.

Individuals that advanced will move on to the South Bend Saint Joseph Regional next Tuesday, which combines the qualifiers from the Western, Rochester, Penn and Warsaw sectionals.

Malone said Richardson would have plenty of people willing her on to try advance from the regional.

“Even though Jaelin is the only runner, there will be other girls out there with her,” Malone said. “Coach Harrell will probably have her do a comfort run to get the lactic acid out of her system and we’ll see what times there are at the regional.

“We’ll set a goal for Jaelin and, as she’s a very goal-oriented person, it won’t take much to charge her.”

Wagoner said the group would steadily build back up throughout the week and looked forward to the regional next week.

“We won’t go too hard (Wednesday), in fact we might even go to the pool and let them work out there,” Wagoner said. “We’ll ramp it up as the week goes on and Monday will be easy again.

“It’s a short week when you look at it. We have to work the soreness out but it will be a normal week.

“Again, I’m so proud of all of these girls as they did great today.”