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Maconaquah sends several athletes to Warsaw Regional

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CARRY ON: Maconaquah seniors Ashley Jess (L) and Bailey Hays (R) make the handoff during the 1600-meter relay during Tuesday's IHSAA Eastern Girls' Track and Field Sectional. Jess, Hays, Janet Johnston and Jolee Holland finished third in the event with a time of 4:23.27 while the Braves as a team finished fourth overall on 67 points. Northwestern won the sectional with a total of 152 points.
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POINT TAKEN: Peru's Carlee Marburger scored the Tigers' sole point of the night at the Eastern Sectional with an eighth-place finish in the long jump with a leap of14’4 1/2”.

BY TRENT SCOTT - tscott@perutribune.com

Maconaquah will send two runners, two jumpers and a relay to next week’s IHSAA Warsaw Girls’ Track and Field Regional after their efforts at the IHSAA Eastern Girls' Track and Field Sectional Tuesday night.

Bailey Hays, Rachel Little and Emily Bowyer finished as runners-up on the night while Sarah Montgomery and the 1600-meter relay team finished third as the Braves finished fourth overall as a team.

Maconaquah head coach Brent Wagoner said the girls put in a strong effort against a strong sectional.

“We had a bunch of PRs tonight to go along with our advancers,” Wagoner said. “We came in fourth, which is where we figured we be around and while we wanted to be top-three, fourth is where we’re going to be.

“We’ve got a good set of girls going to regional. We’ll practice the rest of this week and get ready to go.”

Northwestern doubled up second-place Western 152-76 to win the team sectional title at a canter while Kokomo finished third on 73 points and Maconaquah fourth on 67 points.

Peru finished 13th overall with a single point picked up by Carlee Marburger in the long jump with a leap of 14’4 1/2”, good enough for an eighth-place finish.

The Tigers just missed out on points in two relays as the 400-meter relay team finished ninth in a time of 55.40, .05 seconds behind eighth-place Western, while the 1600-meter relay team also finished ninth in 5:01.27, efforts head coach Stephanie Bennett said were part of the growing process.

“I'm very proud of the effort my 10 ladies gave all season as they improved each meet,” Bennett said. “Records and times may not show but we got stronger and became more knowledgeable in the sport.

“With a team of mostly freshman, first time runners and two returning athletes from last year, we struggled to find spots and confidence at the beginning. Everyone found their race or event towards the end and I'm hoping for more depth next year.”

Bennett said the first relay set a best time while Marburger pulled through to get the team on the board.

“Our 400-meter relay team ran a season best without my first leg using blocks,” Bennett noted. “We just missed out scoring in that while we had another PR from Bradee Miller in the 200-meter dash.

“We’re proud of Carlee in the long jump. She had a rough jumping night but was able to pull off a good enough jump to score in finals.”

Elsewhere, at the Plymouth Sectional, North Miami’s Nicky Scher won the 1600-meter run by three seconds in a time of 5:32.80 and placed third in the 3200-meter run behind Rochester’s Mallory Hiatt and Madilyn Calloway with a time of 12:19.85, helping the team to a ninth-place finish overall.

Three other Warriors placed at Plymouth as Kaylee Lane finished eighth in the 800-meter run in a time of 2:49.60 while Kayla Kranning and Madison France finished seventh and eighth respectively in the shot put with distances of 30’5” and 30’3 1/4”.

Hays finished second in the 400-meter dash in a time of 1:02.93, half a second behind winner Natalie Nicholson of Western, while Little placed second in the 300-meter hurdles in 52.09 and Bowyer set a new PR in the high jump by clearing 5’, an inch behind winner Allison Pemberton of Taylor.

Montgomery finished third in the pole vault while teammate Alana Bell finished fourth, both clearing 9’6” but Montgomery took the higher spot based on the number of jumps needed.

While not confirmed as of press time, Bell will likely be one of the four individuals called in to complete the field at the Warsaw Regional based on her height cleared.

The top three finishers at each sectional, along with any additional finisher who meets state standards, moves on to the regional and the next best four heights, times or distances from the four sectionals also advance to the regional.

The 1600-meter relay team of Hays, Ashley Jess, Janet Johnston and Jolee Holland finished third in a time of 4:23.27 to qualify for next week’s regional.

Aubree Dedaker finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.95, .04 behind third-place Ambria Gittings of Logansport.

“(Aubree) finally did a four-step in her race, deciding to pick the sectional to try it out,” Wagoner said about the sophomore. “She won her heat and finished fourth, almost making it to regional, and we’re very happy for her.”

Other top-eight finishes for Maconaquah include fifth-place finishes for the 400-meter relay team in 54.15, Johnston in the 400-meter dash in 1:05.67, Hays in the 200-meter dash in 28.26 and Haley Salinas in the 3200-meter run in 13:26.52, seventh-place finished for Isabella Alvarado in the 800-meter run in 2:46.33 and Makaylah Castelow in discus with a throw of 87’ 4 1/4” and an eighth-place finish for the 3200-meter relay team in 11:52.16.

The Warsaw Regional starts next Tuesday at 6 p.m.