Sprinters lead way for girls in victory
Dominance in the 400-, 200- and 800-meter races plus the pole vault helped propel the Douglas High girls to victory Saturday during their season-opening Northern Division I track and field meet at Carson High School.
Douglas won the three-way meet at the Jim Frank Track and Field Complex with 117.5 points, Carson was second with 80 and Wooster third at 49.5.
The meet turned out well overall for both the Douglas girls and boys teams, according to coach Kim Tretton. (Shannon Dry is head coach of the boys team and Tretton head coach for the girls team).
“They had a great day,” Tretton said. “I am so impressed with our young kids and our veterans did a great job, too. The veterans have been good leaders and the younger kids have responded well.”
The performances were all the more impressive given the steady wind and cold conditions.
“We’ve talked about competing in the wind so it was exciting to see them come out and compete like they did,” Tretton added. “I’ll take those times and distances in the wind any day.”
The Tigers took an early lead in the team scoring aided by a sweep in the pole vault as Hunter Celio (7-0), Corie Nalder (6-6) and Hanna Grisell (6-0) captured the top three spots.
Later, the Tigers pulled away on the strength of sweeps in the 400, 800 and 200.
Freshman Maya Smith set the pace in the 400 with a winning dash of 1:03.43, followed by teammates Kyla Hinnant (1:08.62) and Desiree Lehrke (1:08.80). Smith’s clocking in her high school debut was impressive, Tretton observed.
“I think Maya turned some heads,” the coach said of Smith, who also placed second in the 800 (2:36.70).
Senior Madison Cote led a 1-2 sweep of the 800 as she ran 2:32.80. Cote also placed second in the 1,600 with a 5:38.68 effort that trailed only Carson freshman Abigail Pradere’s 5:34.61.
Then in the 200, freshmen Macey Weston and Sophia Bottino ran 29.90 and 29.94 respectively to lead a 1-2-3 sweep. Senior Lizzy Byrne placed third (30.05).
Earlier in the day, Bottino won the 100 (14.42).
An additional boost in the field events was provided by senior thrower Marcie Harjes, who emerged as a double winner with personal record marks in the discus (106-9) and shot put (31-6-1/2). This marked a comeback for Harjes, who missed the entire 2015 season due to a shoulder injury.
“She has worked hard with her physical therapy over the last year and it was just exciting to see her come back with two p.r.’s,” Tretton said of Harjes.
The addition of Jennifer Auchenbach to coach the throwers has provided a boost to the Douglas program, Tretton added.
“Having a steady throws coach is going to be huge,” Tretton said. “She has been working with those kids and we are thankful Mike Louisiana invited us over (for a throwing clinic at Carson) last Saturday. To be able to go to where our first meet was going to be held was very helpful.”
Sabrina Lehrke won the long jump (14-0) and Desiree Lehrke won the high jump (4-6) for Douglas.
Douglas also won the three sprint relays. Bailey Gansberg, Hinnant, Desiree and Sabrina Lehrke won the 4×100 relay (55.63); Byrne, Gansberg, Hinnant and Desiree Lehrke won the 4×200 (1:56.31); then Bailey Wood, Byrne, Cote and Hinnant won the 4×400 (4:31.30).
“This was a strong start … we’re excited to see what we can do the next two months,” Tretton said.