Washington’s Lady Jays claimed the top prize from the first huge local track meet Tuesday.
Washington claimed the top spot in the Union Relays by scoring 116 points, 15 more than second-place Affton.
“This was a total team effort,” said Washington Head Coach Mike Olszowka. “We got the usual points that we have come to expect from some of our girls and then we got a lot more points from unexpected places.”
Washington’s effort included three first-place finishes (high jump, pole vault and triple jump) from junior Kirstie Leslie. She also took second in the long jump to account for 38 points.
But to win the title, Washington had contributions from many others across a number of different disciplines, showing that while most events are done individually, track is a team sport.
“Anna Bretzke had the greatest meet of her career as a Blue Jay,” Olszowka said. “She had always been a hard trainer, but in the last week she became a very aggressive racer, she has recorded five PRs in the last two meets, and was a major contributor to our team score.”
Her efforts included third place in the 3,200-meter run, fourth in the 1,600-meter run and fourth in the 3,200-meter relay.
“Abby Stricker had a good day vaulting and in the high jump but had a great day in the triple jump,” Olszowka said. “It was her first meet in the triple, we worked with her over the past few practices on developing her rhythm and then let it up to her in competition, she came through with unexpected team points.”
Stricker placed fourth in the triple jump and the high jump and sixth in the pole vault.
“Emily Stricker was an add-in as we had some kids still out from Easter break,” Olszowka said. “We knew she was fast, but we underestimated her desire to compete. To make the finals and medal in two sprints during your first varsity meet is a rare accomplishment.”
Emily Stricker placed third in the 100-meter dash and fourth in the 200-meter dash. Additionally, she helped Washington to second place in the 400-meter relay.
“We had some kids make big sacrifices and go out of their comfort zone for team points,” Olszowka said. “Megan Bauche is a sprinter, but we needed her for the 1,600-meter relay team. She stepped in without a complaint. She is a great kid and a great competitor.”
She placed sixth in the 100-meter dash and helped the Lady Jays to second in the 400-meter relay, seventh in the 800-meter relay and picked up two important points in the 1,600-meter relay for seventh place.
“Abi Brown had a strong day while fighting nausea all day,” Olszoka said. “She is one of the most courageous runners I have ever been around. To go from the 300 low hurdles to the 800 and then to the 1,600-meter relay and be successful at all of them says as much about her talent as her courage.”
Brown was second in the 800-meter run, second in the 100-meter high hurdles, fourth in the 300-meter run and helped Washington finish out the track portion with seventh in the 1,600-meter relay.
Following Affton in the team standings was Sullivan with 94 points.
“I was very pleased with our overall performance at the meet,” said Sullivan Coach Pat Burke. “We really didn’t set up to win the meet but I was very pleased with where we finished. We are a senior-dominated team and ask a lot out of them. They stepped up and performed.”
Burke praised Macy Ritter and Natalie Schriever.
“Both Macy Ritter and Natalie Schriever had a very nice meet,” Burke said. “For only being the second time that she has ever ran the hurdles, Macy ran one of the fastest times that we have had in years. She won the long jump. Her jumps are progressing nicely. Hopefully we get her to where she needs to be in the next month and half. She is a leader who has worked hard over the years to achieve what she has earned. Natalie has worked incredibly hard over the last year. She has taken almost two seconds off her 100-meter hurdles time and is consistently getting better in the 300-meter hurdles.”
Overall, Burke feels the Lady Eagles are moving in the right direction.
“Our times across the board are beginning to move in the direction that we are looking for, so we are just going to keep working to get where we want to be,” Burke said.
Host Union finished with 88 points, good for fourth place.
“I was pleased with the girls fourth-place team finish at this point of the season,” Union Head Coach Chris Kelley said. “The girls competed well and many recorded season bests in their events.”
Kelley complimented the school’s 3,200-meter relay team of Taylor LaValle Janna Ruether, Victoria Kramer and Kayla Kelly. The team finished second while beating its best time by over 20 seconds. Three of the four are freshmen and the fourth is a sophomore.
“Hannah Mayfield recorded a nice toss in the shot put,” said Kelley. “She was our only individual champion.
“We had one winning relay team (1,600-meter relay with LaValle, Ruether, Kelly and Anna Houston),” Kelley said. “I’d like to see us get points out of long and triple jumps. We need to evaluate those two events a little more closely.”
Borgia placed fifth with 82.5 points.
“Haley Russell is the strength of our girls team,” Borgia Coach Stacia Parsell said. “Her effort in the distance races has pushed the younger athletes. This is especially apparent in the 3,200-meter relay. Emmy Glastetter, another senior, has also excelled in the 3,200-meter relay.”
Running with Ashton Dietrich and Emma Ritter, Russell and Glastetter helped Borgia win that event.
“Emily Grahl and Taylor Nadler have expanded their efforts and are some of the top runners in the area (Grahl was second in the 200, third in the 400; Nadler placed third in the 200, seventh in the 400). We are excited to see how this group continues to improve. We were also pleasantly surprised by our 400-meter relay (finished third with Clara Blatt, Grahl, Nadler and Hannah Williams), made up of underclassmen.”
Finishing sixth was Owensville with 64 points. St. Clair took seventh at 62 points.
“It was a very good night for our young kids including Emily Presley who took fifth in open 100 and Karissa Hoffman who PRed in the shot put with a throw of 32-8,” St. Clair Head Coach Lane Cox said. “Both Kelly Barnes and Oleysa Stadnichuk made it in the finals of the 100 hurdles taking seventh and eighth places, respectively. Our 800-meter relay team set a season PR running with the hand time of 1:54.37 (Presley, Brittany Hauther, Nicole Ritrovato and Amanda Presley) taking first place. Our 400-meter relay team took second place to Sullivan (Amanda Presley, Stadnichuk, Nicole Ritrovato and Emily Presley). I look forward to seeing these times drop during the remainder of the season.”
After St. Clair, there was quite a drop to eighth place, where Potosi scored 27.5 points. St. James was ninth at 23 with Hermann and New Haven tying for 10th with 15 points each. Pacific scored 14 points.
• 100-meter dash — 1. Affton’s Taylor Porter (12.74); 2. St. James’ Shelby Ridenhour; 3. Washington’s Emily Stricker.
• 200-meter dash — 1. Affton’s Porter (26.86); 2. Borgia’s Emily Grahl; 3. Sullivan’s Bria Bartolotta.
• 400-meter dash — 1. Affton’s Chyenne Hoerr (57.57); 2. Owensville’s Emily Ellis; 3. Borgia’s Grahl.
• 800-meter run — 1. Potosi’s Sarah Jacobsen (2:22.65); 2. Washington’s Abi Brown; 3. Borgia’s Emmy Glastetter.
• 1,600-meter run — 1. Jacobsen (5:20.76); 2. Borgia’s Haley Russell; 3. Borgia’s Glastetter
• 3,200-meter run — 1. Borgia’s Russell (12:07.27); 2. Owensville’s Hannah Baehr; 3. Washington’s Anna Bretzke.
• 100-meter high hurdles — 1. Affton’s Hali Ford (15.65); 2. Washington’s Brown; 3. Union’s Anna Houston.
• 300-meter low hurdles — 1. Affton’s Hoerr (45.87); 2. Sullivan’s Natalie Schriever; 3. Union’s Houston.
• 400-meter relay — 1. St. Clair (54.36); 2. Washington; 3. Borgia.
• 800-meter relay — 1. St. Clair (1:54.96); 2. Sullivan; 3. Affton.
• 1,600-meter relay — 1. Union (4:18.07); 2. Sullivan; 3. Owensville.
• 3,200-meter relay — 1. Borgia (10:19.82); 2. Union; 3. Owensville.
• High jump — 1. Washington’s Kirstie Leslie (5-1); 2. Sullivan’s Macy Ritter; 3. Union’s Jill Johnston.
• Pole vault — 1. Washington’s Leslie (9-6); 2. Union’s Houston; 3. Affton’s Kara Klemp.
• Long jump — 1. Sullivan’s Ritter (17-6); 2. Washington’s Leslie; 3. Sullivan’s Bartolotta.
• Triple jump — 1. Washington’s Leslie (35-4); 2. Affton’s Ford; 3. Sullivan’s Bartolotta.
• Shot put — 1. Union’s Hannah Mayfield (37-4); 2. Hermann’s Hannah Steinbeck; 3. Affton’s Taylor Shinabargar.
• Discus — 1. Affton’s Shinabargar (117-7); 2. St. Clair’s Alicia York; 3. Owensville’s Haley Record.