Paced by the meet’s outstanding performer and coach of the year, the Union track Lady ’Cats captured the Four Rivers Conference championship Monday in St. Clair.
Junior Anna Houston was named the outstanding performer of the meet for Chris Kelley’s team. She won three events, the 100-meter high hurdles, the 300-meter low hurdles and the long jump. She was second in the pole vault.
Houston’s 17-0 leap in the long jump tied a meet record set by Union’s Wendy Taylor in 1992. It was one of three varsity meet records to fall Monday.
Houston also set a school record in the 300-meter low hurdles.
Union won the team title with 167.75 points.
“To say our girls are excited is an understatement,” Kelley said. “I told them we had the potential to score 168 points at this meet and they performed to their potential scoring 167.75. That alone makes the meet a success for us. As far as I know based on my research of the girls program, this is the first time Union has won the girls conference title.”
Tying for second were Owensville and Sullivan. Each scored 127.25 points.
St. Clair placed fourth with 114.25 points while St. James was next at 56. Pacific scored 45 points, New Haven followed at 32.5 and Hermann rounded out the team standings with 24 points.
“I was very pleased with our team’s performance. “We went out and competed,” said St. Clair Coach Brent Yule.
“We competed hard, but it just was not our day. The Four Rivers Conference as a whole has become very strong. The level of competition we saw at the conference meet will better prepare all of the teams for the district meet and beyond,” said Pacific Coach Justin Perriguey.
“At the start of the season we talk about team expectations,” Kelley said. “This was nice to win, but this does not make or break our season. Our focus is always on the end result, the state meet. We will need to keep our focus there and not let off because we won conference.”
The other meet records to fall were in the discus, pole vault and 1,600-meter relay.
One junior varsity girls record fell as well. Owensville’s Jaelyn Gauer broke the shot put record with a throw of 34-0. The old mark was 33-10.5 set in 2003.
The top three finishers in each event earned medals.
• 100-meter dash — St. James senior Shelby Ridenhour won in 12.56 and was followed by Sullivan’s Brianna Winistoerfer and Union’s Amber Tharp.
• 200-meter dash — Ridenhour won in 26.13 with Winistoerfer taking second and St. Clair’s Emily Presley finishing third.
• 400-meter dash — Union sophomore Janna Ruether won in 1:00.84 with Owensville’s Emily Ellis just behind. Sullivan’s Dana Schatz was third.
• 800-meter run — Ruether claimed the championship in 2:29.31. Union’s Kayla Kelly was second with Parker Fane of St. James ending third.
“Anna Houston and Janna Ruether had great days,” Kelley said.
• 1,600-meter run — Hermann junior Karinne Lane surged to victory in 5:35.61, edging Owensville’s Hannah Baehr and Fane.
• 3,200-meter run — Baehr, a sophomore, was the winner in 12:48.51. St. James’ Leslie Perona took second while Union’s Abbie Brack was third.
• 100-meter high hurdles — Houston blazed to victory in a time of 15.64. St. Clair’s Olesya Stadnichuk concluded second while Sullivan’s Natalie Schriever took third.
• 300-meter low hurdles — Houston won the title in 46.53 with Schriever taking second and Ellis ending third.
• 400-meter relay — St. Clair won the title in 52.23. Running for the Lady Bulldogs were Amanda Presley, Keighlee Grable, Stadnichuk and Emily Presley. Union took second with St. James third.
• 800-meter relay — Union’s team of Ali Overstreet, Ruether, Alyssa Pate and Lyndsy Siedhoff won in 1:51.1. St. Clair was second with Sullivan third.
• 1,600-meter relay — New Haven won the title in 4:12.96 with Taylor Covington, Hannah Pruessner, Molly Munsinger and Kierstin Monzyk running. While New Haven Coach John Tucker indicated this was a new meet record, breaking New Haven’s mark of 4:13.3 set in 1998.
Union and Pacific secured the next two spots.
• 3,200-meter relay — Sullivan’s team of Megan Brandt, Dana Schatz, Victoria Dace and Schriever won in 10:07.03. Union and Hermann secured the next two spots.
• Shot put — Owensville junior Katie Gregor won the title with a throw of 39-6.75. St. Clair’s Allison Hinson and Alicia York earned the next two spots.
• Discus — York, a junior, earned the title for the Lady Bulldogs at 125-3, breaking the old meet record of 122-1 feet set in 2004.
Owensville’s Haley Record was the only other thrower to break 100 feet in the girls varsity event. St. Clair’s Karissa Hoffman took third.
• High jump — Owensville freshman Haley Diestelkamp cleared 5-2 to win the title by four inches. Sullivan’s Brandt and Madison Livell of Pacific both cleared 4-10 to end second and third, respectively.
• Pole vault — Emily Presley, a sophomore, cleared 11-3 on her home turf to win the title. The mark broke her own school record, which was 10-6, and also the conference meet record of 10-0 previously held by three athletes.
Houston and Sullivan’s Kaitlyn Ghirardi followed.
• Long jump — Houston was the winner at 17-0. Sullivan’s Schatz and Megan Andreasson earned the other two medalist spots.
• Triple jump — Stadnichuk, a senior, topped out at 34-0.25 to win the title. Ridenhour was second and Diestelkamp took third.
“Our 4x1 and 4x2 teams looked really good,” Yule said. “Our throwers had personal records in shot put and the discus.”