By Steven Kochersperger
The Mount Vernon girls’ track and field team came into this week’s Big Eight Conference Championship meet in Princeton with high hopes. The team had been undefeated all season long but knew that if they were to win the conference title they would need to get by the always-tough Jasper Wildcats. And after the team gave it all they had the Wildcats walked away in second place behind the Jasper team who showed up and performed at an impressive level.
Jasper ended up with an impressive 142 total team points while Mount Vernon ended the day with 126, just 17 shy of winning the title. Mount Carmel ended the day in third with 91 points while Princeton was in fourth with 57. The bottom three teams were Washington, Vincennes, and Boonville who all came and competed with all the other conference teams.
The Mount Vernon relay teams were very impressive Tuesday at Princeton as they took home two conference championships. The 4 by 400 relay team of Abby Randall, Toni Waddell, Lauren Stemple, Stefanie Bulla, and Ellen Foster took home the first place honors with a time of 4:15.65 right ahead of the second place team from Jasper.
The other Wildcat relay team who won their conference race was the 4 by 100 meter relay team. The team of Zoee Brown, Abby Randall, Lauren Stemple, Savanah Bush, and Kellen Ray won their race with a time of 51.58 just one second ahead of second place Princeton, setting a new conference record.
The two relay teams were the only wins for the Wildcats in the meet. There were some other races and field events in which the team fared well. Savannah Bush and Zoee Brown finished second and third, respectively, in the girls 100-meter dash prelims while junior Ellen Foster finished in second in the girls 400-meter dash as well. Bush went on to finish second in the 100-meter dash.
Toni Waddell finished third in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 12.41.50 while Clara Baggett ended up fourth in the girls 800 meter run. Waddell ended up in fourth in the 1,600 meter run helping Mount Vernon gain more points in the long distance events.
In the Hurdles events Mount Vernon also had a pretty good showing. Kellen Ray came in a close second in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 49.60 and ended up third in the 100-meter hurdles race later in the day.
In the field events Ellen Foster led the way. Foster finished in second in the long jump with an impressive jump that measured 16 feet and nine inches. Foster also finished in second in the high jump behind Princeton basketball standout Jackie Young. Both jumpers cleared the same height but the tie-breaker criteria allowed Young to take first. Mount Vernon ended up in fourth and fifth respectively in the shot put and fourth and fifth in the pole vault as well. Big Eight basketball players seemed to excel at the meet as Mount Carmel’s Golden Ace Tyra Buss won all four events she entered, setting a record in one.
The girls now enter this week ready for their sectional meet at home Tuesday evening. The team looks ready to compete and can come away winners if they can continue to put together enough points in the events that they fare well at.
By Steven Kochersperger
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