KEWANEE -- Since it began in the 2006-07 school year, the Annawan-Wethersfield girls' track and field co-op has effectively made the Lincoln Trail Conference crown its personal property.|
Friday at Wethersfield Memorial Stadium, the Titans added to their growing trophy collection by annexing their sixth straight LTC team title. Led by a stellar evening from senior Erica Dynes, Annawan-Wethersfield tallied 155 points to more than double-up second place Mercer County (76).
"Conference is always something to aim for, and it's a meet we always look forward to,'' said Dynes. "It's great to run on a track where we're familiar with everything, and also with our home crowd, it's great having that moral support.''
Dynes swept the 100 and 200 sprints, and also made her mark by anchoring the Titans' first-place 4x100 and 4x200 relay quartets. "We tried to get the record in the 4x100 (51.3, set by A-W in 2008), but we fell a little short,'' Dynes said of that quartet's 51.94 effort.
Junior teammate Sara Fisher captured the 100 high hurdles. She was also a part of A-W's winning 4x100 and 4x400 relays -- teaming with Nicole Wager, Maddie Jackson and Karissa Roman to set an LTC record with a time of 4:11.14. Roman also leaped 5-7 to break an 11-year-old LTC high jump record.
However, her bid for a sweep of both the 100 and 300 hurdles' titles was denied in the latter event by Ridgewood junior standout Molly Jo Smith, who turned in a 45.24 clocking to beat Fisher (48.99) and also break Fisher's 2010 LTC record of 47.1 seconds.
"I'm glad I had her to run against in the 300,'' said Fisher. "With her pushing me, it makes my own time better. In the 4x400, we wanted to break the record. Everyone's running good right now.''
The Mercer County boys' squad made it two LTC championships in a row (following a run of four straight titles by the Annawan-Wethersfield boys), as Sam Whan's triple-gold evening and Payton Holmes' sweep of the hurdles enabled the Golden Eagles (116.5 points) to beat runner-up Annawan-Wethersfield (94.33).
"It's definitely all about the team goals,'' said Whan. "For a lot of us, it's our last big hurrah, and this team is a family. I run for them, and it's a good feeling knowing we're still capable of putting out a competitive team.''
Whan captured both the 3200 and 1600 distance races in addition to his win in the 800. Holmes followed up his 15.68 clocking in the 110 high hurdles with a 42.88 effort in the 300 intermediates.
"My goal was to win the 110s; I've got a lot of competition with my teammate Bryce (Speaker, 110 HH runner-up),'' Holmes stated. "Him and I are pretty good about pushing each other in practice.''
- Record for Eagles' 4x800 relay: Roman, Smith and A-W's 4x400 relay weren't the only record-breakers Friday night, as the Mercer County girls' 4x800 relay quartet of Miranda Biddle, Christina McKnight, Jenna Ortberg and Sydney Brokaw set an LTC standard with their winning time of 10:10.83. The group broke the three-year-old mark of 10:17.8 set by A-W.
- Other multiple winners: In the girls' competition, United's Malory Tharp struck gold twice in the 800 and the 400. However, her bid for a three-gold night was denied by another multiple winner, as Biddle added to her 4x800 relay gold with a first-place clocking of 5:29.7 in the 1600, beating Tharp by nearly four seconds.
In the boys' race, Ridgewood's Kevin Miller and Aaron Leander coupled titles in the long jump and triple jump, respectively, with a gold medal as half of the Spartans' 4x400 relay.
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