MORRISON – Winning a conference championship is one thing, but doing it in record-setting fashion puts the icing on the cake.|
Erie-Prophetstown rolled to the Three Rivers Conference Track & Field title with 188 points, more than 100 ahead of second-place finisher Riverdale in the eight-team meet.
The Panthers won 12 of the 18 events, but the relays were the big news. E-P won all four relays and broke the conference record in the three sprint relays.
The sister tandem of Paige and Peyton Rus along with Rachel and Courtney Cobert got around the track in 1:47.41 in the 4x200 breaking a 12-year old record in the event by nearly two seconds.
The Coberts and Peyton added Heather Strike for the 4x100 and ran 49.66, dispatching the 28-year old record of 51.30 in the blink of an eye.
The Coberts and Paige then added Corrie Reiley to run 4:07.50 in the final event of the night, the 4x400, breaking Bureau Valley's conference record of 4:08.1 set in 2006.
Reiley joined Kassie Henrekin, Breanna Jensen and Brooke Remley to win the 4x800 relay.
Rachel Cobert has been given a lot of responsibility for a freshman.
Cobert anchors three of Erie-Prophetstown's relays, but she certainly does not weigh them down.
"It's a lot of pressure," Cobert said of her anchor role. "Last year, in middle school, I only anchored the (1,600 relay). Sometimes it's nerve-racking seeing all these other fast girls from other schools.
"It's hard, because they are older and have more experience than I do. It's becoming easier now, because it's practically a routine."
Kewanee was third with 82, Bureau Valley fourth (72) and Fulton fifth (55). Amboy finished sixth (40), Morrison seventh (20) and Newman eighth (4).
"At the beginning of the year, coach kept telling us 'this many weeks till state,'" Courtney Cobert said. "We didn't really look toward it then because it seemed so far away. This past couple weeks it's coming into perspective that we have two weeks left and we really need to push toward it. And, it has shown in our times."
Paige Rus also won the high (5-0) and triple (34-8) jumps, while Peyton Rus won the long jump (16-11 1/2) and 200 (26.85).
Courtney Cobert won the 100 (13.32) and Corrie Reiley the 800 (2:27.73). The Panthers' other wins came from Ashlynn Steel in the pole vault (7-0) and Jennifer Woodworth in the 3,200 (13:07.35).
"I was really nervous because my steps have been off lately," Steel said. "It's getting better. My speed was right tonight. Normally I've been having problems with that, but it felt really good tonight."
Riverdale's Elizabeth Oltman swept the hurdles races, winning the 100 in a time of 17.39 and the 300 in 48.80. All that on a gimpy left ankle.
"In the 100, my knee buckled when I came down on it wrong," she said. "I'm not myself. Stopping wasn't an option. I knew I had to finish, but it doesn't feel right. It will be OK, but it's always nerve-racking going into sectionals like this. You don't want to do anything to really hurt it."
Morrison's Lakin Goodman won the 400 (1:04.37), though she did not have to compete against Corrie Reiley or Bureau Valley's Lindsey Hoffert.
"When I saw that they weren't doing it, i thought, 'All right, I might have a chance,'" Goodman said. "I slowed down on the first 100 because I really wanted to work on my kick at the end."
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