KOKOMO GIRLS TRACK REGIONAL: WARSAW RISES TO THE OCCASION
StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
KOKOMO – After a fruitful sectional series, the Warsaw girls track team continued its successful 2018 campaign with top showings at Tuesday night’s Kokomo Girls Track Regional.
Mia Beckham had a standout night, winning the two-mile with authority at 11:19.24 and helping Warsaw to a one-two finish in the mile. Beckham and teammate Emma Bohnenkamper continued to excel in the mile run, but on Tuesday, Bohnenkamper got the late push and won the race at 5:09.87 with Beckham in second at 5:10.64.
Warsaw in total qualified seven athletes and relays to the IHSAA State Finals with top-three performances. The 4×800 relay team of Angie Vijil-Sanchez, Ashlynn Harper, Adree Beckham and Remi Beckham were third at 9:48.24, and Maygan Bellamy joined Vijil-Sanchez, Adree Beckham and Remi Beckham to take third in the 4×400 relay at 4:02.38.
Alexie Day was second in high jump at 5-5 and Abbi Curtis snuck into the state finals in the 200 at 25.95 in third place, just a half-second faster than NorthWood’s Riley Hershberger.
The Tigers will have a few waiting by their phones for a potential call-back to state after Remi Beckham was fourth in the 800 (2:22.41), Bellamy fourth in the 400 (1:00.40), Caitlin Kehler fourth in pole vault (10-2), Kendall Menzie fifth in the long jump (17-3.25), Morgan Bruner seventh in high jump (5-1) and Lynae Dawson seventh in discus (106-10).
“Mia did very well,” noted Warsaw head coach Megan Davis, who guided her team to a regional championship with 83 points, well ahead of runner-up Penn’s 66 points. “She was much better in the 3,200 this week than at sectional. She was more aggressive and was strong in taking first place. That was a tough double for her, but she made it look easy. She did what she needed to do.
“We had a lot of good performances. Remi did very well, running the four-by-eight, then barely missing the open eight and coming back to anchor the four-by-four. That’s a crazy night and she did well with all of it. Our four-by-eight was a little trickier than expected, and Penn is very, very good. We as coaches now have a week to see how we want to stack it for the state finals.”
NorthWood’s one automatic state qualifier was a good one, as Erica Stutsman will return to Bloomington for a final time as champion of the 800. The senior broke away from the pack in the final lap to win at 2:18.60. Stutsman finished third in the 800 a year ago at the state finals.
Wawasee will have two athletes with outside shots at a state call. Thrower Sara Pritchard took sixth in discus with a personal best of 111-2 and Bailey Mayhew continued to outdo herself in the 800, running 2:26.88 to take fifth in just her third time ever in the event.
“To PR at a regional meet, I can’t complain,” said Wawasee head coach Doug Slabaugh of Pritchard, who also threw 35-6 in shot put, which was a two-foot PR but landed ninth overall and out of qualification consideration. “Sara had a huge day for us. She had a total of four PRs throughout, which is awesome. She had a great junior year, worked on a lot of footwork in the offseason and just kept getting better.
“Today wasn’t the best tactical race for Bailey,” continued Slabaugh. “The front group made a surge at the 450 mark, and when Bailey got out of her box, she couldn’t catch up. It wasn’t her best time, but it was only her third 800 race.”
Other notables from the regional were champions from the Northern Lakes Conference from Concord in the 4×100 relay, Jill Kissinger of Goshen in the 300 hurdles and CeCe Robinson of Plymouth in the shot put. Elkhart Memorial’s Morgan Dyer also qualified for state in both the one-mile and two-mile.