NLC GIRLS TRACK CHAMPIONSHIPS: WARSAW MAINTAINS ITS STRONGHOLD
StaceyPageOnline / Sports on Wednesday, May 9, 2018
GOSHEN – Warsaw wasn’t about the be part of the movement that took place in the boys track ledger Tuesday night. While the boys saw quite a bit of change among the Northern Lakes Conference royalty, the Warsaw girls just kept moving along.
The Lady Tigers steadied the course with nine event titles to cruise to its 13th straight NLC team title, posting a whopping 187 points to Concord’s runner-up 122.5 points. Led by a steady host of rock solid performances, Warsaw looked primed and ready from the outset.
“I just think the girls came in here knowing they had to perform, went out there, and did what they had to do,” said Warsaw head coach Megan Davis. “I felt more like a fan than a coach tonight, I was so excited to watch all of this come together.”
Tuesday’s meet started with Warsaw picking up early wins in the field. Alexie Day picked up the high jump title handily at 5-5 with teammate Morgan Bruner in second. Just a few yards away, Caitlin Kehler outdueled Wawasee’s Jada Parzygnot in pole vault, both settling at 9-8, Kehler getting to the mark first to claim honors. Kendall Menzie claimed a somewhat surprising 16-3.75 long jump title, besting favorite Jillian Kissinger of Goshen by a quarter-inch. Parzygnot, in just her first full week of long jump, took third.
On the track, Warsaw did what Warsaw does so well. Led by the Beckham sisters, Warsaw won all the distance events and set a record in the 4×100 relay. Mia Beckham doubled up, taking the mile at 5:13.38 with teammate Emma Bohnenkamper drafting in second. Beckham’s return in the two-mile was something, as she continued to pull away from the field lap after lap and ran a 11:26.07, leaving a very talented Morgan Dyer from Memorial almost nine seconds back. Remi Beckham claimed the 800 at 2:20.73, Bohnenkamper again the trailer, and both Remi and Adree Beckham helped the 4×400 relay to a win at 4:02.47. Angie Vijil-Sanchez and Maygan Bellamy opened the relay.
The 4×800 Tiger relay team of Adree Beckham, Vijil-Sanchez, Ashlynn Hepler and Carmen Yoder opened the track with a 9:57.17 winner. Throw in the 4×100 setting a new NLC record with its 49.48, the team of Shunterra Davis, Kendra Love, Abbi Curtis and Makayla Clampitt, and coach Davis had plenty of reason to rave afterwards.
“I think a lot of it really is them being siblings and they are pushing each other to be better,” Davis said of the Beckham sisters. “When it comes out on the track like that, that’s crazy. For Mia to come out and run a mile and two-mile, that is not an easy series of races, but she just knew how she wanted to perform and she set the bar very high. Remi and Adree both ran well, but for Emma Bohnenkamper to hang in her two races like that, kudos to her.”
Wawasee placed seventh in the team standings with 57 points, but had Parzygnot’s two top-threes as well as a championship from Sara Pritchard in discus. The junior led qualification with a 108-10, and used it to win the finals with the same distance, a full two feet better than Anna Coil of Northridge. Pritchard would also place third in shot put.
“Pritchard was just doing what she does,” said Wawasee head coach Doug Slabaugh. “Winning is awesome, but you also look at her shot put, she throws a PR in shot and also in discus.
“We didn’t have a lot of the big numbers we saw from some of the conference tonight, but we had a lot of people in the program step up and post PRs. Bailey Mayhew took a big step forward, she is going to be there. Kenzie Click did well in shot put, scored a point.”
Slabaugh noted the team was missing senior Hannah-Marie Lamle with a hamstring injury. Lamle was seeded first in long jump and the 100 hurdles and would have also contended in the 300 hurdles. Her status for the sectional is up in the air.
NorthWood took eighth in the team standings with 55 points, but had Erica Stutsman add another NLC championship to her résumé, winning the 400 at 58.63. Kenzie Moren placed second in the 100 and NorthWood’s 4×800 relay was third.
Concord’s runner-up team finish was buoyed by three event titles, Oniste Thomas winning the 100 and 200 dashes and Jasmine Riffell taking the 100 hurdles.
Wrapping up title winners were Goshen’s Jill Kissinger in the 300 hurdles and Plymouth’s CeCe Robinson in shot put.