SHERRARD – In order to make it 10 conference titles in a row, Sherrard High School girls' coach Todd Volkert knew it was going to take a nearly perfect outing and a little good fortune.|
"I thought there would have to be some things go in our favor,'' said Volkert. "I thought we would have to have some help if we were going to pull this off.''
That didn't happen. Carthage Illini West rallied late in the West Central Conference Track & Field Championships for a 125-112 victory over the runner-up and hosting Tigers at Clifford King Field. In the 11-team field, Rockridge (54) finished fourth, Monmouth-Roseville (41) was fifth and Orion (30) was eighth.
The Tigers, though, had some solid efforts. Topping the list were 1-2 finishes in both the 100 and 200 by Danielle Crawley and Rebekah Wollenburg as the Tigers picked up big points in those two events.
"We were so proud of ourselves for that,'' said Crawley, who also finished a disappointing third in the 400. "She (Wollenburg) was so excited and I'm happy for her. Her coming in second really put us up there. She did her very, very best. I knew she had it in her.''
Sherrard only won one other event as Chelsea Munday topped the pole vault with a best of 9-feet.
Otherwise, it was heart and a bunch of little points that kept the Tigers in the chase.
"We did everything we possibly could have done to win this meet; they were just a better team at the end of the day,'' said Volkert. "I don't think there was anywhere we could have made up the 11 points they beat us by. I was really thrilled with the way we performed – pretty much in every aspect.''
Other local winners included Orion's Madi Schulenberg (high jump, 4-10), Rockridge's Devin Hasson (100 high hurdles, 16.07; she was second in the 300 hurdles, 49.16), and the Monmouth-Roseville 4x800 relay team of Dyesha Taylor, Griselda Gandarilla, Brittany Daniel and Maddie Dulin in a time of 10:14.33.
Mon-Rose a winner: That Monmouth-Roseville took the boys' team title was not a surprise. That they did it without the services of standout Martel Hunter was a bit shocking.
The senior sprinter was held out of the meet strictly for precautionary reasons as he nursed patella tendinitis, according to coach Sam Marlow, who said Hunter would be back in time for sectionals a week from Friday.
The Titans totaled 105 points and barely edged Macomb (103.33) for the crown. Sherrard (71) was fourth despite not having a single event win, Rockridge (67.33) was fifth and Orion (34) was seventh in the 11-team field.
Mon-Rose won three of the four relays and had individual victories from Conner Gillen (triple jump, 39-10.25) and Devon Clark (1600, 4:32.37).
Marlow thought the 1600 was huge for the Titans as Clark, just coming back from an injury, ran just his fourth mile of the season. He set a school record and freshman Trevor Hatch ran a 4:40.88 to set a frosh-soph school record with his fourth-place finish. Those 14 team points in the 16th of 18 events proved critical. Clark and Hatch ran the final two legs of the Titans' victorious 4x800 relay. The 4x400 victory by Matt Bertelsen, James Rogers, Trayvon Smith and Braeden Wollbrink sealed the championship.
Rockridge had two individual winners in TJ Henry (high jump, 5-10) and Jerry Ruddell (pole vault, 10-6). The Rockets' 4x100 relay of Dalton McManus, Luke Johnson, Darren Southwell and Henry also took gold.
Orion's Dylan Schultz won the 110 high hurdles (15.58) and also finished second in the 200 (23.23).