By Sam Graf
For the Times-Tribune
MASCOUTAH — Despite posting one less first-place finish than Mascoutah, the Triad Girls’ Track team ran away with the Mississippi Valley Conference title by a whopping 63 points on the strength of eight, second-place and seven, third-place results.
The Knights’ depth proved too much for the rest of the field to handle.
Overall, Triad topped Mascoutah, Highland, Waterloo, Civic Memorial, and Jersey, 166-113-105-85-45.5-39.5, at Mascoutah, last Friday morning.
“Coming into this meet, we were nervous — especially with it being rescheduled from Thursday to Friday and competing so early in the morning,” Triad Coach Katy Rahar said. “But they came out and exceeded what I thought they were going to do in certain events.
“They got behind early but came back and powered through. Alyssa Kowalski was our 4×800 girl who really brought it home. She stepped up for her team and blasted that last 100.
“In the Pole Vault, nine feet, nine inches was a PR for Bridget Coolican. She’s been out for a while, so it’s good having her back. As far as the sprints go, Faith Grapperhaus has not run an open 200, this year. So, it was awesome to get her back on the track and see her fly.”
The Knights flew to first place in four events: The 4×200 Relay (Grapperhaus, Savannah Viviano, Bailey Grigg, and Kyleigh Barton) set a Meet Record at 1:47.5.
Coolican’s aforementioned Pole Vault of nine feet, nine inches; the 4×800 Relay (Sydney Hartoin, Haley Jackson, Samantha Kilzer, and Kowalski won at 10:12.69; Grapperhaus smoked the 200 Meters in 26.67 seconds.
Nabbing second: the 4×100 Relay (Grapperhaus, Alexa Seger, Isabel Averill, and Barton) turned in a 51.35; Lauren Yates won the 100 Meters in 13.37; Grapperhaus leaped four feet, 10 inches in the High Jump; Krista Cochran fired the Shot Put, 35 feet, 6.5 inches.
Continuing the seconds: In the 800 Meters, Jackson ran the two laps in 2:29.48; Hartoin earned a 100.19 in the 400 Meters; Payton Rasmussen concluded the 300 Hurdles in 51.21; the 4×400 Relay (Hartoin, Kayla Edwards, Jackson, and Kowalski) ran a fast time of 4:15.2.
Finishing Third: Denise D’Antonio long jumped 16 feet, 5.5 inches; Yates sprinted 13.38 in the 100 Meters; Lilly Cawvey high jumped four feet, 10 inches; Caleigh Miller flung the Shot Put, 32 feet, one inch;
Additional third-place finishes: D’Antonio triple jumped 34 feet, 11.5 inches; Edwards went 1:01.86 in the 400 Meters; Kowalski cruised 5:50.96 in the 1600 Meters.
Three came in fourth place: Morgan Noyes pole vaulted eight feet, six inches; Cochran threw the Discus, 98 feet, nine inches; Rasmussen concluded the 100 Hurdles in 18.09.
Megan Darby, Samantha Kilzer, and Yates earned fifth place results: Darby — 18.23 in the 100 Hurdles; Kilzer — 5:57.16 in the 1600 Meters; Yates — 27.97 in the 200 Meters.
Securing sixth place, Morgan Noyes long jumped 14 feet, 10 inches, and Miller threw the Discus 89 feet, one inch.
Coach Rahar considers winning the MVC with breakthrough performances and solid depth to be key preparation for postseason success.
“We also wanted to simulate sectionals, so we are really looking to try to get the girls to the point of the season where we are ready to win championships,” said Rahar. “We are ready to qualify for State and do what we can do.
“Can we compete in four events without slowing down? We are at the point of the season where they really have to shine. And that they are able to power through things.”
In MVC Junior Varsity races, the Triad girls achieved some solid results: Maddie Schmidt won the 400 in 1:07.7; finishing second, Paige Rasmussen ran the 100 Meters in 13.97, and Lauren Johnson went 28.11 in the 200 Meters; Clare Shaft came in third with a 6:26.01 in the 1600 Meters.
Ending up fourth, Kathryn Weber went 1.11.88 in the 400 Meters; Madison Taylor tallied a fifth-place, 3:22.63 effort in the 800 Meters; Mya Bain recorded a sixth-place, 7:22.84 in the 1600 Meters.
Upcoming: Triad High School will host a 19-team, 2A Sectional Meet, Thursday, May 9. Field events start at 2:30 p.m., and running events begin at 4 p.m.