Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette East Noble's Delaney Norman clears the bar in the pole vault Friday during the NE8 track and field meet.
Saturday, May 04, 2019 1:00 am
SAC, NE8 Track Championships
Champions repeat in tight race
East Noble girls, Columbia City boys eke out team titles
ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette
NEW HAVEN – The East Noble girls track and field team had just a single individual champion, was sitting in third place with two remaining events and faced being replaced as NE8 champions.
But the Knights' depth proved the difference in winning their second consecutive NE8 title Friday at New Haven, joining the Columbia City boys as conference champions.
“We just fought the whole night long, and some things went bad and some stayed good, and we just kept fighting through the whole meet,” East Noble coach Andy Bell said. “This is just overwhelming.”
Three points separated first and fourth places on the girl's side. East Noble posted a score of 102.5, narrowly beating out Huntington North with 101, Leo with 100 and Norwell with 99.5. Columbia City (76), New Haven (62), Bellmont (55), DeKalb (27) rounded out the girl's scores.
“We knew it was going to be close,” Bell said. “When we seeded it out, we thought we'd maybe be fifth place. These girls have just been working hard all year and getting better every week and they had confidence in themselves.”
Hannah Henning was the lone Knight with a first-place finish, winning the 300 hurdles in 48.46 seconds. It was a race her coach was unsure if she was going to run at all.
“I love the 300 hurdles,” Henning said. “It's one of the hardest races in my opinion, but it's super fun to do.”
Bell said Henning's win sparked the team to push on. After that, Kylie Garton cleared 10 feet, setting the East Noble pole vault record, to place second.
As close as the girls' meet was, the boys' was just as exciting. Columbia City topped Bellmont 118-116 in the all-night battle between the two that came down to the wire. East Noble (100), Leo (73.5), Norwell (63.5), Huntington North (61), New Haven (54) and DeKalb (38) rounded out the boy's scores.
“We've only ever won three in school history and we just won two of them now,” Eagles coach Ryan Trieschman said of the back-to-back titles. “It's a good stepping stone for our program. Our kids, they put in the work every day; I'm happy for them.”
Columbia City got boosts from Liam Hesting in discus, shattering his own record with a 165-feet, 6-inch throw. He also placed first in shot put, notching a 54-01 throw.
The Eagles took Hesting and Alex Sharpenberg to state last season, and Trieschman hopes this win lights a fire in his team to bring more this season.
“I'm hoping to take a bus load,” he said.
The conference will seemingly stay competitive for years to come as numerous freshman made waves in their conference debut. Leo's Karis Davis took first in the 100 meters (12.90) breaking the meet record, and first in the 200 meters (27.30). Huntington North freshman Addy Wiley grabbed the top spot in the 1,600-meter run (5:07.37) and the 800 (2:17.22). She also broke the 800 record.
Huntington North senior Veronika Russel broke her own meet record in the pole vault, clearing 10-0. Gabby Birch of Bellmont also lowered her own discus record. Birch had a 131-00 throw.
Norwell's Sydney Lambert (11:23.77) and Sarah Mahnensmith (11:41.07) grabbed first and second in the 3,200 run, pulling ahead of the pack for most of the race.
East Noble's Joe Painter claimed the record in pole vault, clearing 13-06.50.
Leo's boys 3,200 relay team took first and lowered the meet record to 8:14.00.