Northern Indiana has always produced quality track competitors. This spring, the tradition continues as girls track will jump into the state tournament with sectionals opening Tuesday across Indiana.
The Warsaw Sectional is primed to see some of the top runners and field competitors clash in what could be some tremendous individual events. The sprint events could be fantastic, with the combination of Warsaw’s Audrey Rich, Sam Alexander and Abbi Curtis, Fairfield’s Riley Miller and Chloe Armbruster, NorthWood’s Kenzie Moren and Concord’s Oniste Thomas, times could go off the charts as the delta approaches the finish line. Warsaw’s 4×100 relay team could challenge the sectional records with the pace it’s been on this season, breaking the school record in recent weeks.
Hurdles could also be highly competitive with NorthWood’s Riley Hershberger leading the way, but will be challenged by Fairfield’s Jessica Miller as both dominated their conference meets this past week. Hershberger broke the conference record in hurdles last week and is just a freshman.
Warsaw should have the edge in distance, with Mia Beckham, Allison Miller, Anna Craig, Hannah Dawson, Claire Kehler and Brooke Rhodes all having tremendous campaigns. Beckham was a double winner at the Norther Lakes Conference meet in the mile and two-mile while Warsaw’s 4×800 relay team could push for a sectional record. NorthWood’s Erica Stutzman could be a wild card, already holding NorthWood records for distance.
In the field, Wawasee thrower Katlyn Kennedy is seeking a sectional title in shot put, having already broken the school record three times this season along with winning the NLC title.
Tigers Alexie Day and Alexander will be the favorites in the high jump and long jump, respectively, while the Warsaw duo of Joelle Messenger and Nikki Parrett are contenders in pole vault. Wawasee’s Jada Parzygnot has the talent to sneak out of sectionals in pole vault.
Warsaw is seeking its 10th straight sectional team title.
“We’ll make a little bit of changes with our roster based on performances, but I think we will be able to put out a great sectional roster that not only will win, but more importantly, move girls on to the regional,” said Warsaw head coach Scott Erba after his team won 10 of 16 events at the NLC last Wednesday. “That’s been our bread and butter the last few years, getting 12 or 13 events where girls can score. That’s what we want to do.”
The Rochester Sectional should be interesting from both a team and individual standpoint. Teams from Plymouth, Bremen, Whitko, Rochester and Manchester all should be fighting for the team title while individual events should be hotly contested. Plymouth enters looking for its third straight team title.
Whitko’s dynamic sprint pair of Kaitlyn Reed and Suzi Sickafoose should be involved in grabbing regional tickets. Reed is one of the top 100 sprinters in the area, and Sickafoose has been nearly as good in the 100 as well as the 200. Reed is also one of the state’s top high jumpers, having cleared 5-4 already in one of the state’s top reported jumps.
Brigit Nemitz could have a banner day in distance runs for the Wildcats.
Tippecanoe Valley’s Lexi O’Connell looks to atone for a nightmare TRC meet, where she failed to qualify for the 100 hurdle finals after a fall in prelims. O’Connell has routinely posted top hurdle times, so look for her to bounce back. O’Connell also anchors Valley’s 4×100 relay, and along with Whitko, should make for a great final if Reed is slotted into their anchor.
Sarah Tucker and Jalyssa House give Valley another two to watch in sprints.
Triton’s Katie Hepler should contend in pole vault, and Abigail Powell comes into the sectional as a freshman champ in the 100 hurdles at the Hoosier North Athletic Conference meet. Trojan Sara Stevens could surprise in the sprints.