DUNLAP – Those who have paid attention to Northern Lakes Conference girls track over the past decade or so have become accustomed to a few things. Concord has been a team of speed, Memorial a team of distance. Warsaw is a team of both, and a whole bunch of everything else. Nothing changed Tuesday as the three got together for a NLC triangular at Concord.
Warsaw crushed both Concord, 91-41, and Memorial, 103-29, to continue its stronghold on the NLC with its 58th straight conference dual win. Concord clipped Memorial, 77-55, to salvage the split.
Warsaw was tops in 11 of the events, and had what was the most exciting finish of the night coming in the 200 dash. In the final heat of the 200 races, Warsaw’s speed demon. Abbi Curtis, went against Memorial’s Ally Bailey and saw the two stride for stride in the final paces of the race. The lean at the line didn’t settle anything as both finished at 26.48 to split the race.
Otherwise, Warsaw won its other track events without much contest. Anna Craig was a double winner in the 800 (2:26.65) and the 1,600 (5:21.53), looking fresh in both final bursts to the line. Charlene Orr got a race from Concord’s Ally Smith in the 3,200, Orr needing to really turn it on in the final lap to pull away for an 11:37.08 win to Smith’s 11:38.90.
All three relays went to the Lady Tigers, the 4×800 of Craig, Taylor Gunter, Allison Miller and Mia Beckham at 10:00.94, the 4×100 of Shunterra Davis, Maygan Bellamy, Curtis and Makayla Clampitt at 50.06, and the 4×400 of Bellamy, Ellie Klotz, Dayton Groninger and Remi Beckham at 4:13.61. Concord and Memorial both kept it close in the 4×100, and Concord held a slight lead in the 4×400 in the third leg before Warsaw regained control.
“Dayton is a battler, she is pretty mentally tough,” said Warsaw head coach Matt Thacker of Groninger, who helped battle Warsaw back in the 4×400. “She needs somebody to run with her, somebody to push her. Abbi’s race was the same thing. Concord and Memorial offered us great competition. It’s good for us to be pushed. It’s good for our conference, it’s good for our girls preparing for the conference meet, the sectional and the regional. It always helps to have nights like tonight.”
Warsaw’s field events were excellent, with just one jumper stoning a perfect day. In throws, Page Desenberg (32-10.25) took honors in shot put while Lynae Dawson had the top discus throw (102-03). Teammates Kendall Menzie and Shunterra Davis both traveled 15-09 in the long jump, Menzie getting the win on jumps over Davis. And Caitlin Kehler won on jumps with her 8-06 in pole vault, achieving the mark before Memorial’s Hannah Smith.
The lone wedge in the Warsaw field success came from Concord’s Stephanie Hartpence, who cleared 5-04 in pole vault to trump three Warsaw jumpers who themselves all reached new heights with PRs.
“Practice has been really great and we continue to work hard, and it’s showing in meets like this,” Thacker said. “People are just doing their jobs. We had several girls in throws with PRs, same with pole vault we had a PR there. High jump, all of them PRed, all of the varsity. So did the Concord girl, so all of them were competing.”
Concord had the other four wins, Sydney Simon doing the double with the 100 hurdles (17.11) and 300 hurdles (50.34). Jasmine Hudson won the 400 (59.55) and Oniste Thomas took the 100 dash at 12.80.
Warsaw will compete again Saturday at the Southport Relays.