It looked like the first meet back from Spring Break for much of Concord’s 84.5-55.5 Northern Lakes Conference opener at Wawasee. But, pin a little on the direct eastbound wind that bit down hard on Warrior Field and its inhabitants.
Wawasee’s strength was in the field, where Sara Pritchard led the way in the shot put with a 30-01, and the top five distances were thrown by Lady Warriors. Pritchard was second in the discus, five inches short of Concord’s Kaity Velie’s top toss of 90-10. Hannah-Marie Lamle added a 15-09 win in long jump and Jada Parzygnot cleared 9-0 to claim honors in pole vault.
Lamle rallied from several steps back in the final 100 meters to clip Makayla Miller at the line in the 300 hurdles, Lamle home at 50.21 to Miller’s 50.25. Jasmine Riffell edged Lamle in the 100 hurdles, going 16.37 to Lamle’s 16.45.
McKenzie Smith won the 800 at 2:37 and Wawasee’s 4×400 relay was tops at 4:35.06, with Smith, Lamle, Bailey Mayhew and Nadia Palacios the winners to close the night.
Jasmine Hudson won both the 200 (27.40) and 400 (1:02.45) dashes and Oniste Thomas won the 100 dash at 12.73 to highlight Concord wins.
“Jumps and pole vault had good days,” started Wawasee head coach Doug Slabaugh. “It is what it is with this weather. It’s an issue for everyone. It might affect the times but you can’t let it affect your heart. We had a little mix of that with people worrying about the conditions more than what they were supposed to do.”
Wawasee (1-1, 0-1 NLC) will race again next Tuesday at Goshen in a trio with Plymouth.
A 4-1 loss to Westview had a lot of moral victories for Wawasee head coach Shane Staley.
A new look to the lineup for the season opener had Wawasee shift Kendra Doerr to one singles from the one doubles position, and fill in accordingly. Doerr held her own in the dual against Lauryn Riegsecker, who entered her second season at one singles for the visitors. The two-hour, twenty minute match ended harmlessly at 7-5, 6-4 in favor of Riegsecker, but Doerr showed signs of progress in just the two sets, in what was her first foray at one singles.
“Since I have been here, that has been the most impressive number one singles debut,” stated Staley. “To see her come in there, deal with the nerves of a number one position, that’s always tough to step in. She did a great job in her first match.”
Elizabeth Kloepfer missed on a pair of opportunities in a two and four loss to Reghan Heffner, dropping points in the second set when Heffner looked loose on return shots. Kennedy Church played her first-ever varsity match at three singles and fell to Kelly Christner two and two.
Doerr’s departure to singles play left Kabrea Rostochak needing a one doubles partner, which brought up Courtney Larson from the two doubles slot from a year ago. The two built some chemistry, but couldn’t combat Serenity Corbett and Madison Kresse in a three and four defeat.
Wawasee’s lone court win took nearly as long as Doerr’s loss, well over the two-hour mark, but Brianna Haessig and Molly Jones rallied to defeat Chloe Lovell and Lydia Rang 6-7 (0-7), 6-2, 6-2.
“It’s tough to step into an environment like this because we have so much we need to rework,” Staley said. “Our doubles teams need a lot of work. We haven’t had a lot of court time, even working in the gym we can’t really have challenge matches. From what I’ve seen today, I like what the girls did and gives us a good step in the right direction to build upon.”
Wawasee went 5-2 in the JV matches. Highlighting the JV success was an 8-0 win in doubles play by Valerie Haessig and Brittney Jackson.
Wawasee (0-1) will return to the home court Thursday when it opens NLC play as Goshen will come calling.
It went from bad to worse for the Wawasee softball team Tuesday afternoon.
A five-run first inning was followed by a four-run second courtesy of Columbia City in what became a 14-1 five-inning rout of Wawasee in Syracuse.
City kept the line moving at the plate, ripping 17 hits and getting three apiece from Bella Ross, Anna Weigold and Allison Conrad. Weigold and Felicity Clawson each drove in four, Clawson going deep as did Ciarra Ivy. Clawson added a two-run double one pitch after nearly crushing a homer that went just foul in the second.
Weigold made all the support stand up, and then some, by tossing a two-hitter, just an RBI single from Beth Flannery in the third the only blemish.
Columbia City was all over the JV contest as well, taking a 20-5 result. Autumn Conners had a two-run double and Casey Drake added an RBI single for the Lady Warriors.
Wawasee (3-2) will get after it again Friday at home against Manchester.
Jacob Garcia got the key hit, a bases-clearing double to lift Wawasee to a 7-4 win at Whitko.
Garcia took the first pitch he saw from Spencer Sroufe in the third and drove it center, unloading the bases and tying the game at three. Wawasee had loaded the bags without a hit, using two hit-by-pitch and a walk.
Back-to-back doubles in the seventh from Jairus Boyer and Carter Woody, along with a single from Jake Crousore, gave Wawasee a pair of insurance runs.
Mason Lehman and River West each had RBI singles for the Wildcats, West’s poke putting the Wildcats up 3-0 in the second inning. West had three hits in the game and scored a run.
Blake Norris earned the win for the Warriors, working six innings of six-hit ball, fanning eight in the process. Austin Hollowell took the loss in relief of Sroufe, giving up the final three runs in 2.2 innings of work.
Wawasee (1-1) will revisit Whitley County Thursday for a date at Columbia City.