SYRACUSE — In four years, Wawasee’s seniors had never won a single Northern Lakes Conference meet in girls track.
That changed Tuesday night, as the Lady Warriors collected a convincing 72-60 victory over Goshen on their home turf in Syracuse. The home team split the meet with a 69-63 loss to Plymouth, but it did nothing to deter from the win over the Redhawks.
“The group of seniors we have, they’ve never won an NLC meet. So for them to get a win tonight — huge, huge for them and huge for the other girls,” said Wawasee head coach Tracy Walesa.
“We ran a great meet tonight. We had a bunch of people step up that we knew could do it, and they’re finally able to have that opportunity to do it. All the teams were really close. Every race was close, and that, I think, helped our confidence. We were able to say ‘OK, I can give just a little bit more, and we can get that one place better than we were.’ We had everybody step up for a team effort. Which is what we need. We need every point we can get.”
The Lady Warriors took top honors in a total of six events. Jada Parzygnot was first in both the pole vault (10 feet) and the long jump (17’01”), while fellow senior McKenzie Smith claimed first in the 1600-meter run (5:56.33) and as part of Wawasee’s 4×800-meter relay team (10:51.27) alongside Emma Ebright, Cameron Kryder, Bailey Mayhew and McKenzie Smith. Mayhew clocked 1:03 to win the open 400 and her comeback trailing nearly 100 full meters in the final leg of the 4×400 propelled her, Amber Beer, McKenzie Long and Courtney Cox to a win in the final event of the night (10:51.27) as Walesa shuffled around the usual order for the relay.
“Just mixing up our order, putting our girls in positions that they can excel — just starting out sticking with the girls that are ahead of us, because we started in the farthest back lane. So just don’t let them get ahead and then just keeping that and giving us enough confidence for Bailey to finish it off,” Walesa said.
Wawasee also finished in second through fourth in the 800 meters as Nadia Palacios, Cameron Kryder and Cox finished in order there, and two-three in the high jump as Dylan Konieczny collected a runner-up finish and Beer placed third. Smith was also second in the 300 hurdles, and Sarah Pritchard placed second in the discus and third in the shot put.
Wawasee moves to 2-3 overall and a 1-2 start in the NLC.
The Lady Warriors are back in action at the Turtletown Relays Saturday morning.
“I’m excited to see what the rest of the season will bring us. I think we can surprise some teams when it comes to NLC and get some people out at sectional time. That’s our goal,” said Walesa.