The Whitefish Bay and Homestead girls track and field teams are just not going to escape each other.
Just three days after the Highlanders won an epic three-team battle over Germantown and Whitefish Bay in the North Shore Conference Relays, there they were again on May 10 in Homestead's annual Highlander Invite.
And this time, despite being without distance phenom Camille Davre, the Blue Dukes got a bit of vengeance on the Highlanders, edging them by a 106-104-1/2 count to take the championship in the swiftly run 15-team event that started at 10:15 a.m. and was done by about 1 p.m.
"We were very happy with this," said Blue Dukes coach Ben Van Male. "The kids really stepped up with some great performances. The distance kids did their usual job and the spring kids really showed up, too."
"This was a really good meet for us," added Highlanders coach John Krueger. "There were a lot of PRs (personal records) out there. We couldn't control the competition, so we were just hoping to go out there and do our best, and to turn in this kind of effort just three days after the relays was even better, because it showed that we have the strength to bounce back."
The teams will be back at it on Tuesday, May 20, when Homestead hosts the North Shore Conference Outdoor Meet. Bay won the NSC indoor title so this meet will be for official league bragging rights.
Bay was able to surge ahead and win its fourth major meet of the year on the strength of its up-top power as it took five firsts in the meet.
Sprinter Kaitlyn Jackson had another great day, winning the 100-meter dash in 12.71 seconds and then anchoring the 4x200 relay team that included Katie Delany, Rachel Schmidt and Grace Murray to a season-best winning effort of 1:46.95, which was good for a spot on the state honor roll.
Elsewhere, Hannah Lyons (2:24.38) and Kylee Kennedy (2:27.58) went one-two, respectively, in the 800, while Sara Coffey cruised to a 34-second win in the 3,200 (11:25.19) with Claire Hentzen taking second (11:59.04).
The Blue Dukes' distance depth showed up in the 4x800 relay, too, as Ellie Hall, Nina Jankins, Haleigh Morton and Sydney Wellenstein won by 1-1/2 seconds with a 10:12.71 effort.
Other good efforts included the following: 1,600 — Meghan Graham, fourth (5:45.73). 300 low hurdles — Clancy Loebl, fourth (52.25). 400 — Reilly Koch, fifth (1:01.2). 4x400 relay — Jackson, Murray, Aly Yurkowitz and Koch, second (4:07.68). Long jump — Amelia Maradas, third (16-4 1/2); Carina Schiro, fifth (15-0).
Van Male was very happy with the long jumpers and noted that Davre was just getting a well-deserved day off. He was just happy that Bay was able to get a meet win on a lovely, spring Saturday.
"It was just beautiful out," he said.
The Highlanders also had good up-top strength, too, as they earned four firsts, almost all of them in field events.
The one track victory came from freshman distance runner Katie Wegmann in the 1,600 with a personal best of 5:13.99. Krueger said that distance coach Victory Vilar's work with his young charges has been phenomenal.
Monica Caputa won two events for the Highlanders taking the high jump with an excellent effort of 5 feet-2 inches. She also claimed the long jump with a 16-11 1/2 effort as teammate Nia Feaster was second with a 16-5 showing.
Another triumph went to Feaster in the triple jump at 33-9.
Also contributing to the effort were the following: 400 — Mary Kate Simon, sixth (1:01.61). 1,600 — Allie Levin, third (5:40.59). 100 high hurdles — Elyssa Tracy, third (16.25). 4x100 relay — Feaster, Alex Lutz, Caputa, and Ellie Trau, second (52.67). 4x400 relay — Wegmann, Allison Fochs, Mikaela Hoard and Jenna Miller, sixth (4;29.42). High jump — Holland Cummisford, sixth (4-10). Pole vault — Tracy, second (10-6); Leigh Berman, sixth (8-6).
Overall, Krueger said, it was a great day.
"Very much so," he said. "It was a day to take a lot of pride in hosting the Lady Highlander and for us to do well, it makes it even better."
And as for the speed of the meet, that's something all the people involved also take pride in, said Krueger.
"It's a combination of everyone working well," he said. "To be honest though, sometimes it makes it harder (going so quickly) because it makes it harder on the people upstairs (in the box, managing the results) who are trying to get the results out quickly."
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