Jasper clings to title as Pats’ 16-year wait ends

From Herald Staff Reports

Jasper stayed on top by a matter of a few points. Heritage Hills ended a 16-year wait with a more emphatic margin. For the Wildcats and Patriots, both routes worked to snap up girls track conference championships Tuesday night.


The Big Eight Conference meet at Princeton became a two-team derby between Jasper and Boonville, and the Cats (122) grazed the Pioneers (118) to seize their 13th Big Eight title in the last 14 years and the 24th overall for the program. Vincennes Lincoln (77) edged Washington (75) and Mount Vernon (74) for third place, with Princeton (22) and Mount Carmel (7) sixth and seventh, respectively.

Heritage Hills found more wiggle room in the Pocket Athletic Conference meet at Tell City, where the Patriots (1371⁄2) topped runner-up Southridge by 31 points to claim the PAC crown for the first time since 2001. Gibson Southern (1041⁄2) was third and Forest Park (79) snagged fourth, with Tell City (67), South Spencer (61), North Posey (31), Tecumseh (191⁄2) and Pike Central (18) completing the field.

Jasper didn’t dominate in terms of individual glory, but the Cats boasted plenty of depth to go along with three first-place finishes. Tara Cassidy checked in first at the finish line in 2:29 in the 800-meter run to win by five seconds, and Jasper was a tick faster in the 400 relay as Chloe Berger, Zoe Biggs, Hannah Love and Chloe Smith clocked in at 51.50 seconds, nosing out Mount Vernon by four-hundredths of a second. The Cats also prevailed in a tight margin in the discus, where Erin Lyons’ heave of 102 feet, 93⁄4 inches earned her first place by 101⁄2 inches over the runner-up.

The Cats also earned second and third, respectively, in the 1,600 (Cassidy and Alyssa Skorge) and the 3,200 (Kate Weaver and Leah Schnell). Smith added a runner-up showing in the pole vault, and the Cats also collected third-place points from Biggs (200), Olivia Ruckriegel (400), Annie Brake (800) and Kayla Mehne (discus).

Meanwhile, two conference records fell in the PAC meet, as Forest Park’s Hannah Gehlhausen cleared 9-6 for first place in the pole vault and Heritage Hills’ 400 relay quartet of Kerragan Mulzer, Summer Konerding, Kayla Blake and Jenna Burns hustled to a 51.55 finish. The Patriots weren’t done reigning on the track, as they racked up first-place efforts in eight of the 11 running events. Burns pocketed the titles in the 100 and 200 sprints, Mulzer burned to the best time in the 400, and Caitlin Lueken went the distance in her double-win day in the 1,600 and 3,200. The Patriots applied an exclamation point with a relay sweep, as Blake, Burns and Mulzer joined Sifra Kuiper in the 1,600 relay while Ella Green, Marlee Vinson, Madison Hagedorn and Lueken led off the night by winning the 3,200 relay.

K. Meyer

A upperclassman and a rookie delivered conference titles to Southridge, as freshman Grace Sickbert soared 15 feet and a half-inch to win the long jump while junior Karli Meyer was tops in the shot put with her throw of 35-11⁄2. Kenzie Neukam (200) and Anna Altstadt (400) furnished second-place finishes for the Raiders, as did Tori Tretter in the discus and the 3,200 relay group of Lauren Meyer, Cheyanne Motteler, Mady Neukam and Brooklyn Tretter.

Forest Park’s Kylie Hasenour followed Gehlhausen in the pole vault as the Ranger teammates went 1-2 in the event, and Forest Park also got third-place results from Lauren Jahn in the 200, Josie Berg in the 800, Claire Mehling in the 3,200 and Brandee Johannemann in the 300 hurdles.

In the Blue Chip Conference meet at North Knox, Paige Jacob provided Northeast Dubois’ one individual conference crown with her effort of 95-71⁄2 in the discus. Jacob (shot put) and Emily Kieffner added runner-up tosses in the throws and Susanna Fravell scurried to second in the 100 hurdles for the Jeeps (86), who earned third place behind Barr-Reeve (121) and Vincennes Rivet (112) and ahead of North Knox (771⁄2), South Knox (39), Wood Memorial (37) and Shoals (221⁄2).

Maggie Stephenson and Jessica Kahle placed third for the Jeeps in the 100 hurdles and pole vault, respectively.

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