Jasper girls win track sectionalMay 18, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
LEOPOLD - After being forced to miss all of 2020, Jasper's girls track team was back on top Tuesday when it successfully defended its sectional championship crown from 2019.
The Wildcats scored 135.5 points, edging second place Heritage Hills, who scored 121.5 points. There were times the Patriots sat in first place on Tuesday, but the Wildcats found a way to hoist the sectional hardware at the end of the night.
"We knew it was going back-and-forth with Heritage Hills," Jasper coach Dean Jerger said. "They have some great throwers and a solid team all-around. Of course, our distance girls...they stepped up in a very big way tonight."
Jasper senior Aliyah Schwenk put her name in the sectional record books with a long jump distance of 18-00.00 - surpassing a secitonal record previously set by another Wildcat, Darian Mehne, who jumped 17-10.75 in 2013.
Jerger hailed Schwenk for how hard she has worked.
"It was great to see her get that record, and it's impressive," he said. "That 18-foot mark is not easy for girls to get. So, hopefully, she can do it again next week."
However, that wasn't the only record to fall, since Forest Park sophomore Rachel Mehringer made history by setting multiple records in the 100m hurdles.
Mehringer's time of 14.45 led the pack by nearly two full seconds, and it broke the old sectional record of 14.66 seconds set by North Knox's Amy Lynn in 1988. Her feat was also a Perry Central track record, which surpassed the 15.45 time from Boonville's Arika Winsett in 2002.
Heritage Hills senior Rebekah Gordon took the sectional crown in the discus throw with a distance of 112-07.00. However, Southridge junior Karla Alegria missed out on a top three spot, as her distance of 104-10.00 tied with Perry Central sophomore Jackie Hensley. However, the second-best throw was taken into account, giving the nod to Hensley.
Alegria's hopes of advancing to regionals were still alive Tuesday night, as the four best scorers among those who didn't get top three across the four sectionals are also factored in.
Yet, there was a tie permitted in the high jump. Jasper sophomore Tori Brandt took second place with a height of 4-08.00, which was also the same for Jasper senior Grace Kizior and senior Claire Lange from Heritage Hills. However, Brandt cleared the height in fewer tries, giving her second, while Kizior and Lange cleared it in the same amount of attempts, giving the two of them a tie for third. Loogootee senior Kalea Fleming won at 4-10.00.
The regional is set for May 25 at Evansville Central. Jerger feels VanMeter can make it in the 1600m run and 3200m run, and Schwenk can make it in the long jump. He also sees an outside shot for his 3200m relay team of making it to state, and the same goes for the 400m relay.
"There's no reason to put tons of pressure on these girls," Jerger said. "They've been stepping up and performing every meet and doing what we've been asking them. So, we got to be realistic with our goals, but those goals will be attainable as long as we're consistent and stay focused."
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