Girls track: Late surge lifts Wheeler to GSSC title
LAKE STATION — You couldn’t have asked for a more exciting finish to the girls Greater South Shore Conference track meet Tuesday. Wheeler made a late run to capture the conference championship, winning the 4x400 relay and getting a third in the 3,200-meter run to hold off Bishop Noll, 116-106.
Bearcats junior Kelly O’Shea, along with sophomore Lindsey Ardnt and freshmen Jenna Giorgi and Rachel Metzger, outran Noll 4:17 to 4:30 to clinch the 10-point win.
“We had some things happen tonight, (including a fall in the 300 hurdles, that cost a first-place finish for Lindsey Heavvner), but we fought back,” Wheeler coach Rhonda Anderson said.
O’Shea, who had a PR in the 4x4 and in the 1,600, was proud of her team.
“We were down by a lot, we all knew we had to place well,” she said.
And the Bearcats did that with depth. O’Shea and Metzger were first and second in the 800 run. In the 200, youth won out, as Noll freshman Shana Cooper was first, Wheeler freshman Courtney Hessling was second and Ardnt came in third. That was the start of Wheeler’s move to the championship.
Cooper won the 100 and was a member of the winning 4x100 squad (Deja Bailey, Emily Johnson and Carissa Jones).
She said that working with junior Asya Hobbs, who was second to her in the 100, has helped her improve greatly.
“We are a team, we push each other,” Cooper said. “I had a PR in the 200. I was really worried bout the 200.”
The Spartans led for most of the early going on the strength of the field events, with Sarah Levy winning the discus with a throw of 127-01, while the Spartans’ Morgan Lang was third behind Jessica Robinson of Calumet. In the shot put, Erika Smar and Lang were 1-2 for the Spartans.
When you add in firsts for the Spartans’ Bethany West in the 100 and 200 hurdles, North Newton was strong early.
But the Spartans had few other options for adding points.
Noll took over the lead, but it was Wheeler 100, Noll 98 going into the two final events of the evening, and North Newton wasn’t that far behind at 96.
Wheeler junior Erin Goodwin finished third behind Calumet runners Danielle Smar and Maria Castaneda in the 3,200, adding to the Bearcats’ score. They were up 106-98 and Newton’s 96.
And they clinched it with the 4x400 win.