Girls track: Indians take pair of victories at triangular meet
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent April 23, 2013 11:02PM
Valparaiso's Kassidy Swenson lead the 100 meter hurdles against Merrillville and Lake Central Tuesday afternoon at Valparaiso High School. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 25, 2013 6:48AM
VALPARAISO — The weather couldn’t have been much worse. Temperatures dropped into the 30s by the end of the DAC triangular meet between Lake Central, Merrillville and Valparaiso, with a steady rainfall whipped around by a fierce wind.
“This was the worst weather,” said Lake Central coach Rob Frederick. “By far, it surpasses everything.”
In spite of the brutal conditions, the meet went on, with Lake Central capturing victories over conference rivals Valparaiso (87-45) and Merrillville (93-39). The host Vikings also came away with a win over the Pirates (70-62).
“All things considered, we came away with a few wins and I’m very happy with that,” said Frederick. “I knew that Valparaiso and Merrillville all good teams with strong competition. We thought this would be a good meet to measure ourselves.”
If any team could’ve been prepared for the elements, it was Frederick’s squad.
“We practice outside, no matter what the weather is,” he said. “And this is why we go outside on nights like that, because if there’s a meet, we’re going to run in it.”
One of the Indians who thrived in the chilling climates was Kaitlyn Moricz, who took third in the 100-meter dash, second in the long jump, and Moricz was part of the first-place 400-meter relay team.
“The weather was a big difference,” said Moricz, while enjoying the warm and dry comforts of the team bus. “You just had to get warm, stay warm and make sure to wear a lot of clothes.”
Jessica Delbovo added a pair of Lake Central first-place finishes in shot put and discus.
One of Valparaiso’s top performers was Kassidy Swenson, who thrived on the hurdles, winning both the 100 and 300-meter events.
“This was the worst weather I’ve ever ran in, but it’s also motivating,” said Swenson. “If you can run in this weather, you can run in anything.”
Said Valparaiso head coach Boomer Nellessen: “We talked before the meet about today being a training tool. We’ve wanted to build toughness, and this is one of the steps in that direction.”
The cold weather got to Merrillville sprinter Airrica Harper, as her right leg cramped near the finish line of the 200-meter dash. Her teammate, Anjelica Peppers, won that race while Harper took first place in the 100-meter dash — 0.01 seconds ahead of Peppers.
“We both push each other. I enjoy running with her,” said Harper, adding that her leg was going to be fine. “I make her better, she makes me better. I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for her.”