Girls track: Kaitlyn Moricz leads the way as Lake Central wins 22nd straight sectional
By Dave Melton Post-Tribune correspondent May 14, 2013 11:08PM
Lake Central's Kaitlyn Moricz clears 11-0 during the pole vaule finals at Lowell High School on Tuesday, May 14, 2013. | Jim Karczewski~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 16, 2013 6:41AM
LOWELL — In its second year at a different sectional, Lake Central’s girls track team continued its long streak of postseason success by capturing the Lowell Sectional on Tuesday night — the program’s 22nd straight sectional championship.
“It was more comfortable this year. It’s always disconcerting going someplace for the first time,” said Lake Central coach Rob Fredrick. “This year we knew the layout and we knew the people. I was more comfortable and I think that made the girls more comfortable.”
Lake Central’s team score of 161 made for a decisive victory over second-place Merrillville at 131 and third-place Crown Point at 81. Some familiar faces again shined for the Indians, as 2012 state finalist Kaitlyn Moricz captured the long jump with a mark of 17 feet, 8¾ inches.
“I’m definitely where I want to be right now,” said Moricz, who added that she has pegged 19 feet as the mark she’ll need to reach for a state championship.
Merrillville’s second-place finish was led by senior Airrica Harper, who came from behind in each of her two races, winning the 100 and 200 meter dashes.
“Some people have first 50 meters speed, but I have last 50 meters speed. Don’t get me wrong, though, it was really tough competition,” said Harper.
The runner Harper overcame at the end was Lew Wallace’s Arielle Borders, a close friend of Harper’s.
“It was hard to come out and run against her, but we both said: ‘Let the best runner win,’” Harper said.
Harper was also part of the Pirates’ victorious 4x100 relay team, which finished with a first-place time of 49.17, 0.15 seconds off of the sectional record set by Merrillville last year.
One record that did fall on Tuesday night was in the 300 hurdles, in which Lowell senior Tori Nida established the new mark with a time of 46.26, breaking the old record by 0.24 seconds.
“I knew my times were getting better and I felt good while I was running so I thought my time was going to be even better. That was my goal,” she said.
The distance events were dominated by Griffith senior Taylor Austin, who won both the 1,600 and 3,200 runs. Austin was a state qualifier in the 1,600 run last year and said she’s looking to do the same in the 3,200 this season.
“For sure, I’m trying to make it in the mile and we’ll see what happens in the two-mile,” said Austin, who grabbed an early lead in the 3,200 and never relented. “I just like to get out quick so I don’t get caught in all of that commotion and then I can run my pace.”