BATAVIA – Essie Newburn looked to Batavia’s past at the DuKane Conference girls indoor track and field championship March 18.
“I look up to Tori [Ortiz],” Newburn said of the multiple event conference champion now performing at Oklahoma State. “I see her name plastered all over the wall [of the Batavia field house records].”
Newburn, a senior who once specialized in the pole vault, swept the three shortest individual sprints – the 55-, 200- and 400-meter dashes – to propel the Bulldogs to a one-sided 145-107.5 victory over second-place Wheaton Warrenville South for their first indoor league title in three years.
“The physical part is one thing. You either have it or you don’t,” Newburn said of her triumphs in times of 7.52, 26.51 and 61.31 seconds, respectively. “But you have to mentally train for the races.”
Megan Schulhof, a senior pole vaulter, claimed the Bulldogs’ other title with a championship effort of 11 feet, 3 inches. Batavia used its depth and balance to double score in multiple events.
WW South had its three returning sprint relay all-state athletes carry the day.
Nora Fieweger, Celia Huelskoetter and Grace Macabobby were sixth in the 4x200 relay at state last spring. The three dominated their specialty event at the March 18 indoor meet.
Fieweger and Macabobby, two runners on the Tigers’ 4x400 quartet that was fourth at state last spring, helped WW South storm to victory in that event in 4:09.71 at the indoor meet.
“We definitely have an advantage in having an indoor season this year,” said Fieweger, the metric mile relay anchor leg. “I am really happy where we are at.”
The Tigers claimed the 4x800 relay as Annie Macabobby, who later won the open 800 in 2:21.42, played an indispensable role.
Lake Park and Glenbard North, which finished behind St. Charles East in fourth and fifth, respectively, had two-event winners.
Martina Latoria was denied her third title of the meet by St. Charles East senior Katie Kempff in the 55 hurdles. Latoria, a Lake Park senior, claimed both the long and triple jumps.
“It does hurt a little bit,” Latoria said of losing 8.92-9.09 to the MIT-bound Kempff in the 55 hurdles. “I got a little too excited at the end.”
Kempff had three top-three finishes for the Saints in the three jumps.
In the distance races, Glenbard North junior Grace Schager pulled away from returning all-state Batavia miler Katrina Schlenker to begin her evening with a victory at 3,200 meters in 11:18.49. Fifth in the state last year at 3,200 meters, Schager used a similar formula to thwart Schlenker at 1,600 meters in 5:03.84.
“They have referred to me being tall in the newspaper,” said Schager, who had noticeably longer strides than the Liberty-bound Schlenker. “I have really thought about it. I try to [tactically] play off what other people do.”