GRANVILLE – In most sports, winning a conference championship is done over a season, one game or match at a time. In track, it all comes together with one performance on one day, and while the Seneca Fighting Irish haven’t held back any this regular season, they sure let it loose at the Tri-County Conference Meet on Thursday.
The Irish girls won their ninth consecutive conference title, a string dating back to their time in the Interstate Eight Conference, by sweeping all the relays, hurdles, distances and all but one of the sprints to amass a whopping 234 points to 107 for runner-up Henry-Senachwine.
Meanwhile, the SHS boys rolled nearly as easily to their second straight TCC crown, totaling 207 points to 145 for second-place Lowpoint-Washburn.
Lowpoint’s girls were third with 94, followed by Marquette’s 38 and Putnam County’s 36. For the boys, the host Panthers were third with 51, with Marquette’s 49 and Henry’s 33 good for fourth and fifth.
“Sometimes you get obsessed with times in track,” said Seneca coach Terry Maxwell, “but then when you get a day like today, it’s tough. … We did a nice job today under really tough conditions with the rain earlier and then the wind blowing hard into the home stretch here, so while some of our times weren’t what we’ve seen this year, I’m very proud of the way we competed in conditions like this.
“If the girls could have won last year, this would have made 10, and the boys now have two in a row. They did a great job … so we’re looking pretty strong across the board right now, right where you want to be heading into sectionals.”
For the Lady Irish, Seneca’s Amber Vroman had a strong day, taking the 800 in 2:35.68 to best Audrey Jenkins (2:43.68), then later the 1600 in 6:03.46 to clip Ashley Alsvig (6:16.64). Alsvig won the 3200 with a 12:55.10 clocking.
Meanwhile, Brooklyn Giertz took both of the hurdles events, her :17.98 in the 100s easily beating the 21:28 by Henry’s Daphaney Kessling (:21.28). Her :51.56 in the 300s edged out the Irish’s Keeli Pumphrey (:56.87).
In the other sprints, Faith Deering, who had earlier won the discus with a toss of 114-0, was a somewhat odd combo winner by taking the 100 meters, posting a :14.44 to edge teammate Caitlyn O’Boyle. Also, Anna Bruno won the 200 meters in a time of :28.30, just in front of Henry’s Nakieta Kessling’s :28.79.
The Irish swept the relays, winning the 400 relay in :53.77, the 800 in 1:57.99, the 1600 in 4:35.83 and the 3200 in 11:22.86. Seneca mastered only three of the field events — Deering the discus, Bruno the long jump (16-2.4) and Teegan Johnson the triple jump (31-4.6).
The other field events went to Henry, with Laney Lester claiming the shot put with a 29-7.9 toss and Nadia Kessling the high jump with a 4-6 effort. Also a winner was Nakieta Kessling in the one running event Seneca wasn’t, the 400 with a time of 1:03.77 to edge the Irish’s Emma Smith (1:04.32).
Tops for Putnam County were two second places, both in relays, with 2:05.86 in the 800 and an 11:55.68 in the 3200.
The Marquette girls’ best on the day were third places by freshman Lilly Craig in the 1600 (6:45.90) and Maera Jimenez in the 100 hurdles (:22.52).
In the boys portion, Chase Hauch and Kolya Cato finished 1-2 in the 100 in :12.45 and :12.72, respectively, while Houch (24.95) took second to 200-meter champ Ryan McCauley’s :24.89.
Also in the sprints, Billy Glasscock posted a winning 2:10.97 to win the 800, while Given Siegel captured first in the 110 hurdles in 19:31 and Carson Collet the win in the 300s with a :44.75 time.
The Irish also won three of the relays — the 400 in :47.83, the 800 in 1:37.54 and the 1600 in 3:48.81 — and three field events. McCauley posted a 5-5 in the high jump, Siegel a 18-4.3 in the long jump and Carter Thomas a 105-7 to win the discus.
Putnam County’s best were places by Joey Twardowski, who turned in a second in the high jump at 5-1.5 and a third in the 3200 in 12:32.14. Also third were the 400 relay in :58.34 and the 1600 relay in 4:28.18.
Marquette’s Lucas Hoffman, who didn’t push himself due to a hip injury suffered last week, still managed to be a double-winner again, winning the 3200 by 100 meters with a time of 11:09.14 and later claiming the 1600 with a 5:06.86 clocking.
Also for the Crusaders, Donnie Zitt placed third in the 800 with a 2:22.48 posting, as was the 3200 relay with 10:17.27.
For fifth-place Henry, their best of the meet were the third places earned by Hunter Green in the 200 meters in :27.39 and the long jump with a 18-0.1, as well as Connor Keinith in the discus at 88-0.2.