Trojan freshman takes top spot at SpecTrackular
FREDERICKTOWN — After raining all day, Mother Nature decided to let the sun shine on the 2019 Mount Vernon News SpecTRACKular meet, which was held at Fredericktown High School on Friday.
The best area athletes showed off their collective talents, but at the end of the evening, Centerburg’s Chloe Goulter became the first freshman ever to walk away with girls’ SpecTrackular Most Valuable Competitor award. She placed first in the long jump (15-feet-4) and was an easy winner in the 100-meter dash, finishing with a time of 13.06. She also won the 200-meter (27.29), holding off Highland’s Peyton Carpenter (27.35).
“I wasn’t too happy with my jump today,” Coulter said. “I’m just happy I pulled through with the win. It’s great to go up against all these athletes. A lot of these people are going to be in districts and it’s nice to get a chance to see them before that. It’s a real honor to get chosen for this. It’s amazing.”
The Trojan freshman earned 30 points on the night for her three wins to take the individual title, besting Mount Vernon’s Erika Conant (25.5) and Northridge’s Olyvia Ashbrook (22).
“It’s great. It’s more important to me that we got first place as a team, but it’s great that I could help my team by getting MVP,” Goulter said.
The Centerburg 4×800 team of Abigail Dickhof and Aeryn Walters, along with Avery and Elise Tucker won handily with a time of 10:22.37. Dickhof, Walters and Avery Tucker teamed up with MaKenna Hennell to win the 4×400, turning in a time of 4:24.08.
Centerburg’s Avery Tucker took the gold in the 400-meters with a time of 1:01.11. In the 3,200, Centerburg’s Sarah Thatcher (12:37.05), placed second. She was edged by Megan King of Northridge (12:16.13). Halle Moreland of Centerburg heaved the shot put 36-8 1/2 to finish first in that event and set a new school record.
Sadie Sanders of Fredericktown (2:30.82) beat out Dickhof and Elise Tucker in the 800-meter run. Teammate Blake Dowalter hurled the discus 94-0 to win that event.
Fredericktown’s team of Paige Oswalt, Audrey Bouton, Katerina Hamilton and Leona Smith placed first in the 4×200 (1:52.82) and 4×100 (53.28).
“We’re working hard to get the (school) record this year,” Smith said. “We are all working through injuries. Finishing is just really hard. We’re going to try to make it through post season. It’s a privilledge to get a chance to be in this meet, race against them and be the winner.”
Emily Opfer of East Knox won the 300-meters hurdles, running a 49.69. She also wound up fourth in the high jump and the 200.
“I was real energetic and excited coming out here,” Opfer said. “Some meets aren’t as fun because there’s not as much competition, but this one is really tough. It pushes you to try harder.”
Mount Vernon’s Conant made a leap of 4-10 to place first in the high jump. Sarah Day of Mount Vernon blazed through the 100-meter hurdles in 16.80 seconds to take first place in that event.
“I was super nervous and really nauseous at the line,” Day said, “Then, something kicked in, I started pushing and I got first. It is so competitive. What a great group. It’s such an honor.”
Mount Vernon’s Olivia Reddy (5:42.77) fought hard, but fell short, in her bid to win the 1,600-meter, finishing second to Northridge’s Ashbrook (5:40.97).
Danelle Wydick of Utica took the top spot in the pole vault, flying over the bar at 9-6.
Jackets’ Berg defends SpecTrackular title
FREDERICKTOWN — Cory Berg faced the best competition in the area at the Mount Vernon News SpecTrackular Friday in Fredericktown, and racked up two golds, two silvers and a meet record to secure the Most Valuable Competitor award, his second in as many years.
“It’s just fun being able to do this,” Berg said of winning for the second year in a row. “Like I said last year, it’s like running against people you grew up with. Most of these guys, from every school pretty much, you’ve known since grade school.”
Berg’s best time came in the 300-meter hurdles, where he turned in a new meet record. He clocked a 38.16 to cruise to the win by more than three seconds, and he beat the old record of 39.0 set by Clear Fork’s Tim Mowry in 1991. Berg grabbed the top spot in the 200 (22.40), staving off the Highland tandem of Jack Weaver (22.88) and Brock Veley (23.33), who finished second and third, respectively.
Veley (11.22) got Berg (11.33) in the 100 to hand the Jacket a silver in the event, just ahead of Weaver’s time of 11.36. Berg finished second in the high jump to his own teammate, Sam Bethea. Bethea cleared 6-feet-6 to take the top spot, with Berg turning in a 6-4 effort to finish second.
“It’s just friendly. There’s no beef between us,” Berg said of the competition between he and Bethea. “Regardless of what happens, regular season or postseason, as long as we’re on the podium together at state, that’s all that really matters.”
Bethea used his high jump finish to launch himself into second place in the individual standings. He won the long jump (21-11 3/4) by more than three feet over East Knox’s Chase Darr (18-5) and Nathan Whitney (17-11 1/2). Bethea grabbed his third first-place finish by winning the 110-meter hurdles (14.50), tying the meet record set by Levi Mowry (Clear Fork) in 1999.
Given their finishes, Berg totaled 41 points, with Bethea turning in 35. Their teammate, Erich Rhodeback, landed third with 21 points after finishing second in the 110 hurdles (15.77), second in the 300 hurdles (41.23) and fourth in the high jump (5-8).
In the other field events, Mount Vernon’s Connor Dailey won the pole vault (12-0) past Nick Martinsen (Utica) and Will Holt (Northridge). Easton Groom won the discus by more than 10 feet with a throw of 129-8, beating out his teammate Alan Kramer (119-2 1/2) and East Knox’s Bryan Hockenberry (118-6). The Vikings’ Jake Stocks won the shot put, launching it 41-11.5. Highland’s Caden Holtrey finished second (41-4 1/2) and Centerburg’s Ben Reigel took third (40-0).
The Fredericktown boys made it a clean sweep in the distance events, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200. Dakota Smith took the 800 with a time of 2:07.50 over Whitney (2:08.52) and Bulldog Dillon Moreland (2:13.52). Connor Riley edged out his own teammate in the two-mile, posting a time of 10:18.61, better than Paden Spencer’s 10:31.05. Northridge’s Nick Houck took third in 10:37.14. Spencer did get a win under his belt, taking first in the mile (4:32.10). Despite racing against the area’s best, Spencer kept his mindset the same.
“I’m not going to switch my mindset for who I’m racing or what meet I’m at,” Spencer said. “I’m out there to race for myself. I’m sure I’m racing against other people for pride and whatever, but that’s not the main reason why I’m out there on the track and running. I really enjoy it for myself.”
East Knox’s Dawson Moreland took second in the 1,600 (4:40.60) and Freddie Titus Krabill earned third (4:41.32).Northridge’s Zion Carpenter won the 400 with a time of 53.18. Mount Vernon’s Alex Mullins earned second in 53.44 and Chandley Reisen was third, clocking in a time of 53.99.
East Knox and Highland split the relays, with the Bulldogs winning the longer two and the Scots taking the sprints.
Highland’s Veley, Weaver, Chase Carpenter and Landyn Albanese linked up for the 4×200 win in 1:35.10. They beat out Northridge (1:36.22) and Fredericktown (1:36.79). Ryan Weissenfluh was subbed in for Albanese in the 4×100 and the Scots torched the field with a time of 44.44, bettering Utica’s 47.55 and Centerburg’s 47.75.
The East Knox boys started the day with a win on the track. Whitney, Dawson Moreland, Dillon Moreland and Cody Cockrell linked up for the 4×800 win in 8:41.54. Northridge took second (8:49.03) and Mount Vernon was third (9:20.75).
“There’s sometimes a bit of pressure when it comes to it because you’re kind of dictating how the race is going to be set,” East Knox’s lead leg Whitney said. “I guess I always try to get the biggest lead possible for my teammates.”
Whitney was also in the 4×400 win with Cockrell, Dawson Moreland and Chase Darr, posting a combined time of 3:37.47. Mount Vernon grabbed the silver (3:40.35) and Northridge earned bronze (3:41.23).