Prep Track and Field
Lady Vikings win region championship
by Staff Reports
FAYETTEVILLE — The Northgate girls track team captured the Region 4-AAAAA track championship on Thursday following a balanced effort in both running and field events over consecutive days at Starr’s Mill High School.
The Lady Vikings strong showing continues a successful season for the squad which also won the county title earlier this year.
Northgate held off day-one leader Forest Park with 96 points after trailing the Lady Panthers by one after Wednesday’s field events and running qualifiers.
Forest Park finished with 89 while host Starr’s Mill was third with 74.
McIntosh (64) and Mundy’s Mill (63) rounded out the top-five girls teams.
Kemor Anderson, Ebonee Echols, and Northgate’s 1,600-meter relay team were among those advancing to next week’s Class AAAAA state sectionals, also to be held at Starr’s Mill, after finishing in the top four.
Anderson also qualified in both individual sprints, winning 100 in 13:08 and placing second in the 200 (26.07).
Echols earned her spot at the state sectionals with a second place finish in the 400 meter dash (1:01.26).
The 1,600-relay team of of Jordan Washington, Echols, Quianna LeBlanc and Anderson earned a spot at the state sectionals with a third place finish, setting a new school record with a timnes of 4:06.66.
Northgate’s 400 relay of Brenna Skalski, Echols, LeBlanc and Anderson finished fifth and also set a school record with a time of 49.44 to score points en route to the team title.
Other scorers for Northgate in Thursday’s running finals included Caitlin Bellora, who was sixth in the 800 (2:34.68).
Kaia Kirk finished sixth in the 300 hurdles setting a new school record with a time of 49.05.
Erica Lee was fifth in the 3,200 (12:44.98) while twin sister Taylor was eighth (13:42.62).
Both Toya Jantzen and Emily Seiler advanced to the state sectionals in the high jump by clearing 5-2. Jantzen placed third ahead of her Lady Viking teammate based on number of attempts.
Pole-vaulter Hannah Schaefer led Northgate’s girls with a second-place finish of 7-6 while finishing behind a vault of 8-0 from Jolene Berthold of Starr’s Mill.
The team scored in all seven events that went final on Wednesday while coming within inches of advancing to the sectionals in three of them.
Freshman Erica Lee scored for the Lady Vikings in the 1,600, placing fifth overall with a personal-best time of 5:43.50. McIntosh runner Alyssa LeClaire won the event in 5:18, followed by Whitewater’s MacKenzie Nail (5:23) and Starr’s Mill teammates Hailey Gollnick (5:34) and Nicole Cherzanowski (5:35). Gollnick had been Northgate’s top long-distance runner for three seasons before transferring.
The Lady Vikings, however, showcased plenty of depth toward competing for this year’s region crown.
The team picked up fifth-place efforts in the field from Alyssa Allen in both the discus (92-7) and the shot (32-7 1/2). Teammate Andie Martin placed sixth in the discus (89-9) and seventh in the shot (31-7 1/2) to help give Northgate’s girls 13 points between the two events.
Also scoring for the Lady Indians were Abby Pinaud, who took sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 33-10 1/4, and Brenna Skalski, who was seventh in the long jump at 15-8 1/4.
The Vikings finished seventh overall with 34 points, 19 of which came during the first day of the region meet led by pole-vaulters Conner Bergh and Alex Anderson.
Bergh finished second behind vaulter Richard Berthold of Starr’s Mill with a leap of 13-0. Berthold cleared 13-6 to take the region title.
Viking teammate Alex Anderson, who set a new county record this season, also qualified for sectionals by clearing 12-0 and placing fourth.
Other scores for Northgate in field events included senior Adrian Tolbert, who missed qualifying in the high jump by number of attempts after clearing 6-2. Senior Josh Harrison was eighth in the discus at 110-3 and Evan Vatave finished eighth in the 1,600 in 4:54.39.
On Thursday, Benton Washington qualified for sectionals in the 400, placing fourth in 49.95 and was also on Northgate’s qualifying 1,600-relay during a fourth-place finish.
A team of Washington, Tolbert, Malik Wade and Logan Langer finished with a season-best time of 3:25.60.
Washington also was among two Viking scorers in the 200, placing fifth. Tolbert also scored with an eighth-place finish.
Creekside’s Evan Berry won the 100 in 10.75 and placed second in the 200.