Girls track and field: Ponies overcome some miscues to qualify for True Team state

By STUART GROSKREUTZ – Stillwater Gazette

OAK PARK HEIGHTS – It wasn’t a flawless showing by the Stillwater girls, but they did enough to capture the Section 2AAA girls’ track and field meet on Thursday at Stillwater Area High School.

The Ponies were disqualified for a false start in the 4×200 relay and also took zero points from one of their top performers in the 300 hurdles, but had enough depth to hold off East Ridge 717.5-669.5 for the top spot and a bid to next week’s True Team state meet.

"We did not make it easy on ourselves," Stillwater coach Dawn Podolske said. "I think when you have mistakes like that – it was really fortunate it was early on in the meet – because you have a chance to rally together and get going in the right direction again. The blessing in disguise is that from that point on we knew our backs were against the wall and everybody had to step up a little bit."

Stillwater will be making its 21st appearance at True Team state in the 26-year history of the event, which will be hosted at Pony Stadium on Friday.

"This is probably our biggest meet and the one we want to do well at," Podolske said. "It is our top goal to get into True Team state. We don’t have a lot of stars, but we have a lot of great athletes that really do a nice job. We’re just excited about next week and hope we mend and work hard so we can put on a really good showing at the state meet."

Stillwater’s top showing on Thursday came in two field events, the pole vault and the long jump. Anna Posbergh (10-6), Alex Holmberg (10-0) and Alicia Doerr (9-0) swept the top three spots in the pole vault and Posbergh also won the long jump at 17-10 1/2, with Doerr (17-6 3/4) and Karina Ikuta (17-6) following in second and third place.

Brooke Hunter (16.31) and Shelby Litchy (16.80) placed first and second in the 100 hurdles while Cecelia Peterson (49.37) and Hunter (49-59) finished third and fourth in the 300 hurdles. Litchy hit a hurdle hard and did not finish the 300 hurdles, which was one of two zeroes the Ponies took on Thursday.

Stillwater was disqualified for a false start in the 4×200 relay, which is normally one of the team’s better events.

"Everybody makes mistakes and we just move on because we’re working on this together," Podolske said. "They had really good attitudes and we did a really good job of coming back and we had some great performances. The 100 hurdles were great and the long jumpers had a exceptional performance. There was a lot going on in a lot of great areas and that’s what you need to do in a meet like that."

Kelcie Kempenich, who was part of that disqualified 4×200 relay team, won the 200 meters in 26.22 and also cleared 4-10 to win the high jump. Rachel Amos won the triple jump with a distance of 34-8. Natalie Phippen placed third in the 200 (26.63) and Stillwater also received third-place efforts from Abby Lange (2:26.48) in the 800 and Maria Morley (5:19.44) in the 1,600.

Lauren Olsen, Alex Crain, Bethany Adkins and Posbergh won the 4×100 relay for Stillwater in a time of 50.21 and the Ponies also claimed the 4×400 relay with Fiona Montie, Phippen, Morley and Kempenich finishing at 3:59.81.

"I would say in a lot of events we had all three in the top 10 and that’s what it takes to do well," Podolske said.

Team standings

1. Stillwater 717.5; 2. East Ridge 669.5; 3. Woodbury 569.5; 4. Park 510; 5. Tartan 469; 6. Hastings 401; 7. Henry Sibley 448.5.

Individual results

100 – 1. Allison Gorres (Par) 12.97; 8. Anna Posbergh (St) 13.50; 13. Lauren Olsen (St) 13.76; 18. Natalie Weidner (St) 14.14.

200 – 1. Kelcie Kempenich (St) 26.22; 3. Natalie Phippen (St) 26.64; 6. Bethany Adkins (St) 27.14.

400 – 1. Temi Ogunrinde (Par) 58.94; 7. Fiona Montie (St) 1:02.81; 8. Karina Ikuta (St) 1:03.01; 16. Emily Smith (St) 1:07.21.

800 – 1. Nicole Ethier (ER) 2:23:85; 3. Abby Lange (St) 2:26.48; 6. Anne Boldt (St) 2:30.76; 7. Nora Gilbertson (St) 2:31.06.

1,600 – 1. Shaelyn Sorensen (Tar) 5:18.15; 3. Maria Morley (St) 5:19.44; 5. Lauren Lampright (St) 5:48.55; 6. Haley Beech (St) 5:48.7.

3,200 – 1. Emily Betz (ER) 11:30.82; 4. Cassie Pratt (St) 11:35.44; 6. Larissa Colvin (St) 11:49.60; 10. Megan Weaver (St) 12:32.79.

100 hurdles – 1. Brooke Hunter (St) 16.31; 2. Shelby Litchy (St) 16.80; 5. Cecelia Peterson (St) 17.27.

300 hurdles – 1. Lisa Huska (Wo) 46.78; 3. Cecelia Peterson (St) 49.37; 4. Brooke Hunter (St) 49.59; Shelby Litchy (St) DNF.

4×100 relay – 1. Stillwater (Lauren Olsen, Alex Crain, Bethany Adkins and Anna Posbergh) 50.21.

4×200 relay – 1. East Ridge, 1:47.36; Stillwater (Kelcie Kempenich, Alex Crain, Bethany Adkins and Natalie Phippen) DQ.

4×400 relay – 1. Stillwater (Fiona Montie, Natalie Phippen, Maria Morley and Kelcie Kempenich) 3:59.81.

4×800 relay – 1. East Ridge, 9:47.96; 3. Stillwater (Larissa Colvin, Megan Weaver, Abby Lange and Cassie Pratt) 9:56.31.

Long jump – 1. Anna Posbergh (St) 17-10 1/2; 2. Alicia Doerr (St) 17-6 3/4; 3. Karina Ikuta (St) 17-6.

Triple jump – 1. Rachel Amos (St) 34-8; 5. Brooke Hunter (St) 33-3 1/2; 7. Skyler Adkins (St) 32-6.

Shot put – 1. Rachel Brooks (Tar) 34-3; 7. Dayshia Coleman (St) 31-11 3/4; 12. Paige Becker (St) 28-7 1/4; 16. Kelsey Sievert (St) 25-11 1/4.

Discus – 1. Allyson Rock (Wo) 107-11; 10. Madeleine Weidner (St) 87-1; 12. Alex Crain (St) 84-5; 18. Paige Becker (St) 66-7.

High jump – 1. Kelcie Kempenich (St) 4-10; 6. Alicia Doerr (St) 4-8; 7. Skyler Adkins (St) 4-8.

Pole vault – 1. Anna Posbergh (St) 10-6; 2. Alex Holmberg (St) 10-0; 3. Alicia Doerr (St) 9-0.