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Girls’ Track and Field Competes Well at Regional; A. Tokarz-3200, and Sam Martin-1600 Run Personal Records; 4×800 and 4×400 Run Season-Best Times

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The Kankakee Valley (KV) Lady Kougar Track and Field team completed another fine season last night at the Portage Regional.  Despite not placing in any events in the ultra-competitive meet, KV came close  to scoring in several events, and had some stellar performances, often running way better than projected seeds, and setting two personal records (PR), and two season-bests (SB).  With sophomore star Cat Cavinder, (2016 state qualifier in the 800, and school record holder in the 400 and 800), rehabbing well from her knee injury, and junior letter winner Cole Nannenga cheering them on, 12 different athletes competed last night for KV.  Senior Allie Tokarz had a TERRIFIC meet, blasting a 2:33.0 lead-off leg in the 4×800 relay, the fastest split of her career, then running the 3200 of her life, finishing 13th in an awesome PR time of 12:16.58!! She was seeded 16th.  This was after a lengthy weather delay, making Allie T’s run even more impressive!!  Freshman distance star Sam Martin also had an outstanding meet, anchoring the 4×800 relay team to 13th in a SB time of 10:32.79, with an excellent split time of 2:32.6.  Sophomores Hannah Tokarz and Becca Caldwell both ran great also, Hannah T running a 2:42.0 split, and “Peanut” running a 2:44.0 split, the best of their careers! The 4×800 time was especially impressive as they were running without senior stud sprinter, Julianna Colon, who didn’t run the 4×800 to focus on the open 400.  Martin, seeded 16th in the 1600, and who received  a scratch regional qualification (RQ) the night of the sectional, made the most of her opportunity! Toeing the line against the area’s top distance runners, Martin proved she belonged and then some, moving up FIVE seed places, and passing a runner at the end to finish in 11th place, with an excellent PR time of 5:35.40!!  Junior Kirsten Hentschel had a similar fine performance in the discus.  Receiving a call back as the 16th seed, and throwing first, she uncorked a throw of 95′-1″, finishing in 12th place.  Freshman Megan “Megs” Nannenga also received a call back RQ on the basis of her fine 4th place at sectional in the 100 hurdles in 16.99, and battled through a fall late in the race, cutting her knee in the process.  Showing a lot of grit and determination, she still got up and finished, gaining the admiration of the large crowd.  Senior three-sport superstar sprinter Rae Walther, had her usual busy day, as she was coming off FOUR sectional wins last week, qualifying for all four at regional, giving her 10 RQ’s in her outstanding three years of track at KV .  She finished 13th in the 100 in 13.28, 10th in the 200 in 27.06, anchored the 400 relay with her usual strong split, that group finishing 12th in 52.04, and leading off the 4×400 team in a blistering 59.9 split! The 4×400 relay team ran FIVE seconds faster than they did in winning the sectional 4×400 last week, running an excellent SB time of 4:15.96.  Colon anchored the 4×400 in 64.5, with junior Brooke Pumnea and sophomore Sarah Martin also running strong split legs of 66.0 and 65.0, respectively. Colon, freshman Courtney Sizemore, and Martin all ran well on the 4×100 relay team as well.  Sizemore, in her regional debut, like many of her teammates, also qualified in the 100, where she finished 15th in 13.31, and the 200, where she was 15th in 28.34, gaining valuable experience for her future.  Colon dug hard in the 400, finishing 10th, way above her seed, in a near PR time of 62.49.  Classmate Emma Fase capped off her excellent career with a shot put of 33′-1.75″, and along with Walther, Colon and A. Tokarz provided terrific senior leadership for the 2017 team.  The 2017 version of the Lady Kougar Track and Field team kept the proud tradition and legacy of the program going with a 10-2 regular season record, (141-18 in 13 years), were ranked for most of the season in the area top 10, won the Twin Lakes Girls’ Relays and Corporation (along with KV’s boys) titles, and the Gene Edmonds Relays crown, giving them 29 relay titles in 13 years.  The highlight for this squad was a very hard fought KV Sectional team championship last Tuesday, KV’s 7th sectional title in a row!  Great season, ladies!!

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