The Lady Kougar Track and Field team wasted no time kicking off their 2020 season in a huge way at the Portage Open Indoor Meet!! Senior pole vaulter/sprinter/jumper Kailee Tuesburg had a magnificent meet, jumping 10-0 to not only win the event overall, but she also tied Bree Babe’s school-record (SR)! This is a lifetime personal record (PR) for “Tues” and the fact she did it in the first meet, with very little live vaulting, is phenomenal, and made vault coach Erin Gouwens extremely proud . It will also likely be among the state’s best vaults. She also ran a solid 60 and led off the 6th place 4×200 team in 1:55.69. Congratulations, Kailee !!
Speaking of being VERY likely among the state’s bests: freshman Emily Nannenga and sophomore All-Stater Tay Schoonveld, did just that in the high jump! Jumping off the gym floor with maybe 2 days of live vaulting, the dynamic duo went 1-2, wowing the crowd with jumps of 5-6 for Nannenga for the win and Schoonveld going 5-4! Nannenga also had a terrific attempt at 5-7 1/4, in an attempt to break the SR, and her 5-6 ties her lifetimes PR! She also ran the third leg of the 3rd place 4×400 relay team. Schoonveld set a new indoor PR in the high jump and placed 7th in the 60 hurdles in 10.45. She also blasted a 62 high 4×400 anchor leg, as her squad dominated their heat, placing 3rd overall in an excellent time of 4:24.31.
Maddy Friant had a terrific weekend throwing the shot! The junior threw an indoor PR of 33-1 on Friday night at the Region Rumble and placed 4th Saturday with a fine toss of 31-11 1/4! Sara Groen, Ken Bakker, Colby Sizemore and Tiffany McBain also threw well both days for throws coach, Rachel Mathley.
Sophomore Elise Kasper had an awesome meet as well! The versatile sprinter, looking stronger and faster than ever, blazed a 28.0 4×200 split as that squad placed 6th in 1:55.69, and set the tone in the 4×400 relay, handing off with a huge lead that her teammates never relinquished. Senior multi-sport super star sprinter Courtney Sizemore, defending 100 and 300 hurdle sectional champion, anchored that 4×2 with a strong run of sub 28.0 as well.
The distance crew performed very well on Saturday, with Lexi Culbreth running an excellent 3200 to start things off. Halle Frieden and Sammy Martin both had exceptional meets, leading off, (Frieden-a very fast 2:38.0 in the 4×8), and anchoring the 4×800 and distance medley relays (DMR), respectively. The 4×800 placed 3rd in an excellent time of 10:57.81 for assistant coach Kim Wilson’s crew, with Martin blasting a 2:36.5 anchor leg. Frieden led off the DMR with a terrific 4:21.0 1200 split, as that squad also placed 3rd in 14:08.03, one of their best finishes in that event in recent years. Martin ran an excellent 1600 split of 5:48.0! Em Wilson ran on both distance relays, and was sub 2:40 both races, great job by Wilson. Fellow sophomore Blythe Campbell had a very good 2:46.0 split on the 4×8 team and freshman Grace Shurman, despite being sick most of the week, sprinted a very strong 400 in 63.0 in the DMR, and had a solid long jump. Several other freshman had strong varsity debuts, including Laynie Capellari and Ava McKim! Capellari had an excellent all-around meet, placing 8th in the 60 hurdles in 10.46 and earning the respect of her teammates with a blistering 64.0 400 split in the 4×4. She also had a fine high jump of 4-8. McKim ran the 60 and long jumped, then ran a very important and swift leg of the 4×2, also recording a 28.0 second split time.
Head Coach Lane Lewallen: “Geesh ! I knew we looked to be strong this year, but these performances are off the charts for this time of year and with training just having started, even more impressive, but our training is obviously going very well. I’m so impressed with where we are right now and we want to stay healthy and build wisely on this ! Congratulations to “Tues” for tying Bree’s pole vault record, amazing, and Emily and Tay were phenomenal in the high jump, Maddy in shot and on and on! Those three jumpers plus maybe a couple relays will have very good chances to qualify for the indoor state meet, after just one indoor meet! Phenomenal ! Great meet , ladies !!”