Demons take second place at SEC meet
Washington senior Sammy Ellingson pulled off a rare four-peat at Tuesday’s Southeast Conference track meet at Case Field, as she won her fourth consecutive conference championship in the high jump.
“To be a conference champ four years in a row doesn’t happen very often,” Washington head girls’ track and field coach Stefanie Tschantz said. “She did a great job.”
Ellingson cleared 5 feet, 1 inch to claim her fourth SEC high jump title. And she did it in front of the home fans.
“Being able to win for the fourth time at my home track was kind of an honor for me,” she said.
Ellingson said she had always had a goal to win the conference title in the high jump all four years of her high school career. But she tried not to think about it too much on Tuesday night.
“You always have those internal goals that you set for yourself, so I really wanted to go to Drake four times, I really wanted to win conference four times, and now I’m really looking forward to state. I’m hoping for the best.”
While Ellingson won her fourth SEC title in the high jump, junior Grace Redlinger, who did not go out for track last spring, helped the Demons win conference titles in three relay races.
Redlinger anchored Washington’s 4x200 and 4x100 relays, holding off Fairfield’s Sydney Howard — one of the best sprinters in the area — to win both races.
“Yesterday [at the Brookhart Relays in Fairfield] they beat us in both the 4x200 and 4x100,” Tschantz said. “With Howard anchoring, they’re very tough. To be honest, I was hoping for second, and we won both of them.”
Washington’s first three runners in the 4x200 relay — Kelly Wheeler, Macy Marek and Amber Salow — gave Redlinger a huge lead when she got the baton. The quartet clocked a season-best time of 1:49.55 and won the race by 2½ seconds.
“They gave me a good lead to finish the race,” Redlinger said.
Washington’s first three runners in the 4x100 relay — Marek, Natalee Enfield and Dema Giardino — also gave Redlinger a cushion, but she narrowly held off Howard in an exciting finish. The Demons’ time of 52.36 seconds was just five-thousandths of a second faster than Fairfield’s.
“I knew we had a pretty decent lead, but I knew [Howard] was going to be on my tail pretty soon,” Redlinger said. “So I was just trying to cook it as fast as I could. When I passed the finish line, she was right there, so I was happy we got a win.”
Tschantz has been pleased with the way Redlinger has improved this season.
“The past week and a half to two weeks I’ve definitely seen a change in her,” Tschantz said of Redlinger. “She’s really coming together. I can put her in pretty much anything — 100s, 200s or 400s — and she’s going to run her heart out and I’m going to get good splits out of her. She’s doing really well for us right now.”
Redlinger was also a member of Washington’s sprint medley relay that won a conference title. The quartet of Giardino, Enfield, Redlinger and Morgan Kimball won in 1:59.18, with the Demons’ freshman anchor passing Mt. Pleasant’s Laura Hult in the race’s final 100 meters.
“Morgan closed really well in the sprint med for us,” Tschantz said. “She’s come on really well for an anchor. She’s a great fighter. The last 100, anybody within range, she’s getting them.”
Kimball also anchored the 4x400 relay, which cruised to a nearly eight-second victory. The quartet of Stephanie Fishback, Salow, Mariah Reighard and Kimball won in 4:19.83.
“I changed the lineup, but I knew we’d still be solid, and we won it pretty easily,” Tschantz said. “It was a good way to finish the meet.”
Reighard won a conference title in the 400-meter dash in 1:02.61, while Fishback, who was just returning from leg injuries that held her out of competition for a week, finished second in 1:04.64. Reighard also finished third in the 800-meter run in 2:33.89, and sophomore Stephanie Loy came in fourth in the 3,000-meter run in a season-best time of 13:01.62.
Fishback took second place in the long jump with a personal-best leap of 16 feet. She was also second in the 200-meter dash in 27.41 seconds, while Marek finished third in a personal-best time of 28.05 seconds. Marek was also third in the 100-meter dash in 13.40 seconds, and Redlinger was fourth in 13.78 seconds.
Senior Kaitlin Buchholz took third place in the 100-meter hurdles in a season-best time of 17.14 seconds, and she also finished third in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:10.71. Ellingson came in fifth in the 100-meter hurdles in 17.68 seconds, and she was fifth in the 400-meter hurdles in 1:13.59.
Buchholz also took fourth place in the discus competition with a throw of 96 feet, 7 inches. Senior Joni Erwin finished third in the shot put competition with a toss of 33 feet, 5.5 inches, and freshman McKayla Miller’s throw of 30 feet, 4 inches was good for fifth place. Senior Lauren Kimball cleared 4 feet, 10 inches to finish third in the high jump.
Washington’s distance medley relay team of Addison Gaal, Enfield, Morgan Kimball and Lauren Kimball ran a season-best time of 4:33.96, and the shuttle hurdle relay team of Buchholz, Ellingson, Emma Wood and Lauren Kimball ran a season-best time of 1:10.82, but both squads finished second. Washington’s 4x800 relay team of Aubrey Zimmer, Jasmine Mares, Sydney Hoffman and Beth Dillon came in fourth in 11:17.80.
Washington finished second place in the team standings with 117 team points, 16 points behind Southeast Conference champion Mt. Pleasant.
“It hasn’t been won by Washington since 1979, so it’s been 34 years,” Tschantz said. “We were trying our best to see if we could do it, and we were close. A couple of things didn’t go our way, and a couple of things did. It was just a good night. I can’t ask anything more of the girls. It was as close as we’ve been to [Mt. Pleasant] for a while. I’m proud of my team. They ran great.”
Southeast Conference meet
April 30, 2013
Team scores — 1. Mt. Pleasant 133, 2. Washington 117, 3. Fairfield 79, 4. Fort Madison 42, 5. Keokuk 21.
High jump — 1. Sammy Ellingson (W) 5-1, 3. Lauren Kimball (W) 4-10.
Long jump — 2. Stephanie Fishback (W) 16-0, 8. Addison Gaal (W) 13-5.5.
Shot put — 3. Joni Erwin (W) 33-5.5, 5. McKayla Miller (W) 30-4.
Discus — 4. Kaitlin Buchholz (W) 96-7, 7. Joni Erwin (W) 87-3.
100-meter dash — 3. Macy Marek (W) 13.40, 4. Grace Redlinger (W) 13.78.
200-meter dash — 2. Stephanie Fishback (W) 27.41, 3. Macy Marek (W) 28.05.
400-meter dash — 1. Mariah Reighard (W) 1:02.61, 2. Stephanie Fishback (W) 1:04.64.
800-meter run — 3. Mariah Reighard (W) 2:33.89, 8. Aubrey Zimmer (W) 2:44.89.
1,500-meter run — 7. Lauren Kimball (W) 5:42.95, 8. Jasmine Mares (W) 5:44.07.
3,000-meter run — 4. Stephanie Loy (W) 13:01.62.
100-meter hurdles — 3. Kaitlin Buchholz (W) 17.14, 5. Sammy Ellingson (W) 17.68.
400-meter hurdles — 3. Kaitlin Buchholz (W) 1:10.71, 5. Sammy Ellingson (W) 1:13.59.
4x100 — 1. Washington (Macy Marek, Natalee Enfield, Dema Giardino, Grace Redlinger) 52.36.
4x200 — 1. Washington (Kelly Wheeler, Macy Marek, Amber Salow, Grace Redlinger) 1:49.55.
4x400 — 1. Washington (Stephanie Fishback, Amber Salow, Mariah Reighard, Morgan Kimball) 4:19.83.
4x800 — 4. Washington (Aubrey Zimmer, Jasmine Mares, Sydney Hoffman, Beth Dillon) 11:17.80.
Sprint medley — 1. Washington (Dema Giardino, Natalee Enfield, Grace Redlinger, Morgan Kimball) 1:59.18.
Distance medley — 2. Washington (Addison Gaal, Natalee Enfield, Morgan Kimball, Lauren Kimball) 4:33.96.
Shuttle hurdle — 2. Washington (Kaitlin Buchholz, Sammy Ellingson, Emma Wood, Lauren Kimball) 1:10.82.