Rounding the final turn of the 800, it was Samantha Berggren and Emily LaValley. Photo by Alan Versaw.
The girls from The Classical Academy posted their fifth consecutive state title. The girls of the senior class who had scored something on the order of 170 points in the three previous state meets sent that that well over 200 with this one, contributing heavily to the 148 points accumulated by the team.
The race of the weekend came early on Friday afternoon in the 800 as two-time defending state champion and state record holder Samantha Berggren of Middle Park squared off against TCA's Emily LaValley. Both girls ran fairly conservatively through the first lap, but the battle was on at 500 meters when LaValley surged to take over the lead. LaValley held the lead through the entire back straight, but Berggren answered the challenge around the final turn and even surged momentarily into the lead on the finish straight. The two battled down the entire length of the finish straight, with LaValley eventually winning at the wire with a time, and new state meet record, of 2:11.24.
Although state meet records were relatively few this weekend, 3A girls led the assault on the record books with three new state marks. In addition to LaValley's 800, Megan Patterson of Dolores Huerta erased the shot put mark with a throw of 44-11.25 and the Lyons girls took down the old 4x100 mark with a 49.90 in prelims. The state meet record was a little bittersweet, however, in that the Lyons Lions fell to the CSCS Lions in the finals.
Tiffany Kenney's remarkable 19-00.5 in the long jump will not go down as a state meet record due to a 5.7 wind. Unfortunately, the wind liked to go wherever Kenney went. Her winning time of 15.05 in the 100 hurdles was also wind-aided.
TCA won the meet on the strength of solid performances across a range of several events. Kaitlin Hanenburg made it three years in a row in both the 1600 and 3200. The Titans also claimed state titles in the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. Second places for TCA came from the 4x200 and sprint medley relays, plus Alyssa Northam in the triple jump and Noelle Brown in the high jump.
Lyons was second with 57 points. Rachel Hinker edged Samantha Berggren in the 200 for Lyons's only individual title.
Also remarkable was the farewell performance of Valley's Lindsey Hubbard. Hubbard put away the field in the 300 hurdles, helped Valley to relay titles in the 4x200 and sprint medley, and very nearly overtook TCA on the anchor leg of the 4x400 relay.