Heritage Christian Academy took contributions from a number of sources, but sprinter Esther Malers made one of the largest contributions to the team total. Photo by Alan Versaw.
In the battle for the 1A state title, there simply aren't many teams that can match the numbers of Heritage Christian Academy and Shining Mountain Waldorf. Fans might be forgiven for looking for some color, any color, other than green and maroon in several events--and especially distance events.
From day one of the the state meet, the 1A title was all about bodies. Mind you, both Heritage Christian and Shining Mountain have some talented kids, but there apparently is no problem with clearing the hallways and getting kids outside for track practice at the end of the day at either school.
You don't score in triple digits, as both HCA and SMW did, without a bundle of kids.
Both teams got their greatest mileage out of the distance groups. Rachel and Rebekah Rairdon scored 5-2 in the 800, 2-3 in the 1600, and and 2-3 in the 3200. For a little variety, they went 6-1 in the 300 hurdles. Helping you a little math there, that was 57 points toward a state title coming from under one roof.
But, 57 points from under one roof means there were 72 more points coming from other households. Esther Malers had a second in the 100 and a third in the both the 200 and 400. Annie Weaver added places in the 200 and 400. Annie Weaver, Leeann Wagner, and Olivia Couch added points at distances 800 meters and longer. Taylor Glasgow scored a fourth in the 100 hurdles. Every relay scored, two of them as high as third (and no relay team enjoyed the company of a Rairdon).
Curiously, HCA posted nary a point in field events. Evidently, "track" is boldface and all caps at HCA, while "field" gets a font reserved for whispering.
The crib sheet on Shining Mountain reads much the same, though a few Lions did show up in field events. Most notably, Chloe Weber picked up four points in the pole vault and Keli Hall two points in the long jump. Ginger Hutton posted 40 points all on her own, winning every race from 400 to 3200 meters, though two of them came on carefully measured efforts. Paisley Sheehan, Emma Shaefer, and Ella Baca dutifully made their contributions to the distance pile as well.
Like HCA, Shining Mountain milked relay qualification for all it was worth, qualifying all five relays and scoring points in all five, including posting a winner in the 4x800.
At the end of the day, though, the 29-point advantage took up residence in HCA's corner.
Other teams picked up points where they could. Kim capitalized on Zariah Mason's speed for individual titles in the 100 and 200, plus a nice second-place finish in the 4x100 that came very close to unseating Springfield for the title. Give Mason another 10 meters and ....
Heather Dieckman won the 100 hurdles but apparently made a hurdle or two angry in the effort. She was tackled by a hurdle in the 300s and ended up ninth. Teammate Sarah Storey traded wins with Rebecca Kaiser in the horizontal jumps.
Springfield added a second and third in hurdle events from Kallysa McGeary, plus seconds in the 4x200, 4x400, and 4x800 to go with their first in the 4x100. Plateau Valley got their lone event title from a 1A meet record in the SMR8.
Jenna McKinley and Brooke Lenox took a wrecking ball to 1A meet records with McKinley powering out to 41-8.5 in the shot and Lenox to 117-0 in the discus.