PHILIPPI— Going into the season as a young team, with a roster containing only one senior and one junior, the Grafton High School Lady Bearcat track team managed to surpassed all expectations and secure a second-place team finish at the Coach Seaton Invitational on Saturday, with a team total of 99.
“Our Lady Cats had some stellar performances. The team as a whole bettered their individual performance across the board,” commented Grafton High School (GHS) girls head track coach Becky Summers Lake.
The team’s lone senior, and also team captain Hannah Moats, anchored both the sprint relays, and place fourth in the 100m and 200m events.
“Hannah is a true leader on and off the track,” Lake voiced.
Despite being new to the sport, junior Bearcat Payden Morris has an extensive background in soccer, which has provided the conditioning and competitive nature that is necessary to excel.
During the recent meet, Morris claimed fourth-place in the 400m with a time of 1:12.05, a new personal record for her.
According to Lake, Morris has continued to improve and has been proving herself as a fierce competitor in the 400m this year, as her times are steadily improving.
And although the team may be short on experience, there is no lack of drive and determination, as novice members of the crew are willing to work hard, take instruction and are names to watch for.
“Freshman newcomers Caroline Wellman, Jerra Halbritter, Marissa Siders, River Sipes and Emili Viani are our up and coming members,” Lake reported. “They are going to be a joy to watch as they grow in the sport and continue to improve.”
She shared that Wellman is an all-around great athlete, eager to learn, coachable and excelling at every event she has been challenged to try, while Lake believe Halbritter will be an asset to the team in throwing events.
“Jerra is a force to be reckoned with in those events. She has her sights on the state meet this year and has already expressed her interest in acquiring the school record by her senior year,” she explained.
Fellow freshman Siders, is proving herself on the field, claiming first-place on the high jump event on Saturday, with a jump of 4’ 6”.
“She could very possibly be visiting Laidley Field in June by qualifying in that event,” noted Lake.
Meanwhile, in mid/distance events, Sipes and Viani made their own strong showing.
Competing against 11 competitors, Sipes dashed her way to a third-place finish in the 1600m with a time of 6:27.88. In addition, she also claimed third in the 800m, with a time of 2:49.85.
Grafton also earned another finish within the top five, on the fast feet of their 4X800 relay team made up of, Viani, Kayla Greathouse, Maddie Moats and Sipes. The team beat their previous best by a full 20 seconds to secure the third-place win.
Coach Lake would like to invite the community to cheer on Grafton at McKinney Field, today, April 28, as the Lady Bearcats host their first home meet of the season and honor senior Hannah Moats. Field events begin at 4:30 p.m.
Individual Event Results:
100 Meter: Hannah Moats- 4th place, 13.95aPR, Mackenzie Hunter- 7th place, 14.32aPR, Abigail Stewart- 8th place, 14.33aPR.
200 Meter: Hannah Moats- 4th place, 29.63aSR, Ellie Royce-12th place, 32.46 aPR, Rylee Jones- 13th place, 32.83aPR.
400 Meter: Payden Morris- 4th place, 72.05aPR, Destony Weaver- 6th place, 78.02aPR, River Sipes- 10th place, 1:20.47aPR.
800 Meter: Emily Viani- 3rd place, 2:49.85aPR, Maddie Moats- 6th place, 3:02.10aPR.
1600 Meter: River Sipes- 3rd place, 6:27.88aPR, Kayla Greathouse- 9th place, 7:01.89aPR.
300 Meter Hurdles-30”: Rylee Jones: 5th place, 63.06aPR, Elizabeth Uhl- 7th place, 67.18aPR.
4X100 Relay: Marissa Siders, Abigail Stewart, Caroline Wellman, Hannah Moats- 2nd place, 56.62a.
4X200 Relay: Aleecia Shelton, Ellie Royce, Payden Morris, Hannah Moats- 2nd place, 2:06.41a.
4X400 Relay: Payden Morris, Elizabeth Uhl, Maddie Moats, Emily Viani- 2nd place, 5:04.06a.
4X800 Relay: Emily Viani, Kayla Greathouse, Maddie Moats, River Sipes- 3rd place, 11;26.89a.
4X102.5 Shuttle Hurdles: Aleecia Shelton, Nevaeh Swisher, Marissa Siders, Abigail Stewart, 3rdplace, 1:24.32a.
Shot Put- 4kg: Jerra Halbritter-2nd place, 32-07.25PR, Caroline Wellman-3rd place, 28-04.25PR
Discus- 1kg: Jerra Halbritter-8th place, 59-01PR.
High Jump: Marissa Siders-1st place, 4-06.00PR.
Long Jump: Caroline Wellman- 3rd place, 13-05.25PR, Elizabeth Uhl- 6th place, 11-11.50PR, Rylee Jones- 9th place, 11-08.75PR.