PLYMOUTH — With Warsaw the easy presumed victor, both Plymouth’s and NorthWood’s girls track coaches knew Tuesday’s Northern Lakes Conference three-way would come down to a showdown between the Lady Pilgrims and the Panthers.
Plymouth got a big boost from senior transfer Hannah Christy as the Pilgrims trumped NorthWood 70-62, while the Lady Tigers dominated as expected to move to 6-0 in the NSC on Senior Night at Plymouth.
“With Warsaw’s seed times that they sent, they outscore us 107-25,” said Plymouth head girls track coach Paul Patrick. “And I know Warsaw can put a better lineup on the track… but that aside, we needed to perform well to beat NorthWood, and we did that.”
“Obviously against Warsaw it was going to be a struggle; Warsaw and Northridge are the class of the conference and everybody is kind of just playing for third place,” said NorthWood coach Adam Yoder. “But against Plymouth I thought it was pretty even… We kind of came out on the short end of the stick, but I wasn’t disappointed, really, in any scores. I didn’t think we left a lot of points out there against Plymouth; it’s just, their kids were better than our kids.”
While Plymouth outscored the Panthers in both hurdles events — Lauren Tanner claimed second in the 300 intermediate race, followed by Tabitha Sherwood and Krista Vanlue in fourth and fifth, respectively, and Sherwood took third in the 100-meter hurdles, followed by Vanlue and Tanner in fifth and sixth, respectively — much of the difference was made up by Pilgrim seniors Haley Smart and Christy.
Four-year Plymouth track standout Haley Smart earned a victory in the 400 and second place in the 200-meter dash individually, and she overtook her Warsaw counterpart in the third leg of the 1600 relay as the Pilgrims squad of Meagan Fisher, Danica Cureton, Smart and Emmelyn Brandt took the top spot there as well.
Christy, meanwhile, outdistanced the rest of the field for victories in both the long jump and the shot put, and she claimed third in the discus with a 104’05” to trump NorthWood’s Cassie Griffin by a little over a foot and earn her team some key points there.
“She’s been a great addition as a move-in,” said Patrick of Christy. “She’s a super kid, I mean very humble. I had her in class since the first day in August and she didn’t even mention that she was a track athlete until her soccer season was over. She doesn’t say ‘Hey, you’re the track coach? I throw 38 feet.’ She’s just the sweetest kid, very humble, very athletic. I mean, when you have a kid come from the throws and then jump 15’6” in the long jump, our field event worker is like ‘Woa.’ You’re not used to seeing someone with her body type do that in the long jump. She’s explosive, she’s a strong girl, and I think without her we’re probably 1-5 right now.”
NorthWood was led by vaulters Megan and Jessica Tuttle and its distance corps at Tuesday’s three-way as Megan and Jessica went one-two, respectively, in the pole vault and the Panthers won the 1600, took second and third in the 3200 and second in the 800. Cynthia Medina did most of the damage in the distance races, winning the mile and finishing runner-up in both the 800 and 3200.
“Plymouth beat us in the mid-distance and the hurdles, basically tonight,” said Yoder. “Basically, for us Cynthia Medina had a great night. We’re running her in four distance events every night preparing for the state tournament. We’ll slowly start backing that off. Angelica Ramone had a nice night in the sprints. She was third in the 200 and fourth in the 100, so… Cynthia and Angelica definitely carried us tonight.”
With strong prospects at another three-way meet scheduled with Elkhart Memorial and Wawasee at Wawasee next week, the Pilgrims hope to finish out their conference round robin above .500 at 4-3.
“We’re happy to be where we are heading into Memorial and Wawasee with a chance to go above .500 in the conference,” said Patrick. “Last year we were 2-4-1. Right now we’re 2-3 with a chance to be 4-3, which is good. We’re just trying to stay positive.”
• PLYMOUTH 70, NORTHWOOD 62;
WARSAW 95.33, NORTHWOOD 36.66;
WARSAW 86, PLYMOUTH 46
3200 relay 1. Warsaw (Ashley Erba, Lilly Fleming, Kristin Quick, Hannah Cutshall) 10:10.1; 2. NorthWood, 10:30.7; 100 hurdles: 1. Elise White (W) :16.43; 2. Jackie Ferguson (W) :16.76; 100: 1. Ann Harvuot (W) :13.43; 2. Meredith Hollar (W) :13.87; 1600: 1. Cynthia Medina (NW) 5:45.6; 2. Anna Bearss (W) 5:46.06; 400 relay: 1. Warsaw (Regina Anderson, Madison Long, Meredith Hollar, Ann Harvuot) :50.73; 2. NorthWood, :51.96; 400: 1. Haley Smart (P) 1:01.47; 2. Kelly Wildman (W) 1:04.66; 300 hurdles: 1. Jackie Ferguson (W) :50.69; 2. Lauren Tanner (P) :52.43; 800: 1. Brooke Kline (W) 2:28.55; 2. Cynthia Medina (NW) 2:28.74; 200: 1. Ann Harvuot (W) :27.3; 2. Haley Smart (P) :27.93; 3200: 1. Ashley Erba (W) 11:39.43; 2. Cynthia Medina (NW) 11:56.34; 1600 relay: 1. Plymouth (Megan Fisher, Danica Cureton, Haley Smart, Emmelyn Brandt) 4:19.25; 2. Warsaw, 4:20.7; Long jump: 1. Hannah Christy (P) 15-6; 2. Elise White (W) 15-6; High jump: 1. Sarah Smeltzer (NW) 5-0; 2. Carly Baker (P) 4-10; Shot put: 1. Hannah Christy (P) 34-11½; 2. Emily Umbaugh (W) 34-11¼; Discus: 1. Samantha Jensen (W) 111-10; 2. Lauren Burish (W) 105-2; Pole vault: 1. Megan Tuttle (NW) 9-0; 2. Jessica Tuttle (NW) 8-6.