MANLIUS — Bureau Valley girls track coach Dale Donner approached a jubilant bunch of Erie-Prophetstown girls, trophy in hand, and said, “Well, we’ll loan it to you for another year.”
“It” was the traveling trophy that goes to the winner of the Three Rivers Conference girls track and field meet, held Friday night in Manlius. The Panthers amassed 164 points to post a comfortable win over runner-up Bureau Valley, which had 138.
Riverdale (86), Amboy/LaMoille (69) and Kewanee (54) rounded out the top five in the eight-team meet.
Erie-Prophetstown squeaked by Bureau Valley by two points in the indoor conference meet back in March, so the margin of victory outdoors was a bit of a surprise.
“Coach [Don Robinson] told us the other day it’s like two trains coming head-to-head,” E-P junior Paige Rus said. “We were really getting ready for this and practicing hard. We just gave it our all, and we’re really happy to be bringing home the trophy again.”
Erie-Prophetstown used a balanced lineup to combat a Bureau Valley squad led by two outstanding individuals, Lindsey Hoffert (4) and Regan Weidner (2), who won six individual events between them.
“For us to compete in a conference meet, we have to pull them out of relays and compete in the individual events,” Robinson said. “That’s what we have to do against BV because they have some talented individuals. We had to try to score several places in those individual events. We had a lot of very good performances.”
Not surprising anyone was Hoffert, who won the 100 (13.0), 200 (26.93), 400 (59.66) and long jump (17-9 1/2).
The long jump distance was a personal best by almost a foot and shattered the conference record of 16-8 1/2 set in 2002 by E-P’s Lacey Chriest.
“When you land, you always know if it’s good or bad,” Hoffert said. “As soon as my heels hit the ground, I knew it was a good one. It’s something to be proud of.”
Weidner won the 1,600 (5:23.07) and 3,200 (12:57.42). She took it easy in the 3,200, where she had a personal best of 11:44.96, but she was able to turn it loose in the 1,600. Her time was a season best by more than two seconds and eclipsed the previous conference record of 5:27.1 set by Newman’s Trisha Mangan in 1981.
“It’s really awesome,” Weidner said. “A lot of meets we go to, I have to save myself in order to win another event, so I don’t always get a chance to go for all the records I know I could get. It’s really nice to get the conference record in the mile.”
Bureau Valley also received a win from senior Kimi Sanden in the 800 (2:25.07).
Amboy’s 400 relay team of Madeline Ely, Avery Barrett, Whitney Schultz and Ashley McCoy won in 52.66, just .02 ahead of Kewanee.
The Clippers also got a strong effort in the weights from Autumn Smith, who was second in both the discus (108-4) and shot put (36-3). The shot put distance is a personal best by seven inches.
LHS sophomore Laura Reiker placed third for the Clippers in the high jump (5-0).
E-P won five events, with Rus leading the way with two individual wins. She took the triple jump at 33 feet, 7 1/4 inches, then cleared 5-2 to take the high jump. The high jump effort was a best by two inches.
Notes: Neponset’s Freya Block gave Kewanee double wins in the weights. ... In the F/S meet, BV got wins from Kelly Sierens in the long jump (13-6 1/2), Kalie Rumbold in the triple jump (25-10 1/2) amd Bri Moon in the 300 hurdles (60.23).