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Storm uses depth to win Howard-Monier Invite

PRINCETON — The Bureau Valley girls are bursting with numbers at 24 strong, compared to just a dozen in 2013. Those extra numbers are going to carry the Storm a long way this spring.

The Storm not only won the 4x400 relay, but also placed third and fifth in the event with two more sets of relays beating out two schools’ “A” teams. BV won six events with five seconds to capture Thursday’s Howard-Monier Invitational.

The Storm racked up 139 points to top runner-up Hall (103). Amboy/LaMoille came in third (96) and Princeton fourth (84) in the seven-team field.

Veteran coach Dale Donner said it was truly a team effort.

“It is nice to have numbers back up,” he said. “These girls come to practice and work hard each day to improve. If you look, we had only three individual first-place finishes and in many events we had multiple places.

“This is a fun group of girls to be around, and they enjoy each other.  It make it so much more fun at practice and meets.”

BV junior Lindsey Hoffert cruised to a blue ribbon in the 400 meters with a time of 1:04.95 and also won the long jump (15-8) and took second in the 100 (13.9) and 200 (28.17). BV’s Sydney Lebahn won the discus (100-9).

In the 4x400, the Storm produced a first with Helena Arnadottir, Tiana Kennedy, Marissa Mungia and Regan Weidner with a time of 4:35.96, a third (4:49.48) with Katelin Johnson, Roni Riggen, Sam Roberts and Heather Williams and a fifth (4:55.84) with Riley Francis, Lainie Kruse, Lauren Peterson and Taylin Ritter.

The Storm won the 4x800 on the legs of Francis, Johnson, Williams and Weidner with a 11:06.88. In the 4x200, Taasha Richardson, Haley DeVoss, Mungia and Johnson turned in a winning 1:56.43.

Princeton’s Zoe Mead carried her stellar indoors season to the great outdoors, running off with the 800 meters (2:30.67) and 1600 (5:40.63), beating out Amboy freshman Megan Grady in both events. PHS coach Pat Hodge said he bumped Mead, who had been running the 200 and 400 indoors, back to farther distance to get her a better workout since their meet was canceled last week.

“She ran a couple of solid 800s and capped it off with a nice run in the 1600. Her last lap was excellent,” Hodge said.

PHS also gained a first from junior Colbi Schertz in the shot put with a toss of 37-5 1/2. Hodge notes she continues to get closer and closer to Amber Ruter’s school record of 38-11.

PHS junior Taylor Clark chipped in a second in the discus (109-9) and third in the shot (32-4).

Amboy/LaMoille’s Erika Zimmerlein won the 100 meters (13.65) and teammate Katelyn Pankhurst followed up by winning the 200 (28.02), edging Storm sprinter Hoffert (28.17). The Clippers also gained firsts from Laura Reiker in the high jump (4-10) and Jennifer Popovich in the 3200 (12;49.69).

Hall freshmen Maddie Quinn matched her second school record set earlier in the week to win the pole vault at 9-6 and placed second in the 100 hurdles (17.09). Hall sophomore Brooke Keegan (32-2 1/2) won the triple jump and with Quinn teamed up with Lexi Scarpaci and Brittany Foster on the Lady Devils’ winning 4x100 relay, which edged A/L with a time of 53.84.

Peoria Christian’s Abby McGinnis swept the hurdles with times of 16.97 and 52.95.

• Notes: Thursday’s meet marked the second day, the first with a larger crowd, for spectators to be able to sit at the finish line in the new bleachers erected along the east side of Rathje Track. The boys portion of the Howard-Monier will be held Tuesday. ... BV, Hall, PHS and St. Bede will all join their boys teams to run at Saturday’s Gooden Invite at Mendota.

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